Corporate Profile: Conquest Imaging
Conquest Imaging was built on the notion that hospitals and health care clinics of all sizes could lower their operational and maintenance costs without compromising their standards of care or quality through better testing, analysis and an reconditioning of ultrasound parts and probes. Seventeen years later, Conquest is a respected leader for quality assurance and reliability in the medical device aftermarket business.
Conquest Imaging has not only emerged as a leading provider of quality but also as one of the premier leaders of technology training among independent service organizations (ISOs). Conquest’s expert trainers teach client’s in-house biomed teams on preventive maintenance issues and device service updates, enabling them to fix problems on the spot, and help keep organizations and their equipment operating smoothly. This approach reflects Conrad’s initial vision and commitment to push the health care industry forward over making profits.
Every year, the company’s in-house experts host hundreds of HTM professionals for technical courses on the maintenance and servicing of their own equipment, the better to achieve greater efficiencies and a higher standard of care. Its technical support video library helps technicians complete simple operations remotely, and complements its trainings with quarterly ultrasound technical webinars and regularly distributed tips and tricks update e-mails – all in support of the larger clinical engineering community.
Helping his team stay one step ahead of the industry for knowledge and training is another reflection of Conrad’s dedication to putting patient care first while also supporting customers’ returns on their investments.
“What differentiates us is how customer-centric we are,” Conrad said. “If there’s an issue, whether it’s the middle of the night, or on a Saturday morning, we solve the issue. We make the customer’s problem our problem. So many people don’t take ownership of problems when they arise. We don’t look and point fingers, we just solve that problem, no matter what or who caused the problem at hand.”
One of Conquest’s biggest distinctions is its “first-time fix” rate which is well above the industry average. This shows their ability to properly diagnose a problem and fix it right the first time.
“After 16 years of collecting data, we know what fails on a machine,” Conrad said. “For years, we have maintained our 90 percent first-time fix rate – while the industry average hovers around 70 percent – because of the analytics we do. We’ve done such a great job of tracking data that we can manage our workflow and our people so much more effectively, and we can offer customers better solutions and quicker responses.”
“Our mission is to be the difference every biomed professional needs to make the difference they seek to achieve on their job,” Conrad said. “We know biomed professionals are under more pressure than ever to maintain peak operation levels without increasing costs. Our goals are to be the advisors and suppliers that make this happen more efficiently, reliably, and affordably than anyone else.”
“Our research efforts are not just designed to advance our company, but to help advance the entire industry,” he said. “As we all move forward with cost-effective health care solutions, everybody wins.”
The people at Conquest Imaging are just as committed as Mark in furthering the industry first, Conquest second. These people include:
- Technical Support Specialist Mike Davis, who has more than 20 years in the industry, and troubleshoots problems all day long. Davis is the vehicle for all hero kit approvals, warranty claims, parts ID, and trouble shooting.
- Service Coordinator Angie Jenkins, who, with 15 years in customer service, dispatches field service engineers throughout the country, and loves being the main point of customer contact.
- Inside Sales Manager Adrianna England who leads a team of designated account managers who maintain relationships with their parts and probes customers, filling orders by phone, email, webchat, and instant messaging.
“Our mission is to provide superior customer service and quality products,” England said. “When you talk, we listen. Need order confirmations? Done. Need core reminders? Done. Pre-paid return labels? Done.”
England also gave birth to the signature Conquest Imaging rubber duck – a fun token of appreciation she includes in order shipments as a reminder that the order shipped directly from Conquest Imaging headquarters. When the themed rubber duck appears in the box, it’s a signature that the rest of the shipment has been packed with the same standard of care.
“Our front-line personnel nurture, care, and provide answers to our customers every day,” Conrad said. “End-users, asset managers, and dealers appreciate their diligence and attitude as much as we do. They are the face and heart of Conquest Imaging.”
“Over and over again, I hear from customers about the ease of dealing with Conquest Imaging and the quality of our product,” he said. “Instead of an automated phone system with numerous triages, we answer the phone ourselves, making it easy to access whoever our customers need to reach, and quickly. We staff our operations daily to be able to respond to a client’s need within 24 hours. We also carry a large inventory and can send items out the same day as requested in many cases.”
The level of attention Conquest Imaging staffers provide to customers allows the company to be prepared to make big things happen for its clients. Recently, Conquest was able to quickly and accurately help a panicking customer who was about to lose ACR certification without an immediate quality check. The Conquest Imaging team arrived within a day, completed the QC check and service report, and processed the ACR report, too.
“Our order response is unmatched, and being on the West Coast certainly has its advantages,” Conrad said. “We can receive orders late into the afternoon and can ship last-minute orders to customers across the nation. It is not uncommon for our local customers to receive personal deliveries by our staff or for our staff to drive to a Greyhound station for same-day delivery, all to eliminate system downtime for our customer.”
The company’s 35,000-square-foot facility in Stockton, California hosts the research team, service and training team, and executive leaders. Operations executives maintain critical levels of ready-to-go inventory, making them available as quickly as the same day the equipment is requested. Sales executives are located in the field where they can better serve customers, and facilitate training and preventative maintenance.
Conquest Imaging has won the respect and trust of the industry through its services such as its Quality Assurance 360, its exclusive program for analyzing, researching, and testing each piece of equipment processed and sold. This is the same process by which staff pre-emptively repair any potential problems before equipment leaves the business inventory. Their large inventory of ultrasound parts and probes available at its facility helps assure the high quality of customer service Conquest Imaging provides. Currently in development is Conquest’s in-house probe repair program which enable biomed departments to achieve even greater efficiencies with the same quality seal of approval. Probe services include industry-standard program options: exchange, loaner, and straight repair, as well as the technologically advanced flying probe system that allows developers to quickly complete test programs with automated, accurate, and reliable results that allows the company to troubleshoot, test and even reverse-engineer electronics.
“We are purchasing the facilities, technology and expert technicians to bring quality transducer repair to our customers,” Conrad said. “Our objective is to keep our customers’ operations running efficiently at all times and get probes to our customers as quickly as possible. Being transparent with our tiered pricing matrix helps eliminate a common step in the industry of having to send in their probe to get a repair quote, which saves our customers days of downtime.”
With its probe repair and exchange price matrix, Conquest Imaging helps customers calculate their maximum costs before ordering, adding to their confidence. The company has not increased its prices overall in five years, in part by focusing its strategies in becoming more profitable in other areas of its business, from technological expertise to logistics to data collection and first-call problem diagnosis.
“We’re in a unique position to grow because of our infrastructure,” Conrad said. “We’re introducing a new ERP (enterprise resource planning) that we’re going live with in January; it’s an automated, all-in-one package that handles CRM, service, product flow and inventory so we don’t have to build bridges. Now we don’t have to add headcount because we’ve automated our processes.”
Putting the customer first is not a strategy, but is precisely the vision the Conrads espoused since founding the company 17 years ago.
“We are truly a partner, and in today’s competitive environment, you are not going to find a more trustworthy, transparent partner,” Conrad said. “Our mantra is to never quit learning and innovating, and as we do so, we are excited to share new knowledge with delivery systems to help them save money and time, and pass that savings on to our customers.”
In its quest to become “everything imaging,” Conquest Imaging is working to enter the CT and MR markets in 2017. Those changes are a direct response to customer requests to deliver the same high quality of service in its work across an expanded range of products. It’s nothing that the company hasn’t done before in its path to expanded customer service, but is merely another horizon to expand.
“I got into the line of work because I wanted to give back to health care,” Conrad said. “I saw the costs were escalating, and working for the manufacturer, I saw how and why it was so expensive. People kept asking me for an alternative solution to the OEM. The OEMs aren’t flexible; they’re big, they’re rigid. When you’re a company like Conquest Imaging, we listen to you. If you want to change something and it seems to make sense, we’re going to change it because we are flexible.”
In addition to giving back to health care with its exclusive quality assurance processes and training programs, Conquest Imaging gives back by donating thousands of dollars to the Pancreatic Cancer Association in donations and fundraising associated with their walkathons. Conquest’s mission to support research and funding for pancreatic cancer research and victims is in honor of Jean Conrad who was taken by this disease in 2014.