CT service providers come in a lot of varieties; OEM or independent, national or regional, contract-only or time and materials. Having so many options is both good and exasperating for anyone trying to make the best decision for their CT equipment service needs.
The tips below will help narrow the field of players and simplify your service decision.
Obviously, “experience” is tied to the number of years an engineer has been working on CT scanners, and this is certainly an important and desirable trait for a service provider to have, but it is equally important to learn a provider’s specific manufacturer and model experience.
It should not be assumed, for example, that a seasoned Siemens CT veteran is also a good choice to work on a Toshiba CT. Likewise, it’s a poor assumption that an engineer well-trained on GE’s LightSpeed series will automatically be a good candidate for their BrightSpeed CTs.
This aspect of service is surprisingly easy to overlook when faced with a well-rounded technical resume. However, a service provider may have a stable of fully-trained, veteran engineers but lack severely in the administrative infrastructure to make them effective.
Try asking these customer service questions:
- What is your average closing time on a service call?
- Do you take after hours or weekend calls?
- How does your company resolve x-ray tube failure?
- How far away is your engineer from my site?
A company might have the world’s best CT engineer on their staff, but that doesn’t matter if poor customer service blocks your access to them.
In the event of a CT breakdown there’s always the chance that the solution will require replacement parts. Choosing a service provider that stocks their own inventory of parts gives your site some great advantages.
These parts generally cost far less than ordering them from an OEM. The ordering and shipping processes are also often faster. Best of all, after their engineer gets to know your system, he can bring many of these parts with him at the outset of the repair and save you significant downtime.
The most important thing for a CT service buyer to take away from these tips is this: Ask a lot of questions! Only by learning exactly what a service provider’s capabilities are can you make an informed service purchasing decision.
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