What your Vendor for pre–owned MRI machine would not want you to know
With the advent of demand in buying a MRI machine there is a new breed of vendors who offer used or refurbished machines at compelling prices. However most of these offerings are differentiated mainly on the offered prices for these machines making it difficult for customers to choose the right vendor or MRI models.
Used or refurbished products are often used as interchangeable terms in the secondary market. This is incorrect as there are several differences that a prospective customer should know about.
Let us first understand the terminology of these terms to appreciate the differences better.
Used MRI machines:
These machines are also referred to as “As-is’ condition machines. The system is usually procured by a vendor in the condition that it is found. Basic inspection of the machine is done to determine its running condition & is sold on to a prospective customer who sometimes get the machine at a good bargain. Sometimes a used machines gets a cosmetic upgrade wherein dents and scratches on the machine are filled up, a new coat of paint is applied. In short a used machine has nothing changed on it at all. It is the same machine as when it was in the first installation, worn & all.
Refurbished MRI machine
In the case of a refurbished machine it is the job of the procuring vendor to inspect the machine in a professional manner, account for its wear & tear, check on software upgradation status, check minutely for defective parts including decals buttons & knobs along with its service history & maintenance records. The machine then undergoes a complete overhaul from cleaning, replacement of defective parts, change of pipes & hoses & functionality testing. The machines are then painted, worn out decals & buttons are replaced & given a new lease of life. Refurbished MRI machines finally look like a new item & function as a new machine without any trouble.
Understanding the difference in terminology of a used and refurbished MRI machine is only the tip of the iceberg.
Following are the key differences:
Warranty of the MRI machine
All refurbished MRI machines comes with a comprehensive warranty against all spare parts & cryogen requirement. Used machine do not come with a warranty or may sometimes carry a limited warranty.
Credibility of the Vendor
Often third party vendors will sell a used machine terming it as refurb item when it is not. They especially do it to liquidate their inventory & offer the machine at compelling low price points. In case you find a vendor trying to hard sell a machine at a very low price point you should do your due diligence to understand the machine that is being offered. What you choose to do at this stage will determine the future consequences.
Often when you buy from large third party vendors (like Sunrays Imaging Technology) you get a completely refurbished MRI machine & the vendor undertakes to do the job from procurement to installation of the machine including a one year comprehensive warranty. Thus the refurb machines provided are the ideal “value for money” equipments.
Age & Model of the Machine
Almost all true refurbished products are models which still have a lifetime support by the OEM. A true refurb vendor would share with you the details regarding the age of the model, service history & the ease of spare part & service procurement.
Third party vendors who sell used machines do not have the resources to provide you spare parts or service maintenance contract for the machines. These can lead to inordinate delays in machine uptime & any future requirement for maintenance or spare parts hampering your business as you lose credibility with your patients.
Each OEM also has respective resources in terms of hardware & software support for its respective models. Vendors selling used machines often do not have access to these resources. In the long term therefore these vendors fail to provide software updates & upgrades for your machine limiting your potential.
An original refurb vendor would be able to hand hold you through your requirements when you expect a software or hardware upgrade.
It is therefore always advisable to evaluate these steps from the very initial days of machine procurement.
“Buying a pre owned MRI system is only the beginning of your business journey. A well chosen machine will supplement your business without straining on your resources in the future.
Understanding the refurb process
Though as an end customer you may not be involved in the vendor refurb process, it is often advisable to speak to your vendor to determine it as these would help you understand whether your machine is in safe hands. We at Sunrays Imaging solution undertake the following process:
- Verification of Site history, preventive maintenance records, and quality assurance reports.
- We check the Software level, hardware configuration, software options.
- Cosmetic appearance.
- Verification of Spare parts availability for next 10 years
- From de-installation to destination, transport of the machined is done with utmost care and perfection
- Professional transportation
- Professional de-installation
- Shipping in the best packing material
- Cleaning, disinfection and painting
- Replacement of worn parts with original spare parts
- Thorough checking of components and subsystems
- Customizing of the system to the customer’s requirements
- Complete system check with manufacturers procedures
- Installation of the machine in timely manner as per the time line given.
- Project manager assigned to the site starts his work from room planning to the finish of
Used MRI machine typically are much cheaper than refurbished machines. However only price should not be a determining factor in choosing the machine. Spend time with your vendor in explaining your requirement & in evaluating your options. A true refurb vendor can walk with you & help you select the right machine that can serve your purposes. Ensure that as a buyer you do due diligence in understanding the refurb process & choose a vendor that has consistent record of offering exceptional service & has access to machine resources.