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When do OEMs use special logistics and rigging companies, and when should you?

por Cristoph Sitzer, CEO, Hegele Logistic LLC | December 30, 2015
From the December 2015 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

The original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of imaging equipment have long recognized that rigging and installation are not part of their core business. In the past, OEMs’ service departments were in charge of delivering and installing new medical equipment, as well as handling emergency service calls and troubleshooting equipment problems. Because service calls take priority over routine installations, completion delays caused by service call interruptions often upset the routine of performing rigging and mechanical installations.

As the pressure to reduce installation delays increased, while at the same time the demands on skilled OEM technicians to spend more time servicing equipment also increased, the OEMs started to look for outsourced solutions for their installation projects. They reached out to technical and logistics service providers. Those specialized service providers have trained technicians on staff and are experienced in handling and shipping highly sensitive and valuable medical equipment via truck, air or sea. Additionally, these logistics companies could be seamlessly integrated into the overall project management with hospitals, general contractors and the OEMs of the medical equipment.

The technicians of service and logistics companies are specialized in certain systems (CT, MR, general X-ray, cardiography, PET, SPECT) and complete installations every week. Given the high frequency of installation projects, these technicians have acquired a higher level of expertise and perform more efficiently than those who complete installations at a much lower rate. Most often, the technicians are either factory trained or have passed an OEM-audited internal training program. They are also more likely to have the correct tools available and the unique knowledge base to utilize the tools.

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Since the installation is part of a highly complex supply chain of medical equipment from the factory to the hospital, these service and logistics companies have skilled professionals onboard. They have the experience to effortlessly navigate both domestic and international logistics, including customs clearance and DOT regulations. The overall project management/coordination of an installation is often undervalued, but it is critical for the success of the project. This is another area where the service and logistics company experts improve the process and outcome of any installation.

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