Aftermarket Health of Indian Medical Device Industry

India is one of the top destinations for medical tourism, as medical treatment costs only 10% compared to US or Europe.  Moreover, India has a large pool of skilled doctors and specialists. Indian medical industry has adopted IT and newer technologies extensively and has created unique business models for large scale cardiac and other treatments.

Medical Equipment

Indian medical industry device requirement is met by both imports and domestic manufacturing. Today the Indian medical industry stands at $ 2.5 billion, but the industry faces several challenges due to vagaries of lead time of imports, limited availability of service related manpower and high turnaround time. On an average a device has a life of 7 years, during which its Service Life Cycle has to be managed effectively.

Service Life cycle of Medical Equipment

Device manufacturers can deliver solution to challenges of medical device industry by focusing on following 3 major areas,

  1. Service Network
  • Manufacturers should consider opening up new domestic centres to provide customers with Aftermarket services, thereby adding to a safety factor in the minds of the customers for its devices
  • Maintenance and Repair: Ensuring compliance with quality and safety standards, Preventive maintenance at planned intervals and rapid high-quality turnaround during device breakdown (normally device shouldn’t be down beyond 3% of working hours in a year).
  • Regulatory Compliance: Comprehensive safety and performance testing of the device, including updation of equipment software.
  • Calibration and certification at planned intervals
  • Warranty and after warranty maintenance contracts handling
  • Inventory updation as per planned intervals
  • Swift action during recalls and exchange programs
  1. Refurbish

Refurbishing will spread the reach of manufacturer as devices become affordable. Refurbished equipments are 50% to 60% cheaper than the original equipment cost and they come with same post sales service contracts like the new equipments, which adds to the consumer’s confidence in these devices.

  1. Comprehensive IT Systems

Deploy IT Systems which connects manufacturer, distribution network, service network and customers and which manages:

  • Service, parts and sales
  • Warranty, Inventory and Refurbishment
  • Field Service and Service helpdesk
  • Faster dispatch of spare parts
  • Recalls, returns and exchange management
  • Manuals Creation and distribution: Owner manuals, Service manuals, etc
  • Manage the complexity: According to Global Medical Device Nomenclature (GMDN) medical equipment industry is quite wide with > 14,000 different products types. The products range from wound closure pads to stents and IVD machines of medical devices
  • Manage Diversity: A system which can accommodate multiple languages and tax systems
  • Multimedia training to technicians and hospital engineers to reduce downtime. On an average, 67% of complaints are minor (first hand level), which can be resolved by hospital engineers. But due to lack of effective training, they are only able to resolve 32% complaints.

Achieving success in Aftermarket is crucial as it not only delivers monetary benefits in short term (45% of manufacturers report that in next 3 years more than 30% of their revenue will come from service) but also enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty in the long run, which eventually yields repeat orders and customer recommendations.

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You can no longer keep your ‘Bay Management’ at bay!

15 bizmen set to return high-end cars after bad service to one of them ( ) & Man Furious with BMW M6’s Faults and Bad Customer Service Smashes it at Frankfurt Show (  are only 2 reports out of 20 million+ results that Google News fetches for you when you type ‘bad service of cars’. This in itself is an indicator of the automotive customer’s melancholy, which is the result of ‘bad service’.

Can automakers risk the anger of an Quest Informatics-Service Floor Management Softwareunhappy customer in this digital age? When we know “A happy customer tells a friend & an unhappy customer tells the world” & 78% of consumers have not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience (Source: American Express Survey’11).

In most of the cases, Bad Service is the result of bad management of service bay. Only comprehensive bay management tool will be able to bring down the instances of bad service. A comprehensive Bay Management tool that you choose should perform following activities,

  1. Estimation of vehicles that can be taken by your service station for a day/week/month
  2. Efficiently planning of your work shop resources (human & Bay) and forecasting delivery time to customer & ensuring that delivery is done within promised delivery time. And should also proactively keep customer informed during instances of delay
  3. Interacts with your DMS for capturing customer, vehicle booking and Promised Completion Date (PCD) details
  4. Monitors vehicle movement inside service station in real-time, from one stage to another  like vehicle arrival, inspection, In service, In wash, interior cleaning & ready for delivery
  5. Gives instant access to customers’ service history. It also provides option to drill down to any ticket or open quote from past months or even years
  6. Uses different colors for displaying each stage for easy identification and monitoring on deviations
  7. Provides hierarchy based access control & dashboard furnishing workshop capacity
  8. Feeds your vehicle booking counter with resource availability, booked and carry over information along with current vehicle status of workshop
  9. You can update cause of a stalled/held work & alert the respective department to take necessary action
  10. Analyse activities like Planned vs Actual servicing etc for improving processes

Quest Informatics-Bay Management Software

Organizations which have implemented comprehensive Bay Management System are reaping rich dividends like,

  1. Delighted customer resulting in increased loyalty towards the brand & brings them back to you for repurchase
  2. Increases service revenue by optimizing service processes, resource utilization & by cutting down on delays
  3. Centralized system to monitor bay performance across geographies

It’s been proven umpteen number of times that, effective bay management leads to better service & better service delights customers by exceeding theirs expectations.


A customer is 4 times more likely to defect to a competitor if the problem is service related than price or product related – Bain & Company

”Although your customers won’t love you if you give bad service, your competitors will”- Kate Zabriskie

Relooking at Remanufacturing (REMAN)

$ 100 Billion strong Remanufacturing (REMAN) industry is not new to the World. It’s been active since Second World War, when only Army equipments were remanufactured. But, it’s potential has been realized in the past decade, as WCMs (World Class Manufacturers) started focusing on Remanufacturing as profits from their new product sales started shrinking.

Many WCMs are already yielding good profits from Remanufacturing. For example, in 2013, Cummins, a global leader in engines and related technologies, had 3,000 employees working from nine global facilities, contributing $1 billion to total sales of $17.3 billion. Automotive giant Renault has also expressed its growing faith in remanufacturing, as has Caterpillar & GE, to name a few.


WCMs (World Class Manufacturers) are adopting Remanufacturing, because of following business benefits:

  1. Increases the life of materials & profitability
  2. WCMs will be able to offer quality products at lesser price, which also boosts profitability
  3. Reduces dependency on raw materials, whose prices are always volatile
  4. Supports the WCMs in meeting Environmental norms by reducing the use raw materials & lessens pollution by not discarding end-of-life products
  5. Helps WCMs in meeting the “Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)” regulations

When trying to realize the above benefits, the WCMs are faced with many operational challenges, which are,

  1. Material Management and Operations Synchronization:
    1. Complicated inventory management
    2. Unable to source supply to meet demand
    3. Uncertainties in core quality, sourcing market, product life and technology changes
  2. Production Estimation and Remanufacturing Operations:
    1. Complex Reman cost Estimation, Planning and taxation
    2. Complex documentation and low automation
    3. Managing additional activities like inspection, dismantling and cleaning
  3. Non-synchronized interaction between procurement and redistribution entities
  4. Difficulty in generating customized reports on ad hoc basis

Without addressing the above challenges, it is difficult to realize the benefits of Remanufacturing. Companies that successfully implement re-manufacturing strategy will be the ones who sustain growth and success in the future.