SloanSince 1987, ReMedPar has supported imaging departments with parts, technical assistance, and training. Operating from its location in Goodlettsville, Tenn, the company’s 50 employees serve clients worldwide. 24×7 recently spoke with ReMedPar founder, president and CEO Ed Sloan, Sr, about the company’s services, the importance of building customer relationships, and the future of the industry.

24×7: What services do you offer?

Ed Sloan, Sr: Over the years, from 1987 to the present day, we’ve run the full gamut—from being a refurbishment company to being a refurbishment/service company to being a refurbishment/service/parts/training company. About 3 years ago we pared back to being strictly a parts, technical support, and training company.

24×7: Why did you scale back on your services?

Sloan: Because we kept running into situations such that, if we were in the service business, we were competing with our parts customer. In the refurbishment business, we were competing with another level of customer. We kept finding ourselves competing with our customer base, and so we decided to pare it back to just being a parts, technical support, training company. And that’s worked well for us. We’ve probably grown fivefold since we made that decision.

24×7: What exactly does your parts, technical support, and training menu include?

Sloan: We provide [all parts]. We don’t warehouse everything, but we do warehouse a good bit of what we sell. We source an extremely large amount of equipment for other people. [In terms of technical support], we support mostly diagnostic imaging troubleshooting. We provide training basically on C[omputed] T[omography]—Phillips and GE—and upper-end x-ray. In turn, that creates a support service for our customer, who is the provider of that service.

24×7: What is your customer profile?

Sloan: Probably our biggest customers are those who like the Phillips multi-vendor program, the GE multi-vendor program, and the Siemens multi-vendor program. Then there are the large ISOs that provide services on diagnostic imaging equipment, and also the in-house groups … that are serving larger in-house hospitals.

24×7: How have changes in technology impacted the way you’ve done business?

Sloan: It’s the same but not the same. We probably do more sourcing … we work with the OEMs to create discounts to us based on the volume we can source from them. Then we pass a portion of that savings on to our customers. Whereas in the past we didn’t see the need to have those relationships with the OEMs, we do now. Technology is changing so quickly; you can’t continually buy up everything you need for your inventory.

24×7: Even with the emphasis on technology, any service business also requires the building of strong relationships with customers. How important are these relationships to your business?

Sloan: The higher the technology, the more the relationship counts. Most people in the technology-laden world feel that the relationship is the least important thing, whereas we feel that it’s the most important. It’s a trust. An engineer at 10:00 pm, stuck in a hospital with a problem, needs someone he can trust on the other end of the line talking to him and helping him out of the situation he’s in. I think that’s where our group really adds great value: No matter what the situation, we rally to the cause and help either the company, the engineer, or the whole group out of whatever quandary in which they find themselves. We try to become more or less an extension of every company we deal with—sometimes that’s easy, and sometimes that’s difficult.

24×7: Where do you see ReMedPar and the industry in the future?

Sloan: I think the industry is going to consolidate a little bit more. I think there’s some more consolidation left to do both from the OEM side and independent side. I think there will always be a need for a company such as ours in the market in that we help balance things out. We’re more or less the leveling of the playing field. We’re still a small, small player in a bigger pool, but we’re still there as a safety net for parts of the market. I think that our company will grow. In the last 3 years, we have grown five times over. And I think we will experience still more growth in the near future. Some of it will be from consolidation, and some of it will be from natural growth. I think we will remain on the path we’re on because I think that’s where we bring the most value to the industry.