There seems to be a considerable amount of misinformation when it comes to equipment manufacturer status with companies representing themselves as medical equipment repair centers. The terms “Authorized” , “Factory Authorized”, “Factory Approved”, “Manufacturer Authorized”, and various other euphemisms are bandied about in an effort to represent some sort of qualification the company using these terms often don’t possess.
The fact of the matter is that manufacturers do not “authorize” repair centers. Depending on the company using it, that term means next to nothing. Manufacturers appoint warranty repair centers and only they are considered authorized to perform repairs on manufacturer equipment. Anyone can read a manual or look at a YouTube video, put the manufactures’ name on their website, pick up a set of wrenches, and charge you for it.
Only repair centers that have an actual contractual relationship with manufacturers are able to provide the assurance of factory trained, competent personnel working in a repair facility that has passed stringent inspection by the manufacturer (and in the case of multiple warranty contracts several manufacturers). The companies that pass these inspections are determined to be up to standards set by the manufacturer itself and in some instances compliant with government regulations for which the manufacturers themselves are responsible.
Additionally, factory warranty repair centers are in constant communication with the manufacturers sharing product quality feedback as well as receiving the latest upgrades and information concerning a specific piece of equipment. With some pieces of equipment (i.e. ventilators) it is imperative that these updates and software upgrades are communicated as quickly as possible to the repair center in order to insure operational integrity and safety. Repair companies that have no contractual or fiduciary relationship with the manufacturer simply do not have those resources and remain uninformed of the latest improvements in product performance. This can lead to procedural omissions (some potentially dangerous) during the repair process.
Additionally, factory warranty repair centers often enjoy a discount from the manufacturer on repair parts. This not only enables the repair center to pass on significant savings on out of warranty repairs, but also continues to insure operational integrity throughout the life of the equipment. Many repair centers without a relationship to the manufacturer use “pulled parts” from discarded machines in order to match the level of pricing only a genuine factory repair center can offer. This translates not only into a waste of money paying for substandard parts being utilized in repairs, but also an increase in the likelihood that a repair performed in this fashion will fail prematurely causing the added expense of equipment handling and replacement on a patient level.
When choosing the company that will be awarded your trust in taking care of your equipment some questions should be asked of a potential vendor:
- How many warranty contracts is your company involved with and with whom?
- When was your facility(ies) last inspected by a manufacturer and what was the outcome?
- How broad is your geographic coverage and how long have you been servicing those areas?
- How much of my present inventory are you able to service and what is a typical turnaround time for repair?
- Can you provide proof of manufacturer certifications on the equipment you will be repairing?
When choosing a repair company to handle the responsibility of competent, thorough, and reliable equipment repair, it is in the best interests of not only your company, but the patients you serve, to insure that the repair center you choose has the size, manufacturer relationships, reputation, up to date information. and qualifications to handle this important part of your operations.
About Accurate Biomed Services, Inc.
ACBIO is the nation’s largest CPAP and Oxygen Concentrator Repair Center and offers portable medical ventilator repair, including Respironics Trilogy repair services.