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Parts and Service - The Full Story

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | November 04, 2014
From the August 2014 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Glas sees a shift in the parts marketplace, with more partnerships emerging and mergers being discussed. “I am also seeing a lot of brokers who dealt in equipment only trying their hands at parts now, starting new companies or just subsidiaries, etcetera. I think this is in response to the larger corporate acquisitions that have happened over the past couple of years. It really is very interesting to watch,” he says.

In order to deliver savings, Glas says Phi- GEM Parts sells from their own stock 99 percent of the time. “This way we are able to keep costs down, quality up and best-serve the customers’ needs.”

Glas says other cost factors such as time to ship, quality of the parts, limiting downtime and resolution of the issues also come into play.

MedEquip Parts Plus is another player that works in a more specific niche of the parts sector as its main business. Dave French, vice president of the company says the calls they get for parts normally flow in from purchasing managers for larger hospitals while smaller organizations have their techs buy directly. “We offer tech support and parts identification so when a company calls us, the guy right on the job, we can help them figure out the part they need and then they can call it into the parts purchasing department and they order the part. However, because we deal with mostly sterilizers and washers, it’s not usually the type of equipmentthat biomeds have loads of experience on so we can help,” he says.

MedEquip’s buyer breakdown is similar to PhiGEM’s with about 50 to 60 percent of sales directly to ISOs and the rest to in-house teams. “We sell very little to the OEMs. If we sell to the OEMs, we sell a different OEM’s product,” French says.

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.

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