par John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | August 05, 2019
From the August 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
“It gives our customers access to parts, training, technical support and equipment company,” Stefano Folli, head of services and solutions North America for Philips, said in regard to AllParts Medical, a Philips holding and an ISO 12485:2003 registered third-party parts supplier. “For qualified in-house teams ordering Philips or non-Philips parts, we also provide complimentary parts identification service and volume incentive discount purchase programs. These include elimination of restock fees, reduction in freight costs and extended parts warranty.”
Another way to deal with outdated technology is to partner with an OEM that offers an affordable upgrade pathway as part of the contract. Konica Minolta customers, for instance, rely on its Blue Moon Plans to plan for these situations.
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“Our Blue Moon Plans provide an upgrade path for our customers to plan their transition of ‘older’ equipment over time to new solutions,” said Dan Baskel, executive director of strategic partnerships, and Steven Eisner, senior manager of inside sales and service solutions, at Konica Minolta. “Advancements to imaging solutions, particularly those focused on improving patient care and a clinician’s diagnosis, are inevitable.”
It’s no secret that hospitals are on increasingly tight budgets. For manufacturers that don’t want to lose their clients, providing an affordable upgrade pathway is just good business.
“We assist in either upgrading or replacing all the systems economically to newer technology to fit our customers’ clinical business or community goals,” said Andrea Hearn, service marketing manager for Canon Medical Systems USA. “We never leave the customer out there alone with their equipment. There’s always a solution we can strive to work out with our customers. As a solution provider, that’s essential.”
Communication is key
A perfect service contract means getting everything you need without things that you don’t need. While this may not always be possible, it’s a goal worth striving for, and that means having an intelligent and open dialogue with your service partners.
“Communication is key,” said Karchner. “Healthcare delivery strategies can vary from hospital to hospital. With continued communication, the OEMs can better tailor their offerings to fit your needs.”
When working with an OEM who offers flexible service solutions, healthcare providers should come to the negotiation table already knowing how their needs stack up.
“Customers are looking to better align costs to criticality — certain imaging devices or lab devices are more critical than others, and they want to align coverage more to level the criticality; patient criticality, financial criticality, [as opposed to] getting a blanket approach to service delivery across a large install base,” said McCallum. “Higher level to some systems and departments, lower level to others.”