In 1996, Philips launched a multi-vendor service organization designed to provide a direct service model, bringing OEM quality service to a multi-vendor service solution. Through a quality standards commitment, strategic acquisitions and partnering of resources to support direct service capabilities and organic growth, Philips Multi-Vendor Services now boasts more than 2,000 Philips Support Specialists who are trained at the Cleveland and Nashville Technical Centers of Excellence to service equipment, provide technical assistance, and deliver OEM parts for virtually every major manufacturer.
People are living longer with continuous chronic diseases, creating the need for more specialized care, in both the hospital and the home. Healthcare systems are challenged to improve access and quality of care, manage resources, and treat patients in lower cost settings. Empowered consumers are increasingly seeking new ways to take control of their health. Digital tools and data-driven capabilities are driving increased collaboration between patients and clinicians across the health continuum. Philips believes the time is right for new thinking and partnerships.
“Philips Multi-Vendor Services mission is to do the right thing for our customers, which means we want to provide the best clinical solutions for their needs, at the right level of service, at the lowest possible cost,” said Jim Salmons, Vice President, Philips Multi-Vendor Services.
We sat down with Salmons to find out more about Philips Multi-Vendor Services and its extensive service experience with devices from a variety of OEMs.
Q: What are some advantages that your company has over the competition?
Salmons: Our advantages are in our qualified people, our technology and our flexible service programs that go beyond “break-fix.”
To support growing multi-vendor service needs, each of our engineers goes through hands-on, state-of-the art technical training. This allows qualified field engineers to service non-Philips or Philips equipment to OEM standards in a cost-effective manner, regardless of modality, complexity or age.
Our remote clinical/technical experts connect directly to Philips medical equipment, as well as systems from manufacturers like Siemens and GE, over secure, encrypted communication links. Our superior technical capabilities such as remote services across a range of manufacturers and modalities help customers increase clinical availability of their equipment.
Providing fast access to quality parts is another key service capability requested by customers. Two companies owned by Philips that support direct access to quality parts include Dunlee and AllParts Medical. Dunlee is a leading X-ray tube manufacturer. AllParts Medical, the only ISO 13485:2003 registered third-party parts supplier, is a leading parts, training, technical support and equipment company. For qualified in-house teams ordering Philips or non-Philips parts, we also provide complimentary parts identification service and volume incentive discount purchase programs that include elimination of re-stock fees, reduction in freight costs, extended parts warranty, free training, free technical support and 24/7/365 access for parts ordering.
Whether the objective is to increase system availability, decrease costs, support in-house staff or meet basic uptime needs our customizable service programs can deliver 24×7 service on mission critical equipment, PM only services, shared services, parts only programs, hands-on clinical training, technical training or cost efficient back-up service labor. Also, unique in our industry, our philosophy is not to compete with in-house organizations but to support them. As business needs change we can help transition coverage from full service to in-house without any penalties.
Q: What are some challenges that your company faced last year? How were you able to overcome them?
Salmons: We work with customers to address their greatest challenges: how to reduce costs while improving patient care. As customers look for cost reductions, there are many aggressive, less quality-oriented service providers in the vendor space who promise big savings, but don’t have the resources to support clinical solutions or quality service delivery. We were rated No. 1 in the 2014 IMV ranking as the top multi-vendor service provider because we bring the full weight of our global organization and resources to address individual customers’ cost, clinical and patient satisfaction needs. We take a holistic approach to our customers’ entire business versus just “break-fix” at the cheapest price.
Q: Please explain your company’s core competencies and unique selling points.
Salmons: As a global leader in both clinical imaging and biomed solutions, we have extensive service experience with many OEMs, and leverage that core competency and expertise across our non-Philips service offerings. Philips Multi-Vendor solutions provide quality service, expert technical assistance and OEM parts for Philips and non-Philips systems – all from a single source, reducing the complexity of managing multiple original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), insurance providers and third-party service organizations. With our flexible, customized programs and consultative approach, Philips increases uptime, streamlines workflow, lowers costs and helps enhance patient care.
Q: What product or service that your company offers are you most excited about right now?
Salmons: I’m excited about Philips’ innovative focus on addressing customer needs in the changing health care industry. In 2014, Philips announced the formation of “HealthTech” by combining Philips’ existing Healthcare and Consumer Lifestyle businesses. Philips HealthTech is capitalizing on the convergence of professional health care and consumer end-markets across the health continuum, from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment, recovery and home care. The creation of Philips HealthTech and the integration of the data from the connected products on Philips’ cloud-based digital health platform are exciting and illustrate the company’s commitment to service in an increasingly connected world, where societies are looking for more effective and lower cost health solutions.
Every company is challenged by where to spend their investment dollars, and that’s even more complicated when you are vastly diversified. Philips’ move to focus solely on HealthTech means every dollar, every move and every decision is about how we can improve health care and help our customers improve care and lower costs.
Q: What is on the horizon for your company?
Salmons: On the horizon, we will continue to evolve HealthTech into a global leader providing cost-effective solutions. For multi-vendor service products, we are excited about bringing advanced data analytics and exceptional capabilities to customers. Digital tools and data-driven capabilities will drive increased collaboration between patients and clinicians across the health continuum. The move away from silo models of service provision to the development of well-integrated services is revolutionizing health care.
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