Refurbished ultrasound distributor Global Medical Imaging’s (GMI) story is one of expansion. Although the company opened as recently as 2002, it has experienced a 468% growth. We spoke with managing partner Ryan Dienst, who joined the company and founder Scott Ray in 2003 to hone the company’s business-management and financial aspects. Dienst claims the combination of exceptional industry practices, a positive working environment, and independence from manufacturer obligations is what makes the company a success.

24×7: How does freedom from manufacturer obligations help your business?

Dienst: It allows us to be responsive to what the market’s needs are rather than what we are restricted to sell or stock in inventory. This lack of manufacturer obligation has enabled us to focus on delivering products, services, and solutions for all of the market-leading ultrasound platforms. We can also be more consultative on the sales side and focus on getting our customers the best products for their needs, instead of pushing a product or solution that may not be ideal. Lastly, it allows us flexibility to keep up with changing market conditions. There are a number of changes taking place in the ultrasound industry, and we evolve our mix of products and services to keep up with these market forces.

24×7: What are some major trends in the industry? How does GMI plan to accommodate them?

Dienst: First, all of the ultrasound systems are becoming so much more software based that we are having to develop new skill sets and resources to keep up with the product changes. The handheld ultrasound is also disrupting the traditional systems marketplace, and we have developed new service procedures to support this growing segment of the market. Another major trend is the impact of information technology (IT) and networking on hardware. It is no longer possible to be a hardware vendor and ignore the impact of the picture archiving and communications system, electronic medical records, the radiology information system, and other IT systems’ impact on equipment. We are more and more focused on selling comprehensive solutions that weave together all aspects of hardware, IT, and service for our customers to be able to support their increasingly connected needs.

24×7: What are a few of the major challenges Global Medical Imaging has faced over the years? What has the company done to overcome these hurdles?

Dienst: One of our biggest challenges has been to keep up with our rapid growth and to make sure the people, infrastructure, and business processes we have in place can keep up. We implemented new operating software in 2005, which has vastly improved our asset-management and inventory capabilities. We re-engineered a number of production and quality-control processes to make sure we have industry-leading capabilities to serve our customers. We also brought in a number of key people to help continue to drive our organization as we continue to grow and innovate new ways to better serve the market. At this point, we feel we have the best combination of organizational talent, inventory, and business processes in the industry. 24×7