Belimed is a leader in the design, manufacturing and distribution of infection control products, serving health care and life science markets worldwide. The company is headquartered in Zug, Switzerland and is part of the Metall Zug corporation. Its U.S. headquarters are located in Charleston, South Carolina. The company has approximately 1,200 employees in 10 countries and is represented by a network of sales subsidiaries and authorized partners in more than 80 countries.
With its strong focus on research and development, Belimed’s products are designed to incorporate global as well as local requirements.
OR Today recently explored the company further with the assistance of Joseph McDonald, President, Belimed U.S.
Q: What are some advantages that your company has over the competition?
McDonald: While we respect all of our competitors, at Belimed, we do feel our approach to addressing the needs of our customers is based on a different approach.
- We feel strongly that a singular focus on Sterile Processing gives us an in-depth understanding of our customers’ unmet needs. It is through this focus that we can design products and services that we feel uniquely meets those needs.
- We put a tremendous amount of investment in understanding our customer’s changing needs well before we ever consider making an offer. Our Planning and Design teams utilize very sophisticated programs to perform workflow analysis and simulation models to ensure equipment and design meets the needs today and in the future. Through this process, we ensure our products and services add the value our customers expect and require.
- In addition to providing integrated solutions that drive out cost, and improve efficiency, we feel we play a significant role in improving patient outcomes and quality.
Q: What are some challenges that your company faced last year? How were you able to overcome them?
McDonald: We clearly saw a significant move in the market as the reimbursement landscape was changing. With these changes, came increased scrutiny over all capital expenditures.
With all the forces driving change in the market, we recognized having empirical data was critical to demonstrate that our products and services added the right value in this new environment.
Q: Can you explain your company’s core competencies and unique selling points?
McDonald: The Belimed Experience is more than just equipment! We provide thought-leading, evidence-based solutions that are created by experienced Lean Six Sigma trained and certified project engineers, who listen to customers in order to understand each one’s unique needs. Our collaborative approach enables the selection and installation of reliable, space-saving, high-performance equipment on budget and on time. We go beyond expectations to ensure the CSSD staff is trained on clinical best practices, proper equipment operation and preventative maintenance guidelines. We pride ourselves on our responsive team of clinical and technical experts to maintain equipment uptime and efficiency using the most innovative technologies.
Q: What product or service that your company offers are you most excited about right now?
McDonald: While there are several new products that we will be launching over the next 18 months, we tend to look at how the portfolio provides an integrated solution to our customers. At the beginning, we were like many companies, selling features and benefits and using product innovation to charge a premium price.
Our approach today is to provide products designed to work as a system to increase efficiency of the entire process. Having a washer process that moves goods faster through decontamination is only efficient if prep and pack and terminal sterilization are capable of handling the increased throughput. This approach allows us to provide solutions that drive out significant inefficiencies we tend to see in poor layouts.
So, while we are excited about our new products, it is the outcome of the combined solution where we feel we can add real value.
Q: What is on the horizon for your company? How will it evolve in the coming years?
McDonald: For years Belimed has focused our development efforts on creating technologies and services that improve connectivity, workflow efficiency, and cleaning efficacy of the sterile processing department (SPD). Belimed will continue to focus our development efforts in those areas to further improve the throughput, data management, and outcomes in the SPD environment. Of course, we have an active merger and acquisition (M&A) strategy, but you will see those opportunities will be strategic, bolt on products and services to support our focus on sterile processing.
Q: Can you share some company success stories with our readers?
McDonald: During a sales call, a CSSD manager mentioned that they desperately needed another sterilizer. They simply could not get the instrument sets into sterile stores fast enough. We spent some time observing their process workflow and, along with utilizing our Site Assessment Tool, determined that there was a significant bottleneck at the prep and pack tables. The root cause of the issue was not the lack of sterilizers, their utilization analysis indicated there was excess capacity, but rather those sterilizers could not be loaded when available due to the under capacity at prep and pack. We reviewed the findings and recommendation with the CSSD manager who was thrilled that her issue could be resolved less expensively and very quickly through the simple addition of one more table.
Q: Have there been any recent changes to your company?
McDonald: It is with great enthusiasm that we recently announced some exciting news taking place at Belimed. To better serve our customers, we made a significant investment in our customer support teams. The U.S. operation has expanded our sales and service teams in an effort to further enhance our customers’ experience with Belimed.
The growth in our service team included a significant number of new field specialists and systems operating specialists combined with a major investment in our infrastructure directly tied to dispatch, training and education, and parts availability and distribution.
Our sales team has reorganized to better serve our customers’ current and future needs. We created a consultative team approach that consists of a Business Development Manager (BDM) and an Account Executive (AE).
Our BDMs are highly experienced Belimed experts who spend their time supporting our customers’ large construction and major renovation projects. Their expertise is in design, development, and solutions creation.
Our AEs are responsible for supporting our customers’ day-to-day experience with Belimed. Specifically, they provide on-going support for all existing Belimed equipment, consult with customers on replacement equipment solutions as well as deliver valuable education and support services.
Belimed is committed to continuous improvement in our efforts to serve our valued customers!
Q: How would you describe Belimed’s employees?
McDonald: Our employees are truly vested in the success of our customers, living out a concept called Customer Intimacy -– truly knowing your customer’s environment and needs. The entire Belimed team is focused and dedicated to the sterile processing department. To demonstrate that, we require 100 percent of our sales team to be IAHCSMM vendor certified within 6 months of being hired.
Also, our entire planning and design team is Six Sigma certified and are well versed in lean manufacturing practices.
Belimed is one of the few global suppliers to have its own workforce in all regions. Demand for infection control, with the corresponding medical and pharmaceutical systems and services, is growing worldwide. The Belimed customer base ranges from global/multinational pharmaceutical manufacturers to local hospitals and large medical practices. The aim is to provide each client with the best-possible solution, be it machines from the standard product range or large-scale systems planned and realized specifically for the customer. Through additional services such as planning, simulation, validation and support in optimizing overall costs and consumables requirements, Belimed delivers genuine added value to its customers.
For more information about Belimed, visit www.belimed.com.