I believe that success requires constant evolution and like all successful innovators, Global Medical Imaging (GMI) is ready to change again. Two years after successfully shifting its business model from only offering medical imaging devices to a multi-prong business offering financing and service, GMI is now using its unique advantages to penetrate an entirely new market segment.
As GMI’s cofounder Ryan Dienst explains, "We looked at our technical capabilities, our great team of technical experts, and asked how can we repackage these to create high volume revenue in a better way? What we saw was that we could teach biomedical engineers in hospitals how to maintain their machines and that would help them save lots of money."
GMI expands into training and helps hospitals save money.
The training market that GMI is entering is growing and is attractive on its own. But what is far more valuable is the strategic advantage that GMI’s expansion creates for the company.
GMI now approaches hospitals and says, "Instead of paying someone for a service contract for your imaging equipment, let us train your people to take care of your machines in-house."
GMI can show that by "in-sourcing" maintenance, hospitals can save 40 to 60 percent of their maintenance budget.
This offer creates two compelling advantages for GMI.
First, it allows GMI to move into the hospital market (they traditionally only serve independent doctors’ offices) without going head-to-head with the large firms like GE and Philips that dominate that segment. GE and Philips are unlikely to directly defend against GMI’s threat – at least for a while – because if they offer training they will cannibalize their service contract business, which they depend on for profit.
This is pattern #17: seize the deer in the headlights.
When your competition is stuck by a conflicting agenda, then it will not defend itself. Dell’s meteoric rise from the dorm room to dominance was gifted in part by the fact that HP did not want to upset retailers by copying Dell’s "go-direct" model.
Second, by offering training, GMI strengthens customer loyalty. GMI likes to conduct its training at GMI headquarters in Charlotte, N.C. When hospital technicians come in for training, they get to see GMI’s operations and appreciate the company’s depth and breadth of experience. "They build confidence that they have the right partner," says Dienst.
You want to create moments when you have the full attention of your customers and use those moments to your best advantage. Barnes & Noble’s greatest innovation was creating a super-store environment that forced customers to see everything it had to offer – magazines, coffee, music, DVDs – before leaving.
This is pattern #11: shut the door to capture the thief.
When you enjoy a moment of power over your customer, seize it, keep him inside, and show him everything you can offer.
GMI has enjoyed a rapid initial ascent by leveraging several unique patterns. If they keep unleashing these strategic plans and disrupting the competition, they will continue to grow. Biomedical engineers should be getting excited as well because help is on the way, and GMI’s helpful approach will only make its relationship with its customers even stronger.
Ask yourself the questions below to see how you can capitalize on your competitor’s conflicting agenda and how you can thoroughly show your customers why they do business with you.
1. What must my competitor defend?
2. What won’t my competitor do in order to defend his turf?
3. How can I undercut my competitor by offering a better deal for my clients?
4. How can I bring my clients into my environment to show them all the services we can offer them?