Milwaukee-based services provider Alpha Source Group (ASG) recently named Allan Klotsche to the position of CEO. Below, Klotsche sits down with 24×7 Magazine to discuss his new role, how the pandemic has impacted repair operations, and why now is the time to innovate.

24×7 Magazine: How has the ongoing pandemic impacted the service and repair industry?

Allan Klotsche: Our industry was already under great transformation due to reduced reimbursement rates, when the pandemic hit. As providers looked for ways to meet the challenges of COVID-19, consolidation across all sectors of the industry accelerated. That consolidation has led to a growing need in the marketplace of providers looking for customized approaches that meet the full continuum of their service and repair needs, including field service engineers, depot, scopes, and parts and batteries.

Now more than ever, providers are demanding better value at a better price and greater efficiency—ensuring equipment is always operating at peak performance minimizing downtime and maximizing patient capacity. It is up to those of us in the service and repair industry to help them meet that goal.

24×7: How is ASG responding to those changes?

Klotsche: Over the last two years, ASG has reorganized and made strategic investments that have enhanced both our ISO capabilities and technical services.  We’ve also greatly expanded our depot services and an extensive parts supply chain by establishing four centers of excellence, strategically located around the country. The new infrastructure gives ASG the ability to support providers with complete repair solutions and more quickly and efficiently respond to the needs of providers, no matter how complex.

ASG has also created more flexible service and contract options that help providers improve patient outcomes, increase staff productivity, and protect their bottom line.  Lastly, the pandemic is increasing demand for remote monitoring and repair. ASG remains on top of this trend, but the operational reality for many providers is that remote repair and monitoring—either due to equipment age, technical features, or connectivity and security issues—might mean remote service and repair for some devices may not be possible. ASG can help providers evaluate whether onsite or remote service is best for their equipment portfolio.

24×7: As the new CEO, what is your primary focus?

Klotsche: Nothing is more important than figuring out how we can best support healthcare systems so they can operate efficiently and effectively during these challenging times. While we are a technical services provider, this is a people-driven industry and relationships matter. We care, we listen, and our team is committed to always doing the right thing to extend the life of medical equipment, giving providers peace of mind. That includes ensuring maximum uptime, quickly diagnosing and fixing problems, and troubleshooting so there are no surprises.

24×7: How can providers be sure they’re getting the best value for their dollar when it comes to medical equipment service and repair solutions?

Klotsche: Providers need to take several things into account when evaluating how best to meet their service and repair needs. While everyone is looking to gain cost efficiencies, that cannot come at the expense of quality care. For example, ASG maintains a rigorous quality management service model that is also fully compliant with regulatory standards: ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 13485:2016. At ASG, we offer solutions that provide the best quality repair and service at affordable prices.

Providers should also look for a maintenance and repair partner that has the breadth and depth of services to meet all their medical device needs. Bundling service and repair contracts with one partner who can do it all reduces the number of vendors your team must work with, streamlines the repair process so it’s easier to manage, and provides cost savings.

24×7: How will providers work with service and repair companies in the future to further reduce costs and improve patient outcomes?

Klotsche: COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of more robust monitoring and capturing of data and diagnostics to ensure we are able to make better decisions on everything from extending the lifecycle of certain equipment, to reducing equipment failure, to recommending better maintenance schedules.

We are currently using data to help our customers reduce unnecessary capital expenditures and better manage their service contracts, which helps them protect profits. The post-COVID challenge for companies like ASG will be to ensure that the advances and investments we are making today not only help our customers through this immediate crisis but give them a competitive advantage in the post-pandemic world.