Solving Customer Problems Utilizing Distributor & Manufacturer Partnerships

Many distributors and manufacturers want to be superheroes to their customers, solving problems no one can solve. In reality, when we talk to customers about solving a problem, it often involves multiple teams. A collaboration between the distributor, the manufacturer, and the end-user is critical to ensure that the customer has the best experience.

 Here are three real-life stories where a good partnership between the distributor, the manufacturer, and the customer made the difference in getting the problem solved effectively and efficiently.

Outfitting a new OR with Supply Carts and Cabinets

The problem: A healthcare system in Massachusetts needed to remodel their ORs. All open storage had to revert to closed storage.

The solution: The CME and Metro account managers met with the Sr. Project Manager for Facilities Planning and the OR staff to review the needs of the facility. The team then reviewed current solutions and brainstormed for new ideas and solutions to meet the new requirements. This included a walk through the space to make sure all of the customer needs were being met. Metro provided drawings of the new carts and cabinets, which included Starsys, Flexline, and wire shelf equipment. The CME account manager distributed the drawings and continued to follow-up with the end-users to answer questions, make any changes, and supply detailed quotes for the new equipment. The plans ended up fitting the needs of the client, and CME and Metro partnered to create a new OR storage area to meet the exact needs of the client.

Replacement Carts Customized for Efficiency   

 The problem: A national healthcare system replaced legacy specified carts in Washington State. The original carts were not connected with viable part numbers and were no longer available from the manufacturer. The customer had no resources to assemble these carts and get them to the appropriate rooms.

The solution: The CME account manager worked with the customer’s equipment planner to get physical photos of existing carts, descriptions of the carts, and the end-user’s current requirements. There were 4 different types of carts with various levels of accessorizing needed. CME worked with the Metro account manager to configure the carts based on Metro’s offerings, and that met the customer’s specifications. CME built a database of new Metro drawings cross-referenced with the customer’s old carts, including the components in each cart. Each cart was given a unique CME part number that included all of the elements so that the carts could be ordered from CME with one-part number instead of 10, which really helped simplify the ordering process.  All the parts were ordered and shipped to the local CME warehouse. To address the customer’s resource challenges, CME assembled and then delivered the carts to the customer built and ready for use.

Carts Need Immediate Repair

The problem: A major health system in Florida had three aging carts that were not locking correctly and needed to be repaired ASAP.

The solution: CME is one of the few on-call organizations certified and trained to repair Metro carts. CME acknowledged the request for service same day and dispatched their Florida-based biomedical technician to the site to determined what was causing the issue with the carts.  Armed with the information obtained by the CME technician, Metro sent the needed replacement parts, and the CME technician was able to go onsite to install those parts to fix the locking function on the carts.

With timely service and efficient processes, the partnership between distributors & manufacturers is a significant aspect of the customer experience. By nurturing the partnership with Metro and CME, both companies can provide a better customer experience. In every instance, customers benefit.  

CME Corp (CME) is a distributor that focuses on equipment only. Our mission at CME is to help healthcare facilities nationwide reduce the total cost of the equipment they purchase and make their equipment specification, installation, maintenance, and disposition processes more efficient. CME carries over 2M items from more than 2000 manufacturers and offers customized services that include direct-to-site delivery, biomedical, technical and disposition services.

For over 80 years, Metro has been the world’s leading manufacturer of storage and transport equipme nt. From our innovative wire and polymer shelving lines to the revolutionary Starsys product line to a broad range of healthcare cart solutions including the Lifeline emergency cart, Flexline procedure carts and Lionville series medication carts, Metro puts space to work in healthcare facilities of all sizes.