Quest International Inc

GreenblattQuest International Inc (Irvine, Calif) has been providing repair, sales, service, and remanufacturing to the medical imaging market for more than 22 years. Originally founded as a CRT remanufacturing facility, the company now consists of both an imaging systems division and an information technology solutions division. Today, the company services and distributes all major medical display monitors, VCRs, VTRs, workstations, LCD flat panels, and CRTs. Bill Greenblatt, vice president of sales and marketing, recently discussed with 24×7 the importance of product knowledge and rapport for an expanding company within a consolidating market.

24×7: The medical industry is continuing to grow while the biomedical market is consolidating; how does Quest differentiate itself from the competition in this kind of environment?
Bill Greenblatt:
We work with almost every major medical OEM and are trained in the repair and specifications of each imaging peripheral that is out there. The result of this knowledge is that we can repair equipment to the OEM’s specifications. By utilizing a consultative selling approach and learning about the application, as well as modality, we are able to better understand the customer’s needs and the needs behind the needs. We’ve gained somewhat of an all-encompassing knowledge by having worked with OEMs for as long as we have.

Additionally, Quest is ISO:9001-registered. A fair amount of companies like to advertise how they perform to ISO standards, but quite frankly, ISO is something that is very much a requirement within the medical community. Adhering to the standards versus being ISO-registered, where you are formalized and you have regular audits in place with regards to ISO and your policy and procedures, is very significant.

24×7: What is the significance of being an authorized Totoku Master Distributor?
We have been trained on all of the Totoku LCDs, from not only the sales perspective, but as an authorized Totoku Service Center, we also are able to provide all repair support should it be required. Essentially, we are a one-stop shop for organizations that desire Totoku medical displays.

24×7: How does the company market its services?
Our primary source of marketing is word of mouth. Our business today is based on the successful results we’ve been able provide for our customers over the past 22 years. We recognize the significance of making sure the needs of the customer—whether it’s a small imaging center or a 1,000-bed hospital—are being met with regard to the products and services we are providing.

24×7: What recent innovations have come about in the industry, and how has Quest met the new market expectations?
A significant innovation, recently, has been the changeover from CRT-based displays to LCDs. If you consider the RSNA [Radiological Society of North America] show 3 years ago, there were a significant number of OEMs displaying LCDs in their booths, but they weren’t selling them. Back then, LCDs were the sizzle in the market. In contrast, those same OEMs at this year’s RSNA show were selling LCDs, and they were selling a lot of them.

Through our relationship and partnership with Totoku, we, too, are able to help provide and influence the technology advances being made in the industry. For example, we recently, in conjunction with Totoku, have introduced a backlight that has more than 100,000 hours of operating time. Because we work as a paralleling factor with the recent changeover to LCDs, we are a market leader because we provide innovations to the medical imaging LCD market.

24×7: What are some difficult issues Quest International faces within the industry? How does the company overcome these difficulties?
Ironically, one of the greatest difficulties we’ve encountered over the last couple of years is an increase in competition. This is problematic because of today’s worldwide market conditions; some newly formed “repair” organizations don’t have a background in the medical industry. These companies are trying to enter this market because they need to offset the downsizing they’ve had to go through.

From the beginning, Quest implemented a philosophy that is customer-focused and relatively straightforward. Our philosophy is one of quality, value, and service. If there is any one aspect of this philosophy that we are not providing to our customer, whether it’s a small, 25-bed hospital in Mississippi or a major medical OEM, we don’t feel that we’ve done the job.

Adhering to our philosophy is simple. In regard to quality, we ask ourselves, “Is that product going meet the customer’s needs and expectations? Is it going to offer reliability? Is it going to be on time? Is it going to do everything [the customer] expects it to?” Value, obviously, has to do with cost, and the medical market is one that is constantly looking at the budget. This industry demands increased value for products and repair. In terms of service, we offer additional customer service, technical support, engineering support, and whatever else a customer may call on us to handle. This factor enhances the overall experience for the customer when working with Quest. As long as we continue to maintain this corporate philosophy, we feel very strongly that, regardless of competition or the newcomers, we will continue to succeed and excel in the medical imaging market.

24×7: Where does Quest plan to be in the next 5 years?
I think, frankly, we will continue to be very much in the same place that we have been in the past 22 years, which is meeting the needs of medical imaging community. I think the only difference will be that we will continue to grow, and we will continue to become stronger. However, we’ll continue to train our engineers and technicians in the latest technology. Quest will not only be proactive in investing in necessary technical skills, but we will continue to invest in the effort required to remain one step ahead of our customers’ needs.