The health care industry is continuing to demand ways to lower expenses and minimize overhead while maintaining a high level of patient care. Over the last several years, health care facilities and hospitals have searched for service solutions beyond the OEM. As a result, many biomed departments are bringing maintenance of their equipment in-house. With this increase in self-service maintenance, there is a necessity for quality, low-cost support alternatives.
In 2011, Ryan Clarke incorporated Injector Support and Service LLC (ISS) to fill this void. Clarke has performed countless PMs and calibration verifications as well as service responses. He has taught first-response training courses, performed operational in-services, assisted countless biomeds via phone technical support and assisted in the creation of training manuals.
“Our mission is to provide our customers with professional, timely and superior support and service for their contrast injectors. To accomplish this, we offer telephone technical support, parts identification and sales, depot service, loaner injectors and on-site service response – we seek to become your preferred and only source for your contrast injector support and service,” Clarke said.
ICE magazine discovered more about ISS with via a Q&A session with Clarke.
Q: Can you share a little bit about ISS’s history and how it achieve success?
A: I started ISS in 2011 as I saw a void in the injector market. There were a few small injector ISOs in the business, but none of them were capable of providing a cost-effective national support solution
By teaming up with other third-party service providers and in-house biomed staff, many of which were already managing the injectors, we have been able to essentially create a virtual team of over 1,000 engineers and service technicians. From our office in Winter Garden Florida, we support injectors across the United States and internationally to Guam, South and Central America, Caribbean Islands, Bermuda, England, Greece and more. Our goal is to provide quick, cost-effective repair solutions. To that end, we first look to provide telephone technical support to on-site engineers and service technicians. Our phone support staff can oftentimes identify a suspect failure with nothing more than a telephone call and recommend parts to order should it be needed, even going so far as to put together a symptom specific “hero kit.” When the repair is too extensive to be completed successfully in the field, our loaner and depot service is key in providing a quick and cost-effective resolution to the failure.
Q: What are some advantages ISS has over the competition?
A: Our staff of 9 service technicians, combined, holds more than 50 years of injector specific service knowledge. ISS offers loaner injector systems for use during the depot repair of a failed injector. We carry over 50 loaners in our inventory, 35 of which are the widely utilized CT Stellant injectors. This rather large inventory allows our team to readily supply a loaner injector for most every make, model and modality.
Q: What are some challenges the company faced last year?
A: Hiring and growth. Thanks to the quality efforts and hard work of our team, we have had continued growth by 20 to 30% year over year. Keeping up with the continued demands has resulted in endless rounds of new hires over the years, but nothing quite like the growth we have witnessed in the past 12 months. We have hired four new service technicians and are on the verge of hiring two more office support staff and at least one more technician within the next three months. The growth and struggles that come with new hires, from training to company culture changes, have been quite an interesting challenge. And, watching our small company grow from 1 person to 3 and then to 14 and beyond has been quite exhilarating.
Q: Can you explain ISS’s core competencies?
A: My team specializes in the repair and maintenance of contrast injectors solely. Many other service providers, across the industry, offer services on a variety of modalities. By focusing on our niche, we are able to provide focused service, allowing us to be the best at one thing. It’s in our name, it’s what we do.
Q: What product or service that your company offers are you most excited about right now?
A: We just launched a brand new service training course. Our new course will take service technicians and engineers already familiar with the PM process and perform a deep dive on injector repairs. This Level II course is a direct replica of the course we run our own service techs through. We will run the students through various error messages, troubleshooting, high failure items, parts replacement and in depth tear down to frame repairs. The goal of our course will be to make students subject matter experts for their region/company.
Q: What is on the horizon for your company?
A: A vast majority of our customers have always been time and material based clients, rather than carrying full service contracts. In the past 24 months, we have witnessed a strong uptick in contract clients, signaling a turn in the market. Not only are we writing contracts direct to facilities, but are working hard with our ISO partners across the industry so they may utilize our team to provide their customers a complete coverage solution for an entire room or facility. Through these relationships we have created a multitude of contract solutions, from full coverage through ISS to shared risk contracts. Our goal here is to give our customers and ISO partners the tools to limit risk exposure to themselves and their clients while providing a cost-effective coverage solution.
Q: Can you share some company success stories with our readers – a time that you “saved the day” for a customer?
A: I can honestly say that our team has “saved the day” with our customers on a daily basis on a variety of levels.
Our telephone support technicians house a vast array of troubleshooting knowledge garnered from their years of field experience. They are regularly walking on-site service reps through troubleshooting/repair steps; something as simple as the cleaning of a dirty sensor can save thousands in parts cost and eliminate downtime waiting for parts to arrive.
We have had several instances where the OEM will refuse to complete a repair, citing the failure as unrepairable and a replacement system must be purchased – oftentimes requiring an additional $10,000 to $14,000. Our depot repair service with loaner, on the other hand, can regularly save customers 50 to 75% of that bill as we are able to effect these repairs with usually only a few thousand dollars in parts cost.
We carry parts for sub-assemblies which the OEMs necessarily don’t. This allows on-site engineers/service technicians to complete a basic parts replacement in the field, rather than the costly replacement of an entire sub-assembly, usually again at a savings of 50 to 75%.
Our field service schedule is such that we always have at least one service engineer ready to respond to a service call on the same or next day – guaranteed. As such, we are prepared to fly across the country on a moment’s notice, typically with a quicker response time and at a lower cost than the OEM.
Our “saving the day” for our customers isn’t a one-off instance, but rather an every day scenario. They occur at the user level, the facility’s monetary level and, ultimately, at the patient level by minimizing equipment down time.
Q: Can you please describe your company’s facility?
A: We built and moved into our new Winter Garden, Florida facility in November of 2017. In 10,000 square feet, we house our depot repair center, admin, loaner injector storage and parts warehouse. And, in just two short years, we have expanded from a feeling of, “we will never use all this space” to the recent completion of a build-out for classroom space for training, We have also expanded our depot tech center. As we look to further expansion, we have the capacity to add-on an additional 10,000 square feet to our existing footprint for more field and depot techs as well as expanded inventory.
Q: Can you highlight any recent changes to your company?
A: Growth. Growth has been and continues to be the constant with regard to change in our company. The word is spreading about our reputation as the premier third-party vendor in the injector arena. As I mentioned earlier, ISS started off in 2011 with myself and one part-time employee. Here it is eight years later and Injector Support and Service employs 14 dedicated full-time professionals. We grew from an idea, housed in the second bedroom of my apartment, to a multi-million dollar company whose goal is to keep the customer’s injectors operational and, as a byproduct, save patients’ lives. Sure, we have a new facility, we offer more loaner injectors now than ever before and we are offering Level II maintenance training, but all of that is directly tied into our mission of supporting our customers in a timely, cost-efficient manner. In the end, if it is done correctly, you end up with a company that grows and that growth is the change.
Q: Can you tell me about your employees?
A: Our employees are a unique group of professionals with varying levels of education, experience and expertise. All of our personnel are great at what they do, with a majority of them cross trained in other job functions within ISS.
For instance, Stephanie heads up our clerical staff and is responsible for receiving purchase orders, issuing RMAs and responding to requests for part numbers, pricing and availability. If the need arises, she can pull parts for shipping.
Then there are Jonathan and Ethan, our two in-house, shake and bake, “we got an answer for that” technical support guys. These two not only provide our customers with technical support over the phone, but by email as well. They also serve as the backbone for our field support technicians. It doesn’t matter if they are traveling to a site for a repair or working on a customer’s in-house depot repair, these are the guys our customers ask for when it comes to injector repairs and technical expertise.
Another one of ISS’s truly outstanding professionals is Blaine, our in-house depot level repair technician. He’s not much for small talk, but he sure knows his way around injectors.
Q: What is your company’s mission statement?
A: Injector Support and Service serves its’ customers by providing professional, timely and superior support for medical contrast Injectors.
In that, we understand that limiting lab downtime is paramount. And doing so in the most cost-efficient manner is nearly as important. Our telephone technical support and, when needed, our loaner injectors bridge the gap between efficiency in timing and efficiency in dollars.
Q: Is there anything else you want ICE readers to know about ISS?
A: I think the biggest takeaway your readers should know about Injector Support and Service is that if they aren’t using our services: our free technical support; our low-cost parts that come with a 90-day warranty; our loaner services; our next flight out option when ordering parts; our depot repair; our 90-day warranty on repairs, our full-service contracts; or our Level II maintenance training course, than they have not experienced true customer-centric injector support and service.
For more information, visit injectorsupport.com.