by Sean Ruck
, Contributing Editor | August 01, 2014
From the August 2014 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
In the future, while the parts business will still be healthy, according to French, he believes it will be increasingly important to be more imaginative to keep up with ways to help the independent service person. “As long as they’re able to stay in business I think the second source parts provider is also going to do fine,” French says.
What about uptime?
With uptime being so crucial when it comes to profitability, having the tech at your door in a blink is a must. While no service provider is shuttling their techs around in a Learjet, the well-established and well-connected companies have networks of staff throughout the country or agreements with other service companies if they need extra coverage in an emergency.
By providing better response time and access to multiple vendors as well as building relationships, Mike Masterman, president of Imaging Associates is able to deliver lower cost solutions to the company’s clientele. “We’re constantly looking for partners to repair parts like power supplies and problematic parts,” he explains.
Masterman says hospitals need to really consider what their needs are in order to get the best deals when it comes to negotiating contracts. This also means the hospitals need to determine just how catastrophic having a particular machine offline would be and then determining the intelligent spend to insure against that problem.
With the budget crunch affecting hospitals big and small, insurance like that will grow in importance as the health care sector’s fleet of machines ages. “There will be a larger parts business,” says Anwar Abdelqader, sales manager at CBE Medical Inc. “The economy is bad, so companies will replace parts instead of buying new devices,” he says.
But when it does come time to buy, Abdelqader has a straightforward solution. “I gave my customer a comparison between two models , and let him know where to buy from,” he says.
While there are gray areas when one considers that some parts and service providers also sell refurbished machines as part of their business, many bring in their main income by keeping existing equipment up and profitable. In that way, they’re markedly different from the OEMs according to Pete McCann, vice president of sales for Modern Medical Systems. “From the OEM perspective, there tends to be a focus on their products rather than an overall view of the entire service strategy,” he says.
As for what ISOs can deliver to facilities with in-house service, McCann says they can be good for providing services for high-end, advanced equipment. If the facility doesn’t have an abundance of the machines, it may make it financially impractical to train in-house engineers to fix them. According to McCann, it is typically smaller health systems or even larger ones with remote sites that can benefit from ISOs.