Refurbished Medical Imaging Market Today... Our Perspective & Advice
Before commenting on the text and tenor of the Medical Dealer February cover story, "Purchasing Power: Smarter Spending in the Pre-Owned Marketplace", I must mention how absolutely amazing it is to me, these many years later, world class providers like Indiana Orthopaedic and global players like Siemens are being quoted in a feature article about refurbished medical imaging equipment for a major medical publication. It wasn’t that many years ago a discussion about pre-owned or refurbished equipment could not take place in good company and certainly would not have been joined by such prestigious organizations!
I couldn’t agree more with the comments from Ms. Duffy-Sandstrom, Ms. Rotert, Mr. Powell and Mr. Green, though would like to add a bit of dimension to the dialogue since OEM’s like Siemens are not the only option when it comes to high quality refurbished imaging equipment and services.
The OEMs who are now in the refurbishing business, such as GE, Philips, Siemens and Toshiba do a great job! In fact, independents like Block Imaging have the OEMs to thank for legitimizing refurbished medical imaging equipment as an industry rather than a hair brained idea! But they are not the only game in town and there might even be some additional value in considering a top line, ISO certified independent.
It was noted in the article that savings average 25% when an equipment buyer steps up to purchase a refurbished system. Those savings can actually climb much higher when the discussion is expanded to include top tier independents like Block Imaging.
Quality refurbished imaging equipment can deliver reliable imaging for somewhere between 25% and 50% off the cost of new!
Further, in the old days “used” or “refurbished” usually meant “old and tired”. Nothing could be further from the truth these days. For a number of reasons, not the least of which are bankruptcies, consolidations and dislocations of late model equipment from good old fashioned smash mouth deal making, very late model equipment is finding its way to the marketplace:
...These are but some of what is coming along. Tom Green’s advice to get a referral is sound indeed! Why not hear from others before finding out the hard way yourself? By the way, the medical equipment buying, installing and servicing world is not a field of daisies whether you are talking new or refurbished. Technical equipment is, well just that, technical. But another differentiator is to be sure you are working with a company that not only comes highly recommended but one that will stay with a job until it is completed and to the customer’s satisfaction.
Due diligence is always a great idea and well worth whatever you have to put into it. For example, when purchasing equipment, it is not uncommon for us to speak to a variety of people at the hospital and outside technicians who are doing the servicing, just to research the system, its past and any idiosyncrasies it may have.
Organizations such as COCIR and NEMA have indeed established standards but only recognize the OEM community as legitimate refurbishers, which by anyone’s assessment, is a pretty narrow view.
Finally, seeking out a company that can bring more than a piece of refurbished equipment and deliver a professional quote, in writing, is great advice. In the old days, we were pretty much like everyone else in that we could deliver a nice piece of equipment, have it installed and then wait for the phone to ring and hope for another order some day. That won’t fly any more by our standards.
Today, Block Imaging offers a complete “Partnership Initiative" that brings top quality refurbished equipment, site design, engineering, parts support and financing. Beyond that, we can offer a comprehensive Flex Service Program that will save money, provide maximum flexibility in terms of program and vendor choice and even includes a shared risk product.
Throw in guaranteed buy backs on common imaging products and an upgrade program, that sees outdated equipment automatically replaced with modern technology and now you have something! No RFP, board (bored) meetings or ad nauseum vendor interviews and sales pitches; instead a programmed upgrade strategy in which a stroke of the pen extending the current lease brings you another 3 or 4 years of reliable imaging with almost no hassle.
Whew... so there you have it; the complete maturing and morphing of an industry in a few short years. We are happy to be traveling on main street these days instead of some bumpy back road. The view is pretty good and we think it will only get better!
Meet the author - Bruce Block
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