by Scott Hutchins
, Project Manager | November 14, 2007
With over 20 years in the business, Rodolfo Gutierrez
, ReMedPar's new Latin American Sales Director, is opening up the international market, keeping diagnostic equipment available in communities that cannot afford the newest equipment.
Gutierrez, who joined ReMedPar
four months ago, recalled his first milestone in the business. "As an international GE engineer, I installed the First GE CAT Scanner in Latin America -- in Bogota, Colombia -- in 1975. It was a "HEAD only" unit, and used to take three minutes for each slice and you could even see the small square pixels making up the image. I also worked in the Middle East and Africa servicing and selling GE equipment for almost a decade."
After a time as an entrepreneur in the medical equipment field, in which Gutierrez opened several successful diagnostic clinics and introduced many multinational companies to the field in all Latin America, Ed Sloan, founder of ReMedPar, introduced him to Mark Graham, the current President and CEO, and they appointed him Sales Director for Latin America. Since joining, Gutierrez has also extended their reach to the Middle East and Asia. He attributes his success to lengthy experience in many parts of the world. His first RSNA dates back to 1975. "Not many people can tell you that," he noted. Gutierrez is also in charge of -- and often teaches -- Spanish-language technical courses at the ReMedPar facility.
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ReMedPar is, at 20 years old, one of the oldest diagnostic imaging companies in the U.S., and with a plant size of 110,000 square feet, is, according to Gutierrez, the largest third-party supplier of spare medical equipment parts in the world. With their tracking system, when someone calls, there is a swift process, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, that locates, packs, and ships the part the same day it is requested, often for much less than the OEM charges. ReMedPar has everything from the latest state-of-the-art equipment to very old equipment no longer supported by the manufacturer.
"There are many machines internationally, and they [end users] have very old machines and keep working them." ReMedPar is bringing aid to poor communities providing parts to old machines, kept working in spite of their perceived obsolescence by the manufacturer. In fact, GE buys old GE parts from ReMedPar to supply them to those who need them. In many parts of the world, clinics do not have the resources for a newer machine, so they must continue to service and maintain what they have as long as they are repairable.
In terms of full pieces of equipment, "CT scanners are in the highest demand," says Gutierrez, "because right now every clinic has to have one for everything, not just a simple X-ray. MRs are too expensive -- $1 million, CT is half a million, 'cheap' ones $50,000. We can sell a good machine for very little, price-wise. We save a lot of money for the customers, and also time and labor. Our products and services are very, very needed. We provide very good help to people internationally -- keeping the machines working for the poor people."