Unique Service Challenges in the Medical Devices Industry

Posted by Erez Glinansky

Thu, Oct 25, 2012

field service optimizationEvery field service business has its own set of quirks and oddities. The medical device service industry is no exception. What makes field service for medical devices unique is how critical these items are for the health and well-being of patients.

The services for medical devices share many of the same challenges that other field service industry businesses have.

These can include:

  • Hiring qualified technicians for the equipment to be maintained and serviced

  • Properly managing a territory – or multiple territories in a region

  • Keeping maintenance vehicles operating and on the job making money

  • Minimize travel expenses to and from work sites

  • Keep business processes flowing smoothly with minimal disruptions

  • Maintain a healthy workflow that keeps profits moving in the right direction

  • Provide quality service for their customers to grow the business

In addition to these goals and challenges, medical device service companies also must contend with:

  • Complicated maintenance schedules

  • Highly diverse equipment needs

  • Federal and state health care compliance rules and regulations

  • Intricate sterilization procedures

  • Specialized tools and training

  • Very expensive consumables

All of these challenges can make it very difficult for a medical device field service business to be successful. With the right tools, however, many of challenges can be overcome quite easily. Field service automation tools are available to help to automate and expedite many processes and services.

Consider how important it is to keep medical devices well maintained and respond quickly to repair requests. Field service automation solutions will make sure you keep your maintenance schedules well organized while also properly prioritizing repair requests. This means your customers will have minimal down time with their medical devices and will build trust that you will be there when they need you.

Building loyalty and trust with your customers is key in the medical device service industry. Your customer service representatives must be able to promptly record requests and inform about appointment times and work order status. Your dispatchers must have the ability to re-prioritize if emergencies occur, but only handle exceptions while the system automatically assigns work requests to the appropriate technicians based on location, skills required, and the type of service needed. Your field technicians need the ability to receive their assignments easily via smart phone, tablet or laptop – and then easily update their status on the work orders to make sure everyone is aware and informed.

Loyal customers will make recommendations and referrals of your business to their peers and business partners. This will help you to grow your business even more. Your systems and processes must be ready to handle your business growth by adapting and scaling to your needs. You should have the ability to bring in contractors if needed, or hire additional customer service representatives for incoming phone calls and service requests. Also the right types of systems and processes should integrate well with your back office and accounting systems so that as much of your transactions flow easily from one system to the next with a high degree of reliability and integrity.

The medical device service industry can be tough, but with the right tools and processes in place your business can take on the challenges to achieve success.

Tags: Workforce Management Tips, Field Service Management for Enterprise, Developments in Field Service Management