The Other Side: Who is buying your used equipment and are they really helping you?

By Jim Fidele


Who is buying your used equipment and are they really helping you?

I have previously written articles about my friends at KMA, praising the company for their willingness to do whatever it takes to do what I need. Over the past couple of months I have been using them a lot to solve problems that have truly helped my customers and, ultimately, our patients. Therefore, I would like to tell you about some of our most recent encounters that highlight their dedication to customer service.

Most recently I received a call from a site manager at one of our member hospitals, he called me on a Wednesday afternoon and said that they needed 10 suction pumps and asked if I could have them sent by Friday. After explaining to the site manager that we do not keep that many spares around, he started to panic. He proceeded to inform me that there was going to be a medical gas shutdown on Saturday and they needed the suction units to be used temporarily while the work was being done. This surprised me because typically I am informed and asked to help develop plans when work like this is being done. At this point there was no point in chastising anyone for not following our normal process I just needed to solve the problem. Our purchasing department had tried a couple of rental companies but none of them were able to get the equipment to us by Friday. I then made a call to KMA and explained the situation. They said they could help. Within an hour, Ken at KMA called me back and said he had 10 units available and he could get them to me by Friday morning. Ken immediately had his team check out the units and hand delivered them to me. (KMA’s headquarters is about 100 miles away.) We checked them in, gave them to the site manager and they were distributed appropriately. The medical gas shutdown happened as planned and all patients’ needs were met without interruption.

This situation is just one of many reasons why we seldom use anyone else for our used equipment disposal and purchase. I receive calls almost daily from used equipment purchasers asking if we have equipment for sale, they promise quick pick up and top dollar. But because KMA has truly partnered with me, I never feel the need to try anyone else. A great example of this partnership is the creation of a “Hero” account, which truly makes me and my team heroes when it comes to helping our customers. It works like this, when we sell items to KMA the money is put in our account instead of just sending a check (which always disappears in accounting). We then use this money to purchase used and new equipment for our customers when they have an emergent need. We have purchased everything from beds to oxygen flow meters and it always makes our customers smile when we say “we will take care of it, no charge.”

Because of our partnership and the great customer service they always provide I know I can make almost any request and they will try to help. If they can’t help, they will honestly tell me and do not try to string us along.

I judge my success not only on how many PMs or repairs we do, but on how many problems we have been able to solve. I know that no single person can have all the answers. I try very hard to build relationships with people who have more resources than I have, are trustworthy and willing to see past just making a buck. Having KMA as our partner has allowed us to be the first source to solve our customers’ problems.