Technical Prospects was founded by Bob Probst in 1997. The 18-year Siemens CT service engineer decided to branch out and use his knowledge to start a company that would provide a viable alternative to OEM sales and service. When he ﬁrst established the company, Probst’s sole mission was to service facilities’ medical equipment. However, after recognizing the need for a medical imaging parts supplier, he ventured to provide a dual service: equipment engineering and quality pre-owned tested parts. By providing replacement parts at a cost up to 90 percent lower than original equipment manufacturers, Probst served a unique purpose.
For the ﬁrst ﬁve years of business, he focused exclusively on Siemens CT parts. He soon realized that if he wanted to break into new imaging modalities, he would need some help. Robert brought in his son, Jeremy Probst, who had the necessary education to help his father take Technical Prospects to the next level.
Q: How has the company grown over the years?
Probst: The company started in a 10-foot-by-10-foot bedroom in Greenville, Wisconsin. In August of 2009, the company moved into its current 60,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility on 15 acres. The headquarters were designed around the Technical Prospects business model with growth in mind.
We did just that in 2013 when we added 12,000 square feet of training and Quality Assurance (QA) bay space to our existing building. Today, Technical Prospects has positioned itself as the experts in Siemens Medical Imaging equipment replacement parts, engineer training and technical support. The company provides its customers several OEM replacement parts and several hundred refurbished parts at 30 percent less than the manufacturer’s price. Field-tested parts are available at an even more signiﬁcant savings.
The company installed an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software system to help streamline processes and better manage all aspects of the company.
“We put in a full enterprise management system to control our business from all different aspects, from quality, inventory and shipping to sales process and accounting,” Jeremy Probst says. “As a result, the company can tell you what parts they have available almost immediately, at all times. All parts and orders are traceable and accountable. Having this backbone infrastructure allows us to grow and is going to allow us to grow indeﬁnitely.”
We have been working very hard over the years to establish process and quality management solutions that mirror ISO standards to assure that our customers receive the very best product and support solutions in the world. In our business, we take quality and service very, very seriously!
Q: What are some advantages that your company has over the competition?
Probst: Technical Prospects is the only parts company in the industry that focuses solely on solutions for Siemens Medical Imaging parts, training and support. Some other companies in our industry offer multiple lines of OEM replacement parts and service that can spread dedicated resources too thin. Our Siemens-specific focus allows us to be the true experts for our customers.
We have over 32,000 parts in our warehouse and are able to fill 70 percent of requests immediately from our stock. Our DOA rate is also lower than industry standards. These attributes combine to make us the only reasonable choice for Siemens Medical Imaging solutions for replacement parts.
Q: Can you explain your company’s core competencies and unique selling points?
Probst: At Technical Prospects we have three pillars that make up the business; Parts, Training and Technical Support. Siemens Medical Imaging parts are the backbone of the business, making up almost 90 percent of our gross revenue. We offer New OEM, used and refurbished parts for Siemens X-ray, CT, fluoroscopy, cardiac, vascular and mobile systems. Our team of technical engineers ensures each part is in working order before it leaves the facility by testing it in one of our 26 QA bays. We also take it one step further, cosmetically refurbishing housings, handles and other visible parts. We make sure that we achieve 180 degrees of quality on each part that leaves our facility. Several of our replacements parts have been restored to better-than-OEM quality standards.
Our technical training offers engineers the opportunity to expand their knowledge of Siemens Medical Imaging equipment, in turn expanding their careers. The majority of the classes are Siemens specific focusing on the whole system be it X-ray, CT, portables, fluoroscopy or cardiac. The 10-day courses introduce students to the inner workings of the system with a mix of lectures and hands-on lab time. Students explore the system interface, learn the parts, troubleshoot common issues, and learn how to access and interpret error codes.
The technical support team assists customers with their Siemens Medical Imaging equipment issues. From troubleshooting questions to installation help, our team will work with you to diagnose the problem and purchase the right part to fix your equipment.
We have a dedicated team of knowledgeable representatives who meet with engineers and staff at our customer sites to be sure we gain a full understanding of what is important to our customers.Our Customer Service team is very experienced and second to none in assuring customers receive the best service in the business.
Q: What product or service that your company offers are you most excited about right now?
Probst: The beginning of 2016 brought about continuous course development to round out the offerings at our training center. We have added three new Siemens Medical Imaging equipment training courses, as well as opened up new online offering, “Introduction to X-ray”. These additions are helping us assist customers. Having trained engineers means less reliance on OEM contracts and service providers, creating more self-service opportunities and helping reduce operating costs by generating significant savings for the hospital.
Q: What is on the horizon for your company?
Probst: We continue to focus on providing valuable solutions for Siemens Medical Imaging parts, training and support. This year Technical Prospects introduced our first online training course, “Introduction to X-Ray.” In 2017 we are planning on rounding out our online offerings with “Introduction to Computed Tomography” and syngo training as well as blended courses. With the demands placed upon service engineers, being out of the field for a two-week course is becoming more and more difficult. Online and blended classes allow these Individuals to work on their education while performing their work duties.
We have also increased our training offering for 2017 with specific training for the Artis Zee/dFC/FA course, Aristos MX/VX and Fluoroscopy course that includes instruction for the Luminos TF, Sireskop and Uroskop Access.
Q: Can you tell our readers about a time that you “saved the day” for a customer?
Probst: We had a customer who purchased a Straton MXP Tube from us. After 11 months of use and 125,000 scan seconds of usage during part of 2015 and 2016, the tube was failing. We ordered a new tube for the customer and sent it to them for installation. Once we received the defective tube back, we sent it back to our supplier and we were able to secure a full warranty on the tube. We saved the customer from purchasing another tube for the amount of $163,500.
Q: Can you describe your company’s facility?
Probst: Technical Prospects is located in Appleton, Wisconsin. Our 72,000-square-foot facility houses high-tech offices and 60,000 square feet of warehouse space that contains our more than 32,000 Siemens medical imaging parts, our harvesting bays and our shipping department. The training center boasts 16 lead-lined quality assurance bays with operational equipment, two training classrooms, an employee kitchen and a common area for students to relax and network in when not in classes.
Q: Have there been any recent changes to Technical Prospects?
Probst: We now stock a wide range of OEM X-ray, angiography and CT tubes. These are new tubes, packaged with the highest quality packing and best containers available, ready to ship. We have also expanded our business development team.
Q: What is most important to you about the way you do business?
Probst: Technical Prospects will provide the global medical imaging community pre-owned OEM quality standard imaging parts at less than OEM pricing with an honest and consistent reputation due to quality shipping, friendly service and knowledgeable staff. Technical Prospects is committed to meet or exceed our customer requirements and to provide continuous improvement to our processes. At Technical Prospects, quality is paramount in all we do.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, visit www.technicalprospects.com