Kinetic Biomedical Services

James GrahamFounded in 1988, Kinetic Biomedical Services Inc provides customized biomedical and imaging equipment repair programs in health care facilities throughout the country. Headquartered in Erie Pa, Kinetic’s cost-efficient equipment-management programs have made their way into more than 350 health care facilities nationwide. 24×7 spoke with James Graham, president and CEO of Kinetic Biomedical, about the state of the industry and the role consolidation has played in operational strategies of the company.

24×7: How does Kinetic Biomedical market its services?

James Graham: We deal directly with the hospital. We use our own sales force rather than going through sales reps or distributors, so it becomes the responsibility of our direct sales force with support from our on site technical staff to make the sale. Because we are a service provider, it is imperative to our business that we have direct contact with customers and develop close working relationships with them. Often, because we are so focused on these sorts of relationships with our customers, our employees become transparent within hospitals. We’ve had an instance where one of our technicians was named employee of the month at a hospital. He played such an intricate part in the machine’s performance that administrators there thought he was an employee of the hospital.

24×7: What makes Kinetic Biomedical Services stand out from its competitors?

Graham: Ours is a very discontinuous market because it is so diffused. Each hospital we approach as a potential customer may also compete via the in-house clinical engineering department. About half the market for equipment servicing is handled in-house by hospitals. When we go in and quote a price, we could actually be quoting against the hospital’s own in-house estimates to service the equipment inventory. We also have to consider modality specialists. There are more than 300 different modalities in the industry, and when you have a specialist for each, the result can be a very complex service environment.

Competition is a complicated issue within our industry. We are a service-centric company, not product centric, which means the only things we sell are services. However, since we’re purely involved in biomedical and medical imaging, we are in step with the philosophical and customer-focused missions of a hospital. We share the same business goals as a hospital, which makes us a more philosophically coherent choice for service and repair rather than an OEM.

Kinetic Biomedical stands out because we have a well-trained staff that works with both machines and people, that is to say we not only manage the assets, we also physically perform the repair tasks. We rely on the relationships we build with our customers because to them, our technicians are a trusted and cost-effective assurance for critical equipment. For many hospitals, we are the biomedical department. This places a great deal of importance on a technician’s performance. Our success as a company shows that we have proven ourselves in this segment of the market.

24×7: Where do you see the industry going? What is Kinetic doing to meet changing market expectations?

Graham: The manufacturing sector of this country is dissipating; it’s going overseas. Today, service companies are driving the market. If there is one industry that is projected to grow faster than the GNP, it is the medical industry. We as a service provider in the medical industry are in a unique position compared to other companies right now. We still have a fair amount of leverage to work within our industry. A major change we’ve had to deal with has been the consolidation among hospitals. Because of the contacts we’ve made, and the reputation of our company within the market, we’ve been able to take advantage of the consolidation and make it work for us.