By Kurt Woock
San Juan Capistrano, Calif, is a peaceful beach town in southern Orange County. It’s filled with Spanish-style architecture, most notably the San Juan Capistrano Mission, built in 1776. Amid the serene Pacific surroundings, Pacific Medical LLC bustles. The medical equipment company, founded about a decade ago, has experienced a period of quick growth, including a move to a much larger facility.
Damon Kelley, VP of operations, sat down with 24×7 to discuss the reasons behind the growth and how it looks to continue its progress.
24×7: When was Pacific Medical founded?
Kelley: Pacific Medical was founded by Andrew Bonin in 2002 as a one-man show. He was also assisting other medical companies. In 2005, he decided to focus solely on Pacific Medical.
A Quick Take
24×7: When did you come aboard Pacific Medical?
Kelley: I joined in 2007 to develop the sales team. Previously, I was in management so it wasn’t hard to jump into developing a sales team. We were a relatively small company at the time with fewer than 10 employees. I started on sales, but I was wearing a lot of hats. That is where I gained the knowledge of company from sales to service. This made it easier for me to transition to my current role as VP of Operations.
24×7: Where did he see Pacific Medical making headway in an already busy marketplace?
Kelley: What he saw was a lack of attention to detail in the market. He saw a need for better communication with customers. People weren’t always looking at customers’ needs or looking at their end game. It’s not just about parts in, parts out. He wanted to focus on listening to the customer and ensuring patient safety.
24×7: What kinds of products or services do you offer?
Kelley: We focus primarily on patient monitoring equipment and accessories from a wide variety of manufacturers, with a heavy focus on Philips and GE. We also do repairs and provide recertified equipment. We’ve been growing those portions [of the business] during the past year. We have a presence nationwide, and we’ve been expanding into several international markets.
24×7: Can you describe Pacific Medical’s growth since you’ve come aboard?
Kelley: We’ve grown exponentially. We just moved into a new 12,000-square-foot facility. That has allowed us to expand our engineering department as well as develop a quality control center.
From 2008 to 2012, our sales have grown tenfold. In 2010, we had 11 employees. Now, we have 50. At the same time, we are focused on managing our growth. We focus on being the best at a core group of competencies, rather than being the average of many. We also try to create an environment where people are excited to come to work.
24×7: In what ways do you emphasize patient safety in your business?
Kelley: We stress quality parts. We are ISO certified. We actually hold two certifications—both ISO-9001 and ISO-3485. The latter is typically for medical manufacturers. We thought it was important to hold ourselves to a higher standard, even though we aren’t a medical manufacturer. We ask customers what problems they are having and try to address them.
24×7: What problems do you hear about most frequently?
Kelley: In this day in age, it often comes down to cost. Everyone needs to save money, but the lowest cost isn’t always the best solution for the hospital or its patients. Pacific Medical offers cost savings, while maintaining the highest-quality services.
24×7: In those situations, what more can you do than look at the price tag?
Kelley: There are a lot of people who are only looking at the cost of repair or cost of the equipment. While it’s important, that’s not always the best solution. We also provide our customers with more than a service or purchase. We not only offer free technical support but also provide loaners so customers have less downtime. In addition, we offer a web portal, where customers can log in and track orders in real time. All of our work is always complete with a 12-month warranty guarantee. We want to make sure our customers are consistently satisfied.
24×7: As it has grown, how has Pacific Medical changed?
Kelley: What we’ve seen is that our type of customer has changed. In the beginning, we were primarily working with biomed engineers. As we’ve grown and expanded, we’ve moved to pretty much everywhere that patient monitoring is used. We’ve built relationships with surgery centers and purchasing groups, and we’ve built partnerships with OEMs. We also have expanded our service offerings for dealers in third-party companies.
24×7: Do you have any upcoming plans that you can share?
Kelley: We’ve developed what we call our Web portal. Users can place orders and track the progress in real time. Next month, we’re expanding our web-based services, launching a new website. Customers will be able to cross-reference part numbers across the industry. We’ve also added more than 2,500 products to our inventory. 24×7 September 2013
Kurt Woock is the associate editor of 24×7. Contact him at [email protected].