Success Story: Genesis Diagnostic Center and Block Imaging
Like many businesses in Lansing, Mich., Genesis Diagnostic Center prefers to deal with local companies for its needs, says office manager Matt Barnum. So for several years, its chosen service partner for maintaining the imaging equipment that keeps its facility up and running has been nearby Block Imaging.
“They used to be located right down the road from us,” Barnum said—and although supporting the local economy is a priority for businesses like Genesis, when it comes to service, working with Block Imaging presents a financial savings as well.
“We know they’ve offered better prices than many other places out there,” he said. “Where many of these places will get you is in the travel; thousands of dollars a year in travel alone.”
As an independently owned outpatient imaging center, cost is a priority perhaps moreso at Genesis than at other places, Barnum said. Without the financial backing of a hospital or similar group, the center manages its own risks. It specializes in MRI, CT, ultrasound, x-ray, fluoroscopy, and nuclear medicine: modalities that require high-tech equipment, and which can be expensive to repair.
Those two considerations—cost and proximity (as a factor of cost)—were enough to win Block Imaging the business of Genesis Diagnostic. What kept the Center coming back, however, was the fact that the service it enjoyed was comparable to that provided by an OEM contract; in fact, Barnum said, it was superior to it.
“We used to use OEM [maintenance service] for our CT scanner, but that cost was astronomical,” he said. “We would have had to increase patient volumes at a level that wasn’t even feasible. Going over was a no-brainer; the OEM was just crazy expensive.”
Just to contract a service agreement for a CT unit with a third-party provider like Block Imaging as compared with an OEM provider, “we’re talking 45 to 50 percent less in costs,” Barnum said—a difference of “about five figures.” For that scanner in specific, he said, its frequent breakdowns made an even more convincing and cost-effective argument for signing a service contract covering labor, preventive maintenance, parts and repairs.
“We were noticing sporadic costs and we wanted to try to control that any way we could,” he said. “That way our Company could budget the cost of the repair rather than the emergency repairs.”
One emergency repair in specific presented a truly challenging problem for Genesis, Barnum said. When the tube in the CT scanner went bad, he said, the Company was at a crossroads. Such an immediate and unexpected cost meant that Genesis was going to have to scramble to fund the purchase of a new one, or deal with the lost patient throughput until it could be replaced.
“For us to look at just getting one from another vendor, we’re talking up to $100,000,” Barnum said, and “the business couldn’t justify getting a loan for the part.”
Block Imaging, however, set up a unique financing arrangement that allowed Genesis to structure the purchase of the replacement part with interest-free payments.
“They basically shared the risk with us on that tube, and provided us with a low-cost, monthly fee to get that machine working,” Barnum said. “Once we worked out a deal, they came over and got that thing installed the day we asked for it.
“I know if I looked at competitors, there wasn’t anything like that,” he said. “No way.”
“We’re getting better service,” Barnum said. “When we used to use OEM, we had to go on a waiting list. If your machine went down, it might be a day or two later that they get to you. Block Imaging has always been able to service the equipment the day of, if not the next day.”
As Block Imaging has grown, Barnum said, the Company has been able to bring Genesis Diagnostic along with expanded service offerings.
“Now they can fix almost all the equipment in the building,” he said.
And since the Company has a deep inventory of replacement parts, wait times are nil.
“You call another Company and they might say it will be a couple weeks until that part comes in,” Barnum said.
But the biggest difference Barnum notes in his dealings with Block Imaging as opposed to its competitors, he said, is the time devoted to its clients, “making sure all their systems are running good, checking with you to make sure that everything’s fair as far as pricing; making sure that we receive follow-ups immediately,” he said.
“I know the OEMs are so huge that the time spent with you is fairly minimal,” Barnum said. “They just always try to sell you the most expensive unit; you’re constantly working with a salesman as opposed to a service. It’s part of their business but it can take time from your day when they’re constantly; it’s a nuisance.”
By comparison, Barnum said, Keith Rumley, his technician from Block Imaging “does a good job at explaining very complicated systems” in a way that “almost anybody can understand.”
“He does a good job at just helping us figure out what’s going on with the unit,” Barnum said. “He does a good job at quickly filling us in on what’s going on. He’s the one who’s given us advice on how to prevent failures on certain aspects as well.”
That friendly, do-this-and-it’llsave-you-a-lot-of-hassle approach exceeded the level of personable assistance that Barnum said he’d gotten from competing service agencies who acted like “we’re here to fix it, see ya later, send us the check,” he said.
“[Block Imaging] do[es] a really good job at making you feel covered,” Barnum said; “making you feel that if you need the help that they’re going to provide it. You can’t do better than that.
“A lot of companies, they just lose touch with their clients; they get so many or they have too few employees for too many clients,” he said. “[Block Imaging has] never had an issue not being able to resolve the problem.”