EBME Forums
Posted By: John Stewart Spare parts rip off! - 27/07/07 4:39 PM
As I’m off on leave for a while I thought I’d toss this into the water and see how many ripples there are when I get back!

I have just got to have a moan about this as my most recent example of so called ‘Healthcare’ companies ripping off the NHS. I required one front panel button for a GE/Datex-Ohmeda Light Monitor for the ‘reset all’ function on the monitor. I Ring up GE for a replacement only to find that you have to buy a complete set of 9 buttons at a cost of £118. So to get what I need they rip us off for over £100 on parts we don’t even want. Yet another example of he worst kind of ‘customer support’ ever in my book! What is even more galling is that when the set arrived all the buttons were in individual packs with separate part numbers on them. Why is this if only complete sets are available?

What’s the worst spare parts or service rip off you’ve ever experienced? rolleyes
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 27/07/07 4:48 PM
Time for another visit to the Wall of Shame, then! smile
Posted By: Graham Roberts Re: Spare parts rip off! - 30/07/07 10:12 AM
What an excellent find Geoff!
Posted By: John Sandham Re: Spare parts rip off! - 30/07/07 11:37 AM
Could it be that the manufacturer receives 'sub-assembly kits' (as boxes of parts) from various different suppliers and then assembles those boxes of 'Parts' to build the device?

They then sell us the 'sub-assembly kit' rather than the part - because that is how they buy them in.

If this is the case, they need to give us a list of their 'sub-assembly kit' suppliers so we can get those 'original' parts... or the manufacturers need to look at the feasability of supplying 'sub-assembly' parts.

smile




Posted By: PaulKWJ Re: Spare parts rip off! - 30/07/07 12:36 PM
I am just in the process of ordering a replacement sounder. question is, do i order it from the equipment manufacturer(@ a cost of just less than £50.00 not inclusive of VAT etc), or buy it from RS at roughly a 1/5th the cost??
although i think the sounder from RS will have to have a connector fitted.

isnt it time someone stepped in and put a holt to these over inflated prices? sadly i guess they have "us" over a barrel, we cant just nip to the local shop and buy any old suitable 3rd party replacement part.
Posted By: biomedbill Re: Spare parts rip off! - 30/07/07 2:08 PM
Looking at the "wall of shame" it appears that the companies that crop up most over there are the same ones that we have trouble with. My most recent "gouge" was with GE. I wanted a trim pot for a Marquette Solar monitor but was told that they only supplied the keypad module complete at a cost of £350. In the past we were able to order a similar part for the Marquette Eagle for about £50. We thought £50 was a bit steep, the part was available for about a tenner in RS.
Posted By: Gav Re: Spare parts rip off! - 30/07/07 3:58 PM
Hi John me old mucker.
We needed to buy some battery covers for GE Marquette Apex S Telemetry boxes and this would cost us £27.40 each for a very small piece of plastic. If 6 are bought and you add VAT and £20.00 carriage this raises the price to over £213.00.

Rip-off or what?

Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 30/07/07 6:02 PM
Why not just nip out, Paul? Just as long as you know what you're doing, what's the problem?

At the risk of upsetting some of your sponsors, Huw, how about setting up our own gouges section? Perhaps it might even do a bit of good by "naming and shaming" suppliers, and embarrassing them into changing their greedy ways (but don't hold your breath on that one)! They would, after all, have the right of redress (ie, proving us wrong). smile
Posted By: PaulKWJ Re: Spare parts rip off! - 01/08/07 9:20 AM
I "nipped out" to RS and bought the required part Geoff. That’s an extra £40 the top dogs can add to their payslip and pay rises etc teehee.

Just need a hot pointy thing to melt the metal glue onto the wires and sounder shiny bits ;-)

Shame no one has time to create a huge database of company part numbers and an alternative supplier with part number etc.
Posted By: Rob1234 Re: Spare parts rip off! - 01/08/07 10:30 AM
The worst thing is when you buy something from a supplier and they can't even be bothered to repackage it, it comes in an RS bag and then you discover you've just paid 5 times the already expensive RS price (but at least we won't be making that mistake again wink )
Posted By: Jonathan Wells Re: Spare parts rip off! - 01/08/07 1:52 PM
How about this? We used to get inlet filters for Pari TurboBoy nebulisers ( part no 41E4852 ) for 54p each. Recently we needed to stock up on those and we were charged £2.60 EACH!!! We queried this with Pari and we were told that is the new price!!

Far as I can recall I haven't emigrated to Zimbabwe. wink
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 01/08/07 5:55 PM
Sounds like a gouge to me, Jonathan (but we really need pictures as well ... how about it then, Huw?). smile
Posted By: KM Re: Spare parts rip off! - 03/08/07 10:21 AM
I think you are going to see this situation getting worse and guess what its all our fault!!!
At a recent meeting the discussion turned to parts costs.
The suppliers informed us that due to competion driving down the cost of equipment and more stuff being taken off contract they arent making the dosh that they need to run their expensive fleets of cars etc.
Therefore they are increasing the cost of parts to us.
Whats worse they only do this if the equipment isnt on a contract, therefore if they maintain kit it loks like they are cheaper due to the lower parts costs, something to look out for when entering into a purchase me thinks!!!
The way arround it is to get an agreement at purchase stage to supply service kits etc at a set price for a set period of time. As always suppliers are more keen to do this prepayment for kit as they may not get the sale otherwise.
Obvously you still end up paying somewhere, but at least there are no supprises in the short : mid term on costs to maintain.

Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 03/08/07 4:52 PM
My own take on all of this is that if folk are daft enough to "eat" obvious rip-offs, then more fool them (it's only tax-payers' money after all)! For some reason, the notion that manufacturers' original parts must always be used has become entrenched (thereby leaving the door to the gougers wide open). Not so, in my opinion. Those of us on the Dark Side see things from a different perspective. If you think in terms of a better way, you will always find one. smile
Posted By: SLR Re: Spare parts rip off! - 03/08/07 8:10 PM
One thing I have found with people buying third party parts is that the time they spend looking for the part way outweighs the cost of the manufacturer part so is NOT cost effective. If you are buying numerous items then fair enough but have a bit of sense please.
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 04/08/07 5:45 AM
Oh yes, Mr. SLR, and do you make this observation from the perspective of a hospital biomed, company service engineer, or someone paying from his own pocket, I wonder? Let's not forget that this is an international forum, and that not everyone has access to the taxpayers' purse!

Have you looked at the Wall of Shame website? Surely you cannot be happy with the sort of things you see there? smile
Posted By: SLR Re: Spare parts rip off! - 04/08/07 10:42 PM
I make my comments from the perspective of a hospital biomed based in a trust with very little spare money. Everyday I see the blatant misuse of the taxpayers money with fellow biomeds wasting hours "researching" to save a few pennies here and there with little concern of the actual hourly cost they are using to do so.
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 05/08/07 6:06 AM
I hear you, Mate ... and I "feel your pain", as it were.

Throughout my career (such as it has been), I've been banging on about life-cycle costs of equipment, properly conducted preventive maintenance, spare parts scaling, proper training for users and technicians, decent workshops, full technical information, quality repairs, well-designed equipment management software, the "complete equipment" concept, decent tools and test equipment ... and all the rest.

I have fought the good fight, been fired more than twice, upset countless people along the way, made myself ill ... and all of that too. I have been sneered at for being "the nurses' advocate" (what's wrong with that?), called a "f***ing old woman" (for actually cleaning equipment, no less - I wonder where that tosser is now?), and more unpleasant names that I'd best not repeat here.

Why am I telling you all this? Just to illustrate how heartily sick I am that, here we are in in 2007, and the same old shite is still raining down! Why won't "they" listen, and when will "they" learn? Answer, "never", if my thirty-plus years at it is anything to go by!

Personally, I'm not bitter, just a bit tired, shall we say. I would add a note about something that has changed over the years, though. And that's my own realisation (as a "kit-oriented" type of guy) that the job is not so much about supporting the kit itself, as supporting the people that use the kit! That might sound obvious to some (many), but it took a long time for me to fully grasp it. And it's a worthy cause!

So, what's the answer? Well, it's a long hard road. We just have to keep on doing what we know is right, keep the faith, find contentment in knowing what we do is worthwhile, and keep on fighting the jerks! In a word, maintain our own integrity. And continue to expose the greedy gougers that leech off our backs.

Here endeth the lesson (it is Sunday morning, after all)! smile
Posted By: SLR Re: Spare parts rip off! - 05/08/07 1:19 PM
Well spoken! or should I say typed?

I am only in first third or my working life so would appreciate any advice on how to deal with the leeches without wrecking the rest of my "hopefully" career.

I love the work and most of the staff and understand that it could be me on that piece of equipment and I want to know it's maintained correctly. My immediate superior is about as much use as a choccy fire guard and actually works less than one.

I regularly feel like I'm banging my head against a brick wall especially when I know managers further up the ladder know what's going on and still do nothing about it.

Oh the pain of it all.....
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 05/08/07 1:49 PM
You're not alone, Mate. We've all been there, believe me. But as I say, you have to rise above it all and Keep the Faith.

As I've mentioned in earlier threads, at the height of the Second World War, Roosevelt urged his people to "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are". I reckon that's the biomed's mantra!

Finally, if you ever get really fed up, SLA, remember that there are always opportunities for good people on the Dark Side of the Force! smile
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 14/10/07 2:46 PM
This one may be worth a re-visit to the "front page" too. Who knows, it may even tie-in with batteries! smile
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 14/10/07 6:04 PM
Originally Posted By: SLR
My immediate superior is about as much use as a choccy fire guard and actually works less than one.

Can we safely assume that your boss doesn't get on the forum much, then, SLR? Ha, ha. smile
Posted By: JohnBhoy Re: Spare parts rip off! - 14/10/07 9:32 PM
I like it. Good relationship with your Boss then SLR.
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 15/10/07 10:05 AM
That's a brilliant link, John. I was all ready to submit my own nomination, when I noticed that it looks like it's a bit out of date. Maybe we should start our own "Awards" poll right here on this forum. All it takes is someone to open up a thread ... smile

Back on topic, do we dare to have our own award for "Gouge of the Month"?
Posted By: Clare Walsh Re: Spare parts rip off! - 22/10/07 5:29 PM
All power to you, if you can do it without getting into bother for exposing companies your hospital has contracts with. Be careful if you are likely to bust a big deal for new equipment!

A lot of the big companies seem to use the "medical grade" tag as an automatic price multiplier, usually by a factor of at least 10 times. It is sheer greed - an assumption that the public purse is bottomless, and only an idiot would not take advantage. Here's news for you - Geoff Hannis is on the case!

I don't mind helping with a "Company X part no. bbb/bbb is the same as RS part no. ccc-cccc" type list. Especially when you can see it's from the same manufacturer that RS use, or has an actual RS label on it when it arrives! grin

I do know of some companies that are honest enough to admit when they use RS/Farnell or other third party parts, and I would be more than happy to help with that sort of list.
Posted By: KM Re: Spare parts rip off! - 23/10/07 9:28 AM
On the suject of only using OEM parts, heres a little story.
A service engineer came in to fix a bit of kit and needed a few bits and pieces. I was asked if I had them, I didnt.
So he went off to B&Q and Maplins and bought the bits he needed to fix the machine. We got charged for the bits at the OEM costs, which I raised hell about.
I even asked a certain regulatoy body, who shall I say are firmly glued to the fence, not just sitting there.
Posted By: John Stewart Re: Spare parts rip off! - 23/10/07 11:23 AM
Here are some more service scams you should look out for…

You need a service visit to repair say a ventilator. You explain exactly what the problem is and what parts need replacement. The company send a ‘repair kit’ for the equipment before the engineer arrives. This is supposed to hold ALL the parts required for repair of the unit. Lo and Behold when the guy arrives the part required is not in the repair kit! You then get charged for a totally unnecessary second visit.

And another one is…

The parts for the repair are to be couriered to the hospital for delivery ‘before 8am’ say. The part does not arrive until 10am. So you get charged for their engineer to sit on his backside waiting for two hours because their courier cannot deliver on time. Nice work if you can get it! boggle

Posted By: Jonathan Wells Re: Spare parts rip off! - 19/12/07 10:37 AM
Originally Posted By: Jonathan Wells
How about this? We used to get inlet filters for Pari TurboBoy nebulisers ( part no 41E4852 ) for 54p each. Recently we needed to stock up on those and we were charged £2.60 EACH!!! We queried this with Pari and we were told that is the new price!!


Further to this, I have just learnt that the users don't like the cost of consumables and so we have now changed to a different make of nebuliser! wink Thank God, there is no monopoly on nebs!
Posted By: Keith Saxon Re: Spare parts rip off! - 06/01/08 6:05 AM
"Could it be that the manufacturer receives 'sub-assembly kits' (as boxes of parts) from various different suppliers and then assembles those boxes of 'Parts' to build the device?

They then sell us the 'sub-assembly kit' rather than the part - because that is how they buy them in.

If this is the case, they need to give us a list of their 'sub-assembly kit' suppliers so we can get those 'original' parts... or the manufacturers need to look at the feasability of supplying 'sub-assembly' parts."


This is a 'difficult issue' for us industry folks.

It all boils down to product liability - we have to supply the parts fitted at production. If we don't, then there could be issues in the future if there is a subsequent failure.

We (that is, manufacturers or distributors) have to carry expensive product liability cover, and if we supply 'aftermarket' or 'second-sourced' parts without the necessary work to validate and document the suitability of these parts, then the excrement could hit the impeller in a big way if there should happen to be an incident. So, we are generally unable to provide lists of component sources.

So, we're obliged to play safe and supply either the parts fitted at production, or aftermarket parts that have been through a lengthy testing and validation process - and naturally all this incurs costs, which as businesses we have to recover.
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 06/01/08 7:57 AM
Yes, Keith, we see the problem. But why can you not (as John Sandham has suggested) provide us officially with your list of suppliers so we may purchase parts (components etc.) directly from them? Wouldn't "all bases be covered" in that way, or is it really because you want to protect your margins when supplying individual parts (if you indeed do that at all)?

On a slightly different tack, there are many examples where hospital biomed sheds have no alternatives to buying assemblies, when all they really wanted was a particular component on/in that assembly. We know that there may very well be valid supply side reasons, but again, openness about original suppliers would be the answer, would it not?

And, as regards recovering your costs, surely you do that when you sell the equipment in the first place? If not, then, a) Why is it so expensive? or b) You got your sums wrong! smile
Posted By: ACW Re: Spare parts rip off! - 07/01/08 9:07 AM
stryker sdc pro power supply, cost from RS £74 and no more than 1/2hr to fit, cost from stryker £426! problem is rs no longer stock the supply so i have to go to stryker. stryker will not sell me the part, they have to fit it and charge me labour and the cost of shipping and vat total £518.17 unit out of use 2 weeks so far. on another stryker classic a knob from the bottle securing screw on an insuflator gas yoke was broken, when i asked if they could supply me one so i could screw it in (no tools required)i was told send it back for an estimate!
Posted By: RoJo Re: Spare parts rip off! - 07/01/08 9:16 AM
Geoff et al,

I saw a valve manufacturer advertising that their products were of such high quality that they even supplied the medical industry and showed a picture of a valve that I recognised as coming from a blood gas analyser.
When I contact the valve manufacturer they said that they had an exclusive sales agreement with the company so could not sell it to us.

I also found out who the original manufacturer of a single use item was and bought direct from them. When the equipment manufacturer found out, they changed the connection of the disposable slightly and set up an exclusive contract deal. So I had to go back to paying the "medical" price.

One foolish equipment manufacturer left the delivery note for the manufacturer of a bought in part in the box. When I went to them directly they could not sell the part to me because of an exclusivity agreement. But would sell me the bare part and told me where to buy the plugs that fitted that manufacturers equipment (they made the same part for a couple of companies and just fitted different plugs). As a tax payer he was not happy with the way his money was being grabbed by the multinational equipment manufacturers. He knew his selling price and the medical equipment manufacturers price and could see a large difference.

I do believe that the price of original equipment is kept (relatively) low to be competitive but the manufacturers use parts to keep an income stream coming in.

Robert
Posted By: Jonathan Wells Re: Spare parts rip off! - 07/01/08 11:30 AM
Oh dear, oh dear - I have just learnt that the trust bought a batch of 100 SPO2 monitors for only the cost of the probe each. The catch is that we have to buy spares from them exclusively.

Oh dear, oh dear frown
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 07/01/08 6:55 PM
Yes, here we are in 2008 and nothing much has changed. Neither will it, I'm afraid, as far as gouging is concerned. This sort of thing has been going on for as long as I can remember, and I don't see it changing any time soon. Especially when purchasers fall for the sort of deal mentioned by Jonathan above. I'm depressed!

Regarding the exclusive contracts that Robert mentions. Yes, this is a popular ploy by our beloved manufacturers. I'm wondering if there's an opportunity here to source parts from the United States, where the market is, shall we say, a little more open, and third-party vendors are often available. smile
Posted By: RoJo Re: Spare parts rip off! - 08/01/08 9:45 AM
Geoff,
I have tried that, may be I was unlucky. A package with a customs declaration of "medical equipment" was intercepted by HM Customs and Revenue. They wanted tax, import duties and proof of CE certification. They did not (would not) understand the difference between a spare part and a medical device. We could not provide that so it presumably is still sitting in a warehouse somewhere. We still had to pay the supplier.
Our NHS finance department was very obstructive, it was far too much hassle for them to raise an order and pay it in US dollars.
Perhaps if you costed their time and our time contacting the USA, and added the tax, duties, currency exchange charges etc. it might not be so cheap after all.
But it makes you feel a lot better finding the same thing cheaper. But how much is a happy workforce worth?
Robert
Posted By: John Stewart Re: Spare parts rip off! - 08/01/08 5:35 PM
Originally Posted By: Jonathan Wells
Oh dear, oh dear - I have just learnt that the trust bought a batch of 100 SPO2 monitors for only the cost of the probe each. The catch is that we have to buy spares from them exclusively.

Yet another reason why all EBME departments should push to be involved in the purchasing and procurement of medical equipment! crazy
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 08/01/08 7:10 PM
OK Robert, I give up. Is it just me being paranoid, or are the odds increasingly being stacking up against us? Even I tend to "roll with the flow" these days. When the people we work for couldn't care less about cost effectiveness, never seem willing to support us when we try to be innovative, and even stop us from doing things that we've happily been doing for thirty-odd years, then perhaps it's time to call it a day.

With all the incompetence and massive waste that I see around me every day, the few pounds (dollars) that I may be able to save isn't going to make a great deal of difference in the grand scheme of things. I for one certainly don't make enough (money) to worry too much about it all now. But yes, there is a little bit of job-satisfaction still to be had, if you care to think in those terms (which I do). That's the only reason I bother with any of it all these days, in actual fact. Little victories here and there, carrying out the odd "nice fix", working on the occasional interesting bit of kit, being with good techs, and generally spreading "joy and goodwill" up on the wards. It's enough for me. smile
Posted By: chris hacking Re: Spare parts rip off! - 09/01/08 9:19 AM
Jonathan Wells was actually mistaken.

We've actually negotiated a very good deal where, based on a 2 year spend on parts - it's not an exclusive deal - we have to spend a certain amount over 2 years (consistent with current spend), and we've received 100 free pulse oximeters.

AND The prices we negotiated were very slightly lower than the discounted prices we were currently paying.

It was, of course, agreed with Purchasing who tied up the contract on behalf of the trust.

We'll spend less and have the pulse oximeters!

No Spare Parts Rip Off here!
Posted By: bcarlisle Re: Spare parts rip off! - 09/01/08 12:08 PM
question, who repairs the unit when it goes wrong, have they got a 2 year warrenty. The elctronics involved in modern spo2 units is so little that you are paying for the unit anyway by buying the probes.

Have they got assurance that after the 2 years the price isnt going to suddenly jump or can you shop around.

My old adage 'Nothings free in this world' were it comes to business that is.
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 19/01/08 2:29 PM
The Wall of Shame is back! And the guy is calling for submissions. How about sending a few from this side of the Great Divide? smile
Posted By: biomedbill Re: Spare parts rip off! - 30/09/09 9:54 AM
Just thought I'd reopen this thread. I've got a faulty monitor that needs a rotary/ push switch, similar item in RS costs about £25, the manufacturer will only supply the front panel assembly complete at a cost of Approx. £500. How the f**k can they get away with it? Looking at the service manual there are only nine parts available for the entire monitor. The world's gone mad. Unfortunately we are committed to this company as we have more than sixty of their monitors in ITU's theatres etc.
Posted By: Kiwi Phil Re: Spare parts rip off! - 01/10/09 1:16 AM
I've had a GE/Datex AS3/5 PRESTN module with a broken NIBP retainig clip - a very small piece of plastic (fraction of a pennys worth of raw material).
However GE will only sell the front half of the module - for a total of NZ$1800 (720 pounds.

Firetruck its expensive.
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 01/10/09 6:30 AM

As we all know, this sort of thing has been going on for many years (for instance, see earlier posts and links in this thread).

So, what I will add here is the same that I say to all the moaners and groaners who I encounter seemingly everyday regarding the state of Modern Britain (eg, lousy politicians, the neds and the chavs, anti-English sentiment, politicised police "forces", invasion by foreigners, street crime ... and all the rest) ... OK, it's a [censored] situation ... but what are we going to do about it?

Well, for a start, we could move on from the mindset (well entrenched in some quarters) that we always have to fit the "original OEM part" (to which I say, once again, [censored])! frown

There's always a cheaper way of going about repairs ... as I have proven a zillion times myself!
Posted By: biomedbill Re: Spare parts rip off! - 01/10/09 10:19 AM
There are limits to what we can replace nowadays as almost everything is custom made, perhaps that's why the kit is so expensive (yeah, right, I hear you say). The trim knob might be available from RS or Farnell but the knob and other bits are only available through the mfr.

BTW Phil, my gripe is with the same company.
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 01/10/09 12:22 PM

USB Memory Sticks and Bluetooth devices (for example) are also "custom made" ... but you don't get gouged when you go to buy those, do you? Quite the reverse, in fact.

Yes, less components are (easily) replaceable these days. But that doesn't justify the obscene mark-ups that the gougers apply when standard components are used, does it?

This is what happens once a cartel of "Big Players" is in place. Lack of competition and cosy arrangements within the Gang leads (as always) to the customer being ripped off. That's Economics 101, I'm afraid.

Not to mention kit made of plastic, with crappy little do-dads (like "special" fittings, clips, etc.) all over the place. Don't tell me that the design of this junk is "customer driven". Surely all the customer really needs is modern, easy-to-use, but realiable and cost-effective (that doesn't mean cheap ... just inexpensive - and there is a difference) kit. Users of medical equipment don't want all the little "add-ons" and "must-haves" ... they just want solid kit that works!

Very soon the traditional biomed tech will have gone the way of the dinosaur (if we haven't got to that point already). Perhaps that's part of the reason for the move towards a "name change". You know, to Clinical Technologist ... or whatever the latest dream is (I can't say, as I don't bother much with keeping up with all that stuff myself). frown
Posted By: biomedbill Re: Spare parts rip off! - 01/10/09 1:57 PM
DON'T mention the CT word(s).
Posted By: John Sandham Re: Spare parts rip off! - 01/10/09 3:48 PM
I am all for using RS component equivalent parts. I will happily write a concession note for an RS transformer to replace the OEM version. Not all OEM parts are replaceable with parts from a 3rd party supplier such as RS, but if we find an equivalent that meets the same specification - i have no problem in signing it off, but i would not do it unless i was certain it was an 'Equivalent' part. smile

I think most EBME departments still do use RS components and such like. Always good for the tax payer, even if it is only lamps and fuses. smile
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 02/10/09 8:21 AM
Originally Posted By: John Sandham
... unless i was certain it was an 'Equivalent' part.

... or even "better than"?

But, how do we (should we) deal with the gougers ... just continue to "take it" (the way the British seem so willing to do with just about everything else)?

Myself, I have always considered "tolerance" to be a difficult concept ... especially when (as is almost always the case, in my experience) the parties involved have different understanding about what it actually means.

Meanwhile the gougers will keep "pushing the envelope" until objections are raised, then they (may) back off a little, but just a tad. Then they will slowly start to tighten the screws again ... then back off a bit, etc.

What is needed is a blanket refusal to play their game. If everyone told them where to get off, things might change.

Surely all of us here have encountered (that is, been the victim of) "emotional blackmail" at one time or another. Well, throw it back at them (that is, use it as a weapon yourself). Go and see your CEO (or whatever the local Big Cheese is known as) and announce that "such and such equipment will be down" until they (the Big Shots) sort out the problem with the outrageous price and/or unavailability of spare parts! frown

Continuing with the "Monkey See, Monkey Do" theme ... how about "Putting the Monkey on Their Back"?

Oh yes, let's hear it for the Monkeys (I like PG Tips, myself)! smile
Posted By: biomedbill Re: Spare parts rip off! - 02/10/09 2:07 PM
Our problem is that the powers that be appear to be "in bed" with certain manufacturers. we cannot seem to convince our trust to buy monitors from anyone else than GE even though we have a presence on the purchasing panel and have put forward our misgivings. There are plenty of other manufacturers out there, i'm sure we could get as good a product for less and probably a better aftersales service. We recently had a couple of Mortara ECG recordes in for evaluation, we liked them, the users liked them, they were about a grand cheaper, guess what we ordered?

a) Mortara b)GE c) GE

And the winner is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 02/10/09 2:47 PM

... er, not Fukuda Denshi, then? smile

And the losers are ... the taxpayer (for sure), but also the staff, the maintainers, and (quite likely) the patients as well.

Meanwhile, if (just imagine) Monkeys are in bed with gougers ... well, there always used to be an NHS Fraud Hotline number to call ... frown
Posted By: biomedbill Re: Spare parts rip off! - 02/10/09 2:59 PM
Try and prove it? I'll be down the road before they are.
As for FD has anyone seen Mr. Morgan recently?
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 02/10/09 3:15 PM

It's not your business to prove anything. That's the job of the investigators. frown

Grounds for suspicion are all that's required. We're talking about Public Funds here, not some back street emporium.

Perhaps I need to call by and take a nose around. Wearing one of my many disguises, of course!

Whistle Blower?
Posted By: DaveC in Oz Re: Spare parts rip off! - 05/10/09 11:50 AM
Now, much I would hate to take the view from the "dark side" (the OEMs), I have worked in that arena, worse still, as a salesman. One thing that needs to be kept in mind here is that, someone, ie the end user, has to pay for all the R+D, testing, etc before a product can be brought to use. This is not cheap, infact it is VERY expencive. How many years do you think it takes to develop and test a new medical device before it can be released to the market?..... years and millions of $$$$$$$ in some cases.

So, before you roundly condemn the OEMs (though there is no doubt that there are ripoff's) just because you could buy a screen for a monitor for 10% of what is asked, or a "trim knob" from RS instead of GE, ask yourself, how would this impact on future product research/development?

I share your iritation with the cost parts in our environment but the costs of development/research need to be funded from somewhere and, sadly, sometimes, the customer/public/tax payer is the one who has to pay.
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 05/10/09 12:07 PM

Qui s'excuse, s'accuse.

A gouge is still a gouge, however you want to dress it up. And we're talking here about the price of spares, not complete equipment!

And ... if you're going to start calling OEM's the Dark Side ... well, where I'm sitting must be the Twilight Zone, then!

Yes, it takes a lot of time and resources to bring new medical equipment to market. Especially jumping through all the regulatory and type-testing hoops. So my question here is:- why do "they" keep introducing "new" kit to the market? Why do we see "new" ECG recorders, infusion pumps, CTG's et al every 18 months or so? Are they really any better than the previous iteration? Answer:- no (in fact, they are often worse)!

But here's a parting thought ... how much did it cost to develop the iPod? And how much does it retail for?
Posted By: biomedbill Re: Spare parts rip off! - 05/10/09 1:07 PM
Careful Geoff, the ipod sells in the millions so the R&D costs per unit are relatively small. Medical equipment may sell in the hundreds if they are lucky. But the costs should be reflected in the product price rather than the spare parts. My issue is why should we have to buy a complete assembly when all we need is one part of it? I have just recieved the part that sparked my ire originally. I have got essentially half a monitor preassembled, apart from the labels. Why can't I just get the LCD display and fit it into the existing front case myself? Other than ripping us off it is a complete waste of resources, not exactly eco-friendly is it?
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 05/10/09 3:23 PM
Originally Posted By: biomedbill
... the costs should be reflected in the product price rather than the spare parts.

Yes. Agreed. The kit has been paid for once, so why the continuation of the gouge? Answer:- greed, pure and simple.

Originally Posted By: biomedbill
Why can't I just get the LCD display and fit it into the existing front case myself?

Indeed! smile

Who was it who once mumbled "Seek, and Ye Shall Find"?

OK ... it takes a bit of time. And therein lies another issue. That is, "Time is money" and all that stuff. In other words, where (in the NHS, that is) is the incentive to "make do, and mend"? frown
Posted By: biomedbill Re: Spare parts rip off! - 05/10/09 3:38 PM
And another thing! Why do they send seventeen (yes 17) labels when I only need one. I can undestand why they might send 1 sheet of labels but I've got front panel overlays in English, German, French, Swedish, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Japanese, Portugese, Russian, Chinese, Hungarian, Polish, Czech and Greek. Any offers, apart from the English one of course!
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 05/10/09 5:25 PM

Because they knew you were in South Yorkshire, of course! Obvious, ennit?

But are you saying that you missed the Referendum on whether we wanted a Multicultural Society, then, Bill?

And anyway ... what about Arabic, Sanskrit, Swahili, Urdu ... Vietnamese ... and all the rest (or, for that matter, Gaelic or Welsh)?

The next time I'm in Whitechapel (which may be ... er, never), I'll take a photo of the main directory board outside the Royal London Hospital. That should give you the idea. It even includes English on there (somewhere near the bottom, if I remember rightly). frown
Posted By: biomedbill Re: Spare parts rip off! - 06/10/09 8:33 AM
Unfortunately there is only room for one label on the device. I think I'll make a collage of all the other labels and tie it onto the monitor.
I am aware of our multicultural society, being an expat Scot living in England. Can't get a deep fried Mars bar anywhere, or Macaroon bars for that matter.
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 06/10/09 8:50 AM

You need to be careful there, Bill ... or else they'll be looking for such a tome hanging from every piece of kit. frown

I think I may have remarked before about the restlessness* of the human soul. It all depends what a person is looking for, I suppose. I'm thinking of moving on up to Scotland, myself. It kind of feels like my last hope.

On the other hand, I'm come to have a strong belief that folk should not turn away from their own roots (country, culture), but rather stay (or return) there and help to make it a better place. Just an idea (and part of the reason I returned to England after many years away).

But, back to expensive parts. Yes, we understand the possible reasons for an OEM providing assemblies, rather than individual parts, and indeed they may be valid ones. But I still see nothing wrong with "non-OEM" parts being used if local policies (and time, resources etc.) allow. And (as we know) with older kit, that is often the only option. smile

These days, my own (sometimes infrequent) dabbling in equipment repairs has to be done literally as cheaply as possible (that is, zero cost in most cases), so I always bridle when I see or hear of gouges for what are often "generic" parts, or repairs that could have been carried out for a fraction of the cost.

* Five s's there!
Posted By: RoJo Re: Spare parts rip off! - 06/10/09 10:02 AM
When assessing equipment prior to purchase do you take in to account the life time costs? Tis obviously includes spare parts etc. What is cheap to buy may be expesive to maintain...the companies will always make their money some how.
Get the companies to provide you with the list price of all routinely replaced parts and add that in to you spead sheet then use your knowledge to add in some breakdown parts and get the suppliers to provide those prices. THEN look at the bottom line.
THEN convince the money men it is the "cheapest/best" option.
Good luck
Robert
Posted By: Lee S Re: Spare parts rip off! - 06/10/09 10:58 AM
Unfortunately companies either don't know or won't tell you what expensive parts will regularly fail, they would rather tell you that this new product is not only the best thing since sliced bread but that it can also replace it.

What reassures me is that when I look around at companies and the products that have annoyed me with excessive costs in the past many of them have folded or lost the market leader position they once had. I just hope that the modern manufacturers start to take this in to account.

Lee
Posted By: biomedbill Re: Spare parts rip off! - 06/10/09 11:41 AM
Lee's right the info you really need is not usually available at the time of purchase. A database of medical equipment evaluations would be useful. We used to get evaluations through the predecessor to the MHRA/ MDD. Does anyone know if those evaluations are done anymore? In addition to the standard evaluation, the database could be updated to include long term tests, reporting good and bad findings, a sort of wiki-medkit-pedia. Anybody got the time or inclination to make a start?
Posted By: Graham Roberts Re: Spare parts rip off! - 06/10/09 11:48 AM
Its not just medical stuff either. Want a diode or brushes for your alternator? Well that will be a new alternator sir. No I'm sorry they are sealed units these days!
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 06/10/09 12:10 PM

Interesting comments. Robert's immediately took me back to Jeddah in 1983. The O&M contractor had wanted to spend 2 million Riyals of the client's money on stocked spare parts. Needless to say, I was able to whittle this down*. How? By visiting an example of each piece of kit, opening it up, taking a look inside, then crossing about 90% of the parts off the contractor's lists, based upon my own - practical - assessment of the requirement. Unlike me, they had not bothered (in their haste to gouge the client) to come up with any sort of rationale for stocked spares planning.

The people brought in by the contractor had simply drawn up their lists sitting down in the comfort of their Portakabin, and turning pages of the service manual parts lists. That and getting the OEM's to fax their "recommendations" (another licence to gouge)!

Yes, "Life-Cycle Costings" should be carried out ... but by people like us (that is, practical folk), and not Bean Counters.

What I'm saying is that you have to come up with your own assessment of maintenance requirements. There's no other valid approach, in my opinion. Yes, it all takes time. But thoroughness is a large part of what being a biomed is all about! If other people (eg, the "suits") are into quick fixes, and sloppy work, that's up to them. They'll be out the door, next thing you know ... but the kit will still be there (waiting to be fixed, most likely).

Of course, convincing the suits is an entirely different matter. Personally, I gave up trying many years ago. I would just present my findings, then file them away. And (if it was politic so to do), throw it all back at them later on ... in the nicest possible way, of course. smile

* Needless to say, I was never really "flavour of the month" with that contractor, and they tried all sorts of things to discredit me. But I have had a lot of that over the years, to the point where it became the proverbial water off a duck's back long, long ago. Honesty, integrity, are two words that come to mind.
Posted By: John Stewart Re: Spare parts rip off! - 06/10/09 12:34 PM
Slightly off subject but you did ask...

Originally Posted By: biomedbill
A database of medical equipment evaluations would be useful. We used to get evaluations through the predecessor to the MHRA/ MDD. Does anyone know if those evaluations are done anymore?

Something like this Bill???
http://www.pasa.nhs.uk/PASAWeb/NHSprocurement/CEP/CEPproducts/CEP+catalogue.htm
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 06/10/09 12:57 PM

Yes, John, those CEP publications - presumably the successors to HEI's and "Evaluations", and (no doubt) expensively produced with the taxpayer picking up the tab - are great.

But, is there any compulsion within the NHS that the advice contained within them has to be followed (or even acknowledged)?

Granted that some may make mention of life-cycle costing, how (if at all) do they address the issue of gouging by the OEM's when it comes to selling spare parts (assemblies, whatever)? frown
Posted By: biomedbill Re: Spare parts rip off! - 06/10/09 1:27 PM
Thanks for that John,

I've tried using that website before and found it very difficult to find what I want. For example, The site states that it contains evaluations dating back to 2002 but I can't find a link to other pages. If you know how to navigate the site to find older evaluations say for a GE Dash 4000 monitor can you let me know.

Cheers.
Posted By: John Stewart Re: Spare parts rip off! - 06/10/09 3:18 PM
This link...

http://www.pasa.nhs.uk/PASAWeb/NHSprocurement/CEP/CEPproducts/

...takes you to the first page of the reports section and from here you can access all the reports they have dating back to 2002. If you read this first page it gives you an outline of the information that can be gained from some of the reports, including...


All of CEP’s reports contain a blend of the elements listed below and generally reflect the state of the technology in the market and the need for specific types of information:

evidence review
technology evaluation
economic analysis
cost / benefit analysis (including whole life costing)
operational considerations
purchasing advice
sustainability issues
business case templates
value-add of innovation.

The information outlined above is delivered in a number of report formats depending on the technology/market status and the information needs of the readers. All of CEP’s reports will provide information around three key areas, value, innovation and sustainable procurement.

Reports published when CEP was part of MHRA are available from the Device Evaluation Service catalogue.

NOTE: Reports are categorised according to medical technology sector (general medical, diagnostic imaging and laboratory medicine).


Hope this helps smile
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 06/10/09 3:53 PM

Just in case anyone missed this link from the Wall of Shame. smile
Posted By: ACW Re: Spare parts rip off! - 14/12/09 12:25 PM
just phoned GE for a price.
Vivid i battery rechargable 16.8v li-ion same idea as a laptop battery

£816.04

Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 14/12/09 12:38 PM

Yes. That qualifies as a gouge. frown

(wonder how they can justify the 4 pence)

Wall of Shame
Posted By: biomedbill Re: Spare parts rip off! - 14/12/09 5:24 PM
"Shocking" We were quoted £350ish for a PDM battery, Li-ion 11.1V 1850Ah. As yet not available from Euro or Combat, Have you tried them for yours?
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 14/12/09 5:32 PM

It's always heart warming to "learn" that these caring companies ... er, care so much! frown
Posted By: Clare Walsh Re: Spare parts rip off! - 06/10/10 1:43 PM
Another gouge

Oxford was bought out by Huntleigh some years ago. We bought the covers for their CTG transducers originally at £9 odd for a pack of fifty in 2008 (from Huntleigh). That same pack is now £46 from Arjo Huntleigh. GOUGE! tut

I actually said that I was not impressed that they had applied Zimbabwean interest rates... rolleyes

Why oh why is there not an NHS department dedicated to stamping out these rip-offs? They could revoke any orders with that company until it promised to charge a fair price for parts and repairs without extortion.
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 06/10/10 2:18 PM

Bravo! Clare.

The thought occurs about "economies of scale"! That is, if parts were purchased centrally, then the people doing the buying would have a bit more clout, as it were.

How about the various EBME Departments clubbing together on this (purchasing parts)? That is, buying in bulk.

You could even set up a company to do that. You could call it EBME Ltd., for example. Oh no ... that one's already taken! whistle

Meanwhile, Doom on all Gougers. Let's continue to Name and Shame (them) - I wonder if they take any notice? frown
Posted By: Tony Dowman Re: Spare parts rip off! - 06/10/10 3:07 PM
You could even set up a company to do that. You could call it EBME Ltd., for example. Oh no ... that one's already taken!

Crackin Idea Geoffrey why not call it " NHS Supplies " ha ha
wonder whatever happened to them then ??

Or perhaps now it could be " Dr,s Supplies " now that " Call me Dave " is letting them run the show as it were !!

Still a change is as good as a rest I suppose.
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 06/10/10 3:29 PM

I actually believe that a consortium (shall we call it that?) of NHS EBME Departments willing to collaborate would be a good idea. And why not form a company ... not just for buying parts at "pile 'em high, and sell 'em cheap(er)" prices, but also to provide biomed services as well? smile


Only this afternoon I was discussing the idea with one of my colleagues about having a (another?) go at putting techs into NHS Biomed Shops ... only this time, without the "benefit" of Agencies*. As we know, with the "Agency Model" there is zilch tech support (to the bloke(s) on site). But with us, back-up (of all kinds) would be there if and when it was called for!

Perhaps we just need an experienced bloke to go around visiting the hospitals on our behalf. Do you know of anyone like that, Tony? Someone with a bit of time on their hands, perhaps?

* I know that you know what I mean there, Mate.
Posted By: Mithrandir Re: Spare parts rip off! - 06/10/10 3:45 PM
If you did collectively buy, would there still be the indemnities that we currently get??

Surely any consortium, or co-operative group, would be the purchasing party and acting as an agent, therefore the supplier would not pass the indemnity forward.

This is how the little beggars worm out of letting us do this, and continue the finacial grip on the short and curlies under the guise of "recouping development costs".
Posted By: biomedbill Re: Spare parts rip off! - 06/10/10 4:28 PM
There is a consortium out there called [url=supplychain.nhs.uk/url] run by DHL. It looks like they are gearing up for "world" domination. We alredy use their purchasing power to get certain service contracts. Funnliy enough at exactly the same price we would get if we went directly to the companies!
I have been gouged by a small player in the X-Ray world, charging £5 for an individual screw! £1000 for a 7 metre 20 way cable and £350 for an off the shelf solenoid.
Posted By: biomedbill Re: Spare parts rip off! - 06/10/10 4:31 PM
How do you add a hyperlink?
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 06/10/10 4:35 PM

Like this! smile

Code:
Like [url=http://www.supplychain.nhs.uk]this[/url]!
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 06/10/10 4:42 PM

As I was saying to Mithrandir earlier (before my post was deleted by some unseen hand) ... why do you guys allow the gougers to do this?

I can only assume that you simply don't have the time to root around looking for alternative suppliers. Which is fair enough, I suppose. Perhaps it would be worthwhile (for the larger departments especially) hiring someone to do that sort of thing.

But meanwhile, what about the idea of NHS Biomed Departments "clubbing together"? smile
Posted By: Clare Walsh Re: Spare parts rip off! - 06/10/10 4:43 PM
Here's another one...

A company produces very expensive audiological equipment, but then they insist on selling assemblies instead of individual parts. So to replace the speaker which is mounted on the top case using a pivot rod and a small wire harness, I have to spend £831.20 ex VAT on a whole new top case with the speaker pre-mounted.

Oh, but I can save money by calling in their engineer. The cost of his travel, labour, parts etc all in is £622.55 ex VAT. How can that be?

Same with the main PCB, which can be blown up by the failure of a patient response button (the on-screen error code is "unspecified error = 0" - I kid you not)*. This costs the hospital £1000 ex VAT if I want to fit it, but £600 ex VAT if the engineer comes to fit it.

I resent the company protecting their business and staff by effectively pricing the hospital out of letting me doing the job I am employed to do, as if I am some unqualified yokel.

I have identified at least £3250 that I have personally saved the Trust in the last two years by using my skills to repair parts that I was told I had to spend thousands on replacing, or by using the cheaper option when it comes to calling in the engineer. I still think deals like this are wrong, whatever way you look at it.

Just to clarify before it goes crackers on here, the repairs I am talking about mean sourcing exact alternative capacitors, coin cells, sounders, etc, not sticking things together with sticky tape or Araldite. Would those "Equipment Management Services Ltd" companies do the same? I highly doubt it!

* BTW: The error was quite clearly a known fault when I phoned the company for an explanation of "unspecified error = 0". So why did they not issue any kind of field change notification to spare us the potential problem in the first place? We were fortunate that we escaped without a blown board, but we were lucky. Anyone would think that they were counting on this error to generate them some income...
Posted By: KM Re: Spare parts rip off! - 07/10/10 6:59 AM
Clare / all,
On a slight asside. You need to make sure you get the recognition for any / all savings you make for your trust CIP just like the ones youve mentioned.
Then at least if any axe threatens to fall you can say look what we save you and its been recognised. Im thinking especially where you take workon that saves say ITU having a service contract. Its not always recognised that whilst ITU budget saves the cost, its only cause you are there.
Posted By: biomedbill Re: Spare parts rip off! - 07/10/10 9:22 AM
Karl,

We tried that approach several times but the bean counters are only interested in recurrant savings i.e. savings that can be applied year after year. They are not interested in one off savings no matter how much we save on individual jobs. the other week we got a quote for the replacement of a DVD drive and USB card on an ultrasound sacnner which with labour+vat came to approx. £1K. I cleaned the inside of the drive and ran a head cleaning disc through it, problem solved, labour costs approx £30.

I'm sure we can all point to jobs where we are saving our employers thousands every year, but how do we impress these facts on them?

On a slightly different note, we are being asked to cut 7% off our budget this year (after cutting 5%p.a. for the last 3 years) this is untennable. We couldn't insist that external contractors reduce their service charges so why should we be forced to reduce ours? Has anybody successfully argued against these cuts?
Posted By: DaveC in Oz Re: Spare parts rip off! - 07/10/10 10:43 AM
Quote:
We tried that approach several times but the bean counters are only interested in recurrant savings i.e. savings that can be applied year after year. They are not interested in one off savings


While I can quite see that "they" are not particularly interested in the individual savings, "they" would be interested (and impressed) if you, as a department, were to provide some detail of total cost savings across the financial year. If you put together a report (to the finance dept , cc the ceo) which outlined these saves and could, in plain accounting terms, show value, then you might get a different reaction.

We need to remember that these people (and, yes, they are human) work in a different mind frame from us engineers. Their motivations and interests are different. Talk to them in their language and in terms of things that they are interested in and you may get a different reaction.
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 07/10/10 10:57 AM



Here's another way (that I have probably suggested a couple of times before) ... stop fixing the kit for a week or two, and see if "they" notice you then! frown
Posted By: DaveC in Oz Re: Spare parts rip off! - 07/10/10 11:06 AM
so, is the "off topic" aimed at you or me?
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 07/10/10 11:12 AM

At any and all comments not falling within the general heading of "Spare Parts Rip-off"! smile
Posted By: DaveC in Oz Re: Spare parts rip off! - 07/10/10 11:13 AM
Struth !.... pot.... kettle..... black boggle

and anyway, it is connected, it is to do with the value provided by departments in removing the need for the purchase of spares/services from the OEMs.
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 07/10/10 11:18 AM

A very tenuous connection, in my opinion. frown

Anyhow, I can't stop to chat right now ... I'm in the middle of fixing kit! smile
Posted By: biomedbill Re: Spare parts rip off! - 07/10/10 11:20 AM
We've tried that Dave. Our boss has put together figures showing savings that we've made but the finance people don't have a mechanism to incorpoarte theese savings into their report. I suppose we could submit a similar report every year and call it a recurring cost. Unfortunately that doesn't solve the problem of budget cuts this year.
Posted By: DaveC in Oz Re: Spare parts rip off! - 07/10/10 11:31 AM
No, I understand that it is not a short term "fix" but if you do not start to feed this sort of info back up the financial tree then it will never be recognised.

My advise (for what it's worth) is that you do provide value/savings but if you do not have some mechanism to prove this in hard figure terms to those with the financial spreadsheets then it will continue to go unrecognised.

You need to show your worth not just understand it yourselves.
Posted By: Pierre from SA Re: Spare parts rip off! - 07/10/10 11:35 AM
frown It seems that GE is ripping everybody , and i thought it was only here in South Africa. Is that perhaps why they are such a large company - by ripping off the customers?
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 07/10/10 11:45 AM

Welcome to the forum, Pierre. smile

Yes ... competition is a wonderful thing, is it not? And that's just what the gougers need - serious competition. Perhaps then they will feel able to join us mere mortals in the Real World.

Perhaps I should add that, in my experience, it was ever thus. But that should not deter us from "chipping away"!



The gougers also need to be challenged ... rather than a passive acceptance of the status quo. That is, being ripped off at every turn.
Posted By: serdarunlu76 Re: Spare parts rip off! - 07/10/10 12:20 PM
Hi
I need the article numbers for evita xl or for meanwhile evita xl flow sensor geoff may be you can help me where can I find' I have already download from franks but list of parts is not written.
Posted By: MikeX Re: Spare parts rip off! - 07/10/10 7:12 PM
I am sure some prices for spare parts are a rip off but in general I am not convinced things are as bad as some make out.

If I buy a big brand state of the art TV or other consumer item and after 5 years it fails the chances are the repair cost will be quoted at more than the replacement price! I know this is true as I had a DVD recorder fail and the new drive was quoted at more than the cost of a complete new machine. In fact after 5 year you will be lucky if there are any parts available for a consumer device!

But almost all medical device manufactures must supply spare parts for ten years. This is quite costly, especially for larger items. In many cases due to stiff competition little profit is made on the sale of the item and they expect to recoup the costs on either service contracts or failing that in spare parts.

To reduce costs in controlling spares there is a tendency to only stock assemblies rather than individual items which can lead to having to spend more than expected.

I am sure there are some OEMs that overcharge but before condeming them you need to look at the bigger picture as if the OEMs fail to make a profit then they will drop out of the market and that will only reduce competition and increase prices.

Remember if EBME departments had to show a profit to shareholders I bet they would be as costly as the OEM offerings!
Posted By: biomedbill Re: Spare parts rip off! - 08/10/10 9:32 AM
I don't think that the "stiff competition" argument stacks up. All the major manufacturers seem to have an "understanding" it's like an unofficial cartel. There have been deals stuck where certian companies have put in a ridiculous quote for an installation so that their "rival" gets the work, and they get a free run at the next major installation. I fully understand the economies of scale argument that if they sold 1 million items then they could charge a lot less for their stuff but even so there is a lot of profiteering going on.
The bosses at NHS HQ should be driving this issue. If they are asking us to tighten our belts then they should be aguing with external suppliers to get a better deal.
Posted By: MikeX Re: Spare parts rip off! - 08/10/10 8:32 PM
The days of cartels is long gone as the penilties are so severe, so the days of manufacturers having an 'understanding' are well behind us.

I can assure you the manufacturers are being squeezed on their prices by the NHS and supply chains and hospital supplies departments. Just hope they don't get around to your departments budget!
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 09/10/10 5:38 AM

No doubt we are all wondering which one of those wonderful companies you work for, Mike.

In the meantime, I for one am still in agreement with what Bill is saying. frown
Posted By: biomedbill Re: Spare parts rip off! - 21/10/13 4:43 PM
Thought I'd resurrect this one. Just been royally ripped orf. Unfortunately whilst I was off dodging raindrops on the south coast back in August one of my colleagues called a certain company in to sort out a fault that he struggled with. The engineer recommended some spare parts which we duly ordered. It has taken two months to finally get the parts (apparently that have to come from Japan!). One of the items was a microswitch which we were charged £51 for. You might expect a meaty industrial strength breaker for this price but no, I found it on RS for £1.52 AND is available for next day delivery. The other parts are a magnet and a magnet enforcer, £57 & £25 respectively. The magnet is nothing special (20mmx10mmx5mm), the enforcer is a tiny plastic wedge that is glued onto the magnet, guess what? The £57 magnet comes with the enforcer already attached. I now have a spare enforcer. To add insult to injury I've had a look at the problem and I don't think these parts were required, it looks like a latching mechanism either needs aligning or replacing. I've kept the information to a minimum to protect the guilty (for now!).
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 21/10/13 7:22 PM

Well resurrected! smile

But (despite what you say at the end), this sad story is not much good without naming names (although we don't need to embarrass your colleague)!

To be honest, it could have been much worse (those prices, I mean). After all, if anyone is into gouging ... then why not go for broke! whistle

But anyway, no doubt you'll be extending a warm welcome to the company engineer when (or perhaps, if) he visits again.
Posted By: John Stewart Re: Spare parts rip off! - 23/10/13 6:03 AM
Over six years since my initial post and still the price gouging etc. goes on. It seems that the big biomed companies don't really don't give a s**t what we think as long as they continue to be payed their exorbitant prices.

Well at least I seem to have provided a forum topic for techs to blow off a little steam. boggle
Posted By: RoJo Re: Spare parts rip off! - 23/10/13 8:32 AM
And if companies do keep ripping people off we should remember their names when it comes to buying new equipment. It is the life cost that counts not the purchase cost.
Robert

Read this and take note all you compnay people on the forum.
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 23/10/13 9:52 AM

And it will continue until after you retire, John ... and well beyond that as well. frown

The only way to deal with them at the local level is to "show them the door" (and make sure they needn't bother coming back). I used to be able to get away with that sort of thing out in [overseas country], but how many NHS biomeds have the "authority" to act like that?

@RoJo: is there any linkage between what the biomed says (and thinks) and the purchasing of equipment? Does anybody ever listen? think

But when it comes to "tech support", well the obvious answer there is to use a third-party service provider. Or, better still, do it yourself (and source your own parts as need be)!
Posted By: RoJo Re: Spare parts rip off! - 23/10/13 2:12 PM
Quote:
is there any linkage between what the biomed says (and thinks) and the purchasing of equipment? Does anybody ever listen?

Yes if you insist that the whole life cost rather than the purchase price is considered.
You need a full on Clinical Engineering led equipment management team to achieve this...yes I do know of places where it happens.
Robert
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 23/10/13 2:42 PM

Actually you just need one bloke with a bit of drive (leadership, gumption ... call it what you will) ... yes I do know of places where it happens. whistle
Posted By: Smaug Re: Spare parts rip off! - 14/03/14 1:06 PM
I recently needed to purchase a power supply for an Apex Pro quad receiver, but was quoted a price of £527 by the company. I found that the power supply manufacturer (Skynet) used a UK distributor and their price was £35 + shipping for the exact same part.

These companies need to figure out their pricing strategies. Oh wait!!! they have, as long as we pay it they will sell at an exorbitant price.
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 22/03/18 5:51 PM

On the other hand, here is some Good News ... a "reverse gouge", you might say (and costing 1/1000th of the "OEM" item)! smile

There are some good comments, as usual.

[Linked Image]
... is it a modification? think
Posted By: Huw Re: Spare parts rip off! - 22/03/18 6:15 PM
Originally Posted by Geoff Hannis

... is it a modification?

It's not medical equipment...
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 22/03/18 6:24 PM

Good point ... but, on the other hand, I doubt there are many other items on that sub with "Made in China" stamped on them. whistle
Posted By: Ian Chell Re: Spare parts rip off! - 22/03/18 9:10 PM
I understand the frustrations of everybody but in defence of Siemens who I used to work for, they did not cut corners on training which was in Germany or the USA and this all has to be paid for somehow. In my twenty two years of working for them, I had numerous product training courses on technologies that differed so much. They also have to show you all of the image quality calibration techniques. I used to love doing cine film image quality.

There were numerous times when we turned up for a service to find it was cancelled.

I fully appreciate how it looks when it boils down to a small part but I think those days are long gone now South Korea is spreading it's wings. I'm hearing good things about Samsung so they will be a cat among the pigeons as they say.

They knowledge in TVs is spreading to medical imaging systems.

I'm not worried about trolls either as my website is currently being bombarded by a Viagra company laugh
Posted By: Kevin Finn Re: Spare parts rip off! - 22/03/18 11:22 PM
I have a real cracker for you, had a company contact me to say they were willing to uplift an asset for free ..... what they really wanted was to strip it for parts as you can't get new parts now. We reckon there was a few grands worth of parts that could be reused ........
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 23/03/18 10:53 AM

That's why old Land-Rovers get stolen ... they are worth so much more when stripped for parts.

In fact there are many such stories; like the one about the RAF retreiving parts from aircraft museums (re-fueling probes for Vulcans, if I remember correctly).

It has even been known for certain biomed techs to scoop up old junk (non-working equipment) for "spares" at medical equipment auctions! "No names, no Pack Drill", as they say. smile

There is a thriving market for "good used spares" (not to mention "refurbished parts") in the USA; whilst here in the UK all we have is the "Dark Side". frown
Posted By: Dustcap Re: Spare parts rip off! - 23/03/18 11:14 AM
Thats why you dont see many old skodas around anymore, they were bought up and shipped out of Tilbury docks for some years.
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: Spare parts rip off! - 23/03/18 11:40 AM

At least they were "bought" first (we hope). whistle

Most of the Land-Rovers end up some distances east of the Rhine (allegedly).

Some years ago I had a number of Bedford Rascal vans. One day when cruising around Edmonton (you know, the way you do), I became aware that I was being followed. So I turned down a side street, and sure enough, the guy kept coming after me.

I stopped, and the guy pulled in behind. Yes - you've guessed it, he was after the van. It turned out that he had a "side line" in shipping Rascals out to Lagos.

I did not take him up on his offer, mainly because I was (at that time) keen to preserve some semblance of a "Rascal market" here in the UK! smile
Posted By: DaveC in Oz Re: Spare parts rip off! - 25/03/18 8:54 PM
and this is on subject how exactly?
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