Logistics for Medical Equipment – More than just “Get the job done”

OEM of medical equipment have long recognized that rigging and installation of their medical equipment does not belong to their core business. In the past, OEM’s service departments were in charge of delivery and installation of new medical equipment, as well as trouble shooting and preventive maintenance. This resulted in installation completion delays due to service call interruptions and lack of routine in performing rigging and mechanical installations.

As expectations of skilled service technicians and pressure to reduce installation time have gone up, OEM’s have increasingly looked for outsourced solutions.  They reached out to technical and logistics service providers. Those specialized service providers have trained technicians on staff and are experienced in shipping of highly sensitive and valuable medical equipment via truck, air, or sea. Additionally, they could be seamlessly integrated into the overall project management with hospitals, general contractors, and the OEM’s of the medical equipment.

The technicians of service and logistics companies are specialized in certain systems (CT, MR, general XRAY, Cardiography, PET, SPECT) and complete installations every week. Given the high frequency of installation projects, these technicians have acquired a higher level of expertise and perform more efficiently than those who complete installations at a much lower rate. Most often, the technicians are either factory trained or have passed an OEM audited internal training program. They are also are more likely to have the correct tools available and the unique knowledge-base to utilize the tools.

Since the installation is part of highly complex supply chain of a medical equipment from the factory to the hospital, these service and logistics companies have skilled professionals onboard to effortlessly navigate both domestic and international logistics, including customs clearance and DOT regulations.

The overall project management is often undervalued, but it is critical for the success of an installation project. This is another area where the service and logistics company experts improve the process and outcome of any installation.  In cooperation with the hospital, general contractor and project managers of the OEM, they define rigging paths for MRI and other heavy equipment. These experts have access to industry networks and can obtain the right crane equipment and experienced rigging crews, forklifts and city permits, all while maintaining a focus on the project schedule. During the installation process, they provide constant project updates to the appropriate parties and swiftly intervene if delays occur

Outsourcing installation to a service and logistics company is not always the cheapest solution. However, the end result is a fast, safe, and smooth installation process with minimal interruption to hospital operation.

When it comes to de-installation and relocation of used medical equipment, including de-installation for resale, the expertise provided by a service and logistics company is even more critical. In most cases, the particular system and its conditions are unknown and require special transportation devices and frames for de-installation. Far too often, extremely expensive damage occurs due to negligence and lack of experience with various systems, especially Biplane systems or MR systems.

Specialized service and logistics companies maintain an inventory of transportation frames and transportation devices from previous installations. In addition, they carry extensive insurance coverage to be compliant with market standards.

Some of the service and logistics companies even offer supervision and project management for build-outs of suites and imaging rooms.

Hopefully, the above overview of service and logistics companies will provide food for thought when deciding on service providers for installation and de-installation projects in your hospital system.

About the Hegele Logistics Group
Established in 2004, Hegele Logistic, LLC provides highly customized logistics along the supply chain for high tech manufacturers that go beyond the scope of shipping, storage, and packaging. Based on the commitment to achieve the highest degree of customer satisfaction, Hegele’s service portfolio includes value-added services, such as installation, repair, and the refurbishment of high tech equipment, granting single source reliability to its international clients. Headquartered in Wood Dale, IL, the ISO 9001 certified company maintains further branches in Dallas, TX, Omaha, NE, and St Louis, MN. Hegele Logistic, LLC is part of the Hegele Group. www.hegelelogistic.com

Corinna de Behr
Tel.: 847-690-0007

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