Article | November 19, 2020

Transform Operations Through Service Excellence

By Quest International

Business Transformation

Delivering the ultimate customer experience is critical for any medical device manufacturer. Many companies have adopted a service excellence approach, providing an onramp to rapidly and cost-effectively achieve the ultimate customer experience. So what is service excellence? Pasha Arshadi, vice-president of global service solutions at Quest International, a service excellence delivery partner for global manufacturers in the healthcare space for nearly 40 years, explains just that.

Q: What is service excellence?

A: Service excellence is based on the philosophy of leveraging best-in-class practices for global service execution, allowing device manufacturers to focus on core competencies – such as innovation and customer experience, while delivering a consistent, agile and scalable service operation with maximum productivity. Adopting service excellence is a transformative ‘buy versus make’ strategy, allowing device manufacturers to rapidly extend service delivery capabilities through strategic partnerships, ensuring consistency and quality across the service organization with continuous process improvements.

Q: Why would device manufacturers adopt service excellence?

A: Given the current pandemic and ongoing uncertainty, companies continue to face heightened risk and constant disruptions, resulting in impactful changes to business operations. Informed operational leaders must look ahead and prepare for a new reality.

Device manufacturers need to adapt and explore innovative ways to improve agility, flexibility and efficiency throughout their global operations. With the right approach, device manufacturers can drive sustainable growth, reduce costs, and create a competitive advantage by optimizing all aspects of their service supply chains’ operations and quality; including, depot service facilities, field service and logistic solutions.

Adopting service excellence allows organizations to provide the ultimate customer experience, eliminate added overhead and expenses, and reduce delays in delivering consistent and rapid support throughout global markets. A device manufacturer can achieve service excellence by leveraging a partner that provides access to available turnkey infrastructure and resources.

Q: How are device manufacturers delivering service now?

A: Traditionally, device manufacturers internalize service execution, often requiring massive capital investment to develop infrastructure, attain and maintain quality accreditations, and acquire resources globally to service its install base. With the economic changes due to the pandemic, many have re-evaluated previously set strategies, exploring ways to innovate and be more cost-effective to accomplish more for less.

Q: What are the challenges with internal service delivery?

A: Many challenges exist with internal service delivery, such as maximizing and utilizing resources, scaling operations, and resource turnover. While these challenges may not exist for every device manufacturer, they are relatively common. As device manufacturers are experts in building innovative technology, service delivery post-sale becomes an afterthought as it is not a core competency. Furthermore, device manufacturers are typically limited to supporting their own product set, putting relative caps on productivity. They cannot flex resources if service volumes increase or decrease due to evolving market conditions.

In the early stages of the pandemic, all non-essential and elective procedures came to a grinding halt, clinic shut-downs caused many device manufacturers in the ophthalmic, dental and surgical space to furlough their service teams. On the flip side, the demand for essential equipment used for patient monitoring and ventilation skyrocketed – and caused fulfillment challenges given the lack of resources that could place devices in hospitals to treat critical patients. Now that clinics and hospitals have opened, device manufacturers are struggling to meet demand requirements and fulfill customer needs. With hiring freezes still in effect, device manufactures are faced with the dilemma of being able to scale service and production while on diminished budgets.

Q: How can these challenges be solved?

A: Awareness is essential. Over the years, when working with various major device manufacturers, many were unaware that service excellence partners like Quest International existed. It is critical to note that the right service excellence partner will transform an operational process during a transition, not just transfer it. Service excellence transformation will be the ultimate driver in productivity improvements and service delivery performance, leading to attainment of the ultimate customer experience.

We urge device manufacturers to take the ‘service excellence challenge’ with Quest International. It allows a benchmarking of internal costs and performance deliverables against delivery through a service excellence transformation. The service excellence challenge becomes the initial catalyst to create further justification to adopt service excellence standards.