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