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Non-Captive Financial Institution & Refurbished Medical Equip. Vendor

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In late March, Block Imaging International announced a joint alliance with VFG Healthcare to provide a full range of finance and leasing products to hospitals and imaging centers. This alliance fully embraces Block's vision for how refurbished equipment providers and financial institutions can partner beyond simply financing customers. To be successful, this type of partnership approach requires three key elements: 

1. Share Information with Confidence 

medical equipment portfolioCritical to the success of a partnership is sharing information that will generate new business opportunities between partners.  This requires trust between the partners to share information such as equipment portfolio lists, names of customers who are ready to buy, and valuations on equipment in a portfolio.  This whole sharing thing is admittedly hard for those of us who worked hard to “protect” information rather than share it.  It is the “new normal” and something we have to get used to and realize the only thing that will separate players is the value they bring to the market.  All else will be neutralized by an ever flattening world.

For example, with the Block Partners Initiative through SAP Business One, Block can help track the portfolio of financial institutions through asset management tools.  These tools allow partners to promote equipment upgrade options to customers months prior to lease maturity as described in more detail here.  The financial institution can also view their portfolio through a secure web interface and confirm their asset values are maintained by monitoring preventative maintenance and service activity.  All that is required of the financial institution is to share their equipment portfolio and let Block do the rest.

2. Develop a Comprehensive Program

Any financial institution can offer customer financing.  What sets apart the best financial partners is a willingness to embrace a comprehensive program to serve customers and bring additional value to the relationship ongoing. In addition to providing planned equipment upgrade options as mentioned in the previous section, developing marketing programs geared toward existing customers of financial institutions will generate more business for both partners.

upgrade ct scanner with lease extensionFor example, imagine approaching an existing credit-worthy customer with additional "pre-approved" refurbished equipment options.  The customer circles the piece of refurbished equipment they need and Block arranges for the removal and redeployment of the system being decommissioned and arranges for the upgraded equipment to be professionally installed and maintained under 24/7 service coverage.  Easy and NO RFPs, NO parade of suppliers, site visits and costly investment of time listening, and NO exhaustive credit approval process since you have their history!  In most cases only a simple lease extension is required.

3. Measure Success and Adjust

Once the equipment and financial partners have shared key information and developed a comprehensive, marketable program, it's time to execute the program and track success.  Keys to good execution include gaining the buy-in of all parties involved and properly training and incentivizing the front-line sales teams in both organizations who contact customers personally.

Block has generated and executed marketing programs with financial institutions, measured success through opportunity tracking in SAP™, and adjusted the programs based on lessons learned by the sales teams.  Regular communication between partners and identifying key metrics for success allows both parties to clearly identify when expectations are met or adjustments are needed.

So Much More

This post represents only a brief outline of the key elements needed to make an equipment and financial partnership work.  In the refurbished imaging equipment industry, Block has developed a comprehensive model for these partnerships that has been shared through ELFA webinars and with individual meetings with financial partners.  Contact Block to learn more!

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