Alberto Barella
General Manager
EMP
/
View from the Top

A Solution for Every Budget

Tue, 07/09/2019 - 17:10

Q: What role does Fujifilm play in your strategies?
A: We are one of the eight Fujifilm equipment distributors in Mexico and we are present in Oaxaca, Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana Roo. We have our corporate offices in Merida and have been here for 15 years. We also have an office in Chiapas in Tuxtla Gutierrez and want to open an office in Oaxaca. Most of our sales are for imaging equipment, followed by endoscopy and clinical analysis equipment for laboratories. We handle the equipment installation and maintenance and we have more service engineers than sales agents. This means that customers can expect their equipment will be well-maintained and that if there is a problem, we can help quickly and with the right expertise.
Fujifilm equipment is robust and technologically advanced. Other brands offer equipment that is often a combination of hardware and software from different companies. This can cause malfunctions and makes the equipment more complex to use. In addition, maintenance and repairs for these machines are more costly and take more time.
Q: How would you describe the market for medical equipment in the southeast?
A: The southeast is the poorest zone in our country and if there is no investment from the government in health, it will lead to a vicious circle. Prices of health services remain low because people would not be able to afford  otherwise. This forces hospitals with imaging and radiology departments to look for cheaper equipment to get an easier return on their investment, which often means buying second-hand or refurbished machines. There is a large market for this kind of equipment in the southeast.
There are signs that the market is maturing, however. When new technologies become common in health services in the center and north of the country, people eventually start asking for them in the south. An example is mammography. In the southeast, from 2015 to 2018, the number of breast cancer diagnoses doubled, which means more scans were necessary. Unfortunately, many hospitals and clinics continue to use dated analog technology.
There is an overall lack of tools that in other countries are considered basic. In some cases, it is because they cost too much to acquire, in other cases, doctors simply do not know them. An example is breast tomosynthesis, which is a 3D X-ray imaging technique that allows you to detect breast cancer at an early stage. But this requires digital equipment with advanced technology. Last year we sold six machines with this capability. We organized a state congress for gynecology in Merida where we introduced one of these machines to demonstrate its capabilities to doctors and raise awareness about the newest technology in the market.
Q: Who are your main clients?
A: We supply to all types of clients and to anyone that has a need for the technology we offer. Our main clients are hospitals with imaging services or an imaging department. We have a team for each type of machine, including refurbished equipment. Regarding the latter, the initial investment is going to be less but it is likely to last a third of a new machine’s lifetime. We always offer new equipment first, but clients often choose refurbished options. We work with both the private and public sectors at a rate of 60-40. Our operations are supported by Fujifilm, which sends its own specialists to accompany us during client visits. This is particularly common for larger and more complex projects. Fujifilm also supports our participation in conferences. These are important opportunities to spread brand awareness and showcase the abilities of this high-end technology.
Q: What opportunities do you see in the clinical analysis niche?
A: We mostly cater to medium and small-sized laboratories, since we do not have solutions for large clients. We are in the process of signing a contract with GE, which will open this door to us. We are going to be the company’s official distributor in the southeast. We have already supplied material for them in the past but we will start distributing larger equipment meant for tomography, resonance scans and others tests. GE offers good quality and a competitive price. We will focus on being distributors for these two manufacturers and build our portfolio with their solutions.
Q: What are your growth expectations and what are your main goals for 2019 and 2020?
A: We reached growth of 35 percent in 2017 and 2018. For 2019, we have projected growth of 25 percent, although early numbers show we might surpass our initial expectations. By including GE equipment this year, we aim to become recognized distributors in the Mexican market. By 2020, we want to return to growth of 35 percent, minimum. In the meantime, we will continue to strengthen our services to ensure all our clients’ needs are met.