Lasers play a critical role in the medical profession today. Since 1996, Lenexa-based On Call Surgical has provided area hospital and healthcare facilities with top-of-the line lasers, ultrasound and other hi-tech equipment.
Q: Describe your business.
“Rather than the hospital purchasing this equipment we purchase it and rent it on a per surgery basis,” said Tom Feiden, owner of On Call Surgical. “We can also provide a certified technician to operate the equipment and any ancillary equipment that goes along with it.”
Technicians work at the direction of the doctor and follow safety protocols.
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“Then after surgery we pack up and move it to the next hospital,” Feiden said. “A single piece of equipment may go to one or two hospitals a day or be used in multiple procedures in the some location.”
On Call also offers on-site rentals; equipment stays at one location and is maintained by the firm. Seventy percent of its rentals are used for urology procedures.
The company serves a 14-state area with 25 employees.
“We keep equipment in warehouses that we rent space in our four regions,” Feiden said.“ We put all of our money into equipment, not bricks and mortar….I office from home. This is a lot more convenient,” and reduces overhead, he said.
Q: How do your operations work?
“The way that we do it is personal,” Feiden said. “We use cellphones and give them to our people who are technicians and we have schedulers and they do all the scheduling system wide.”
The Kansas City area and Oklahoma are its main hubs with additional offices in Chicago, Omaha, Neb., Austin, Texas, and in northern Indiana.
On Call has about 110 pieces of equipment that is stored in rented warehouse space in cities where it operates providing for easy access.
Q: Who are your customers and how do you market to them?
Among On Call’s customers are several local hospitals including Shawnee Mission Medical Center, the University of Kansas, St. Luke’s, Truman, Research and North Kansas City.
“They treat us as more of a consultant rather than just a vendor…we can consult with them as to what their equipment needs are,” Feiden said. “It’s beneficial for them not to purchase this equipment because there is no maintenance costs, they don’t have to train staff or get new staff to learn the equipment and they don’t have to worry about it becoming obsolete.”
Feiden markets to his customers on a one on one basis.
“We know every urologist in our coverage area and basically it is our technicians who make connections,” he said. On Call also markets through trade shows.
Q: How did you get into this industry?
Feiden spent several years working for a large medical company selling surgical technology.
“They started a rental service, and I looked at it I thought I could make something of this,” Feiden said. So he went out on his own. “I always wanted to do something on my own and felt the time was right to give it a shot…. I purchased a used laser from a hospital and put it in my van and started talking to people to see if they were interested in renting it.”
Before long, Feiden got his first customers — two Wichita hospitals.
“I spent the first year and a half driving back and forth to Wichita,” he said with a laugh. “It was always geared at expanding this and bringing additional people on… (but) I had to generate an income.… It was a very conservative launch.”
Feiden modeled his employee training after what he learned from his previous employer.
Q: How do you counter competition?
Feiden said On Call provides a high level of service. The company hires employees who are people centered.
“Every time we go into an operating room we look upon it as if they are operating on one of our family members,” Feiden said. “We look for people that have what I call off-the-chart service quotient — people who are really geared to serving others. “
On Call puts its healthcare customers needs first.
“We operate at the discretion of their schedule…. So we don’t have nuisance charges,” Feiden said. “We understand that hospital operating room schedules can go out of whack.”
Over the past four years, On Call has doubled in size. Feiden credits his employees for the upward trajectory.
“It’s our people,” he said. “We really have a great company culture. Everyone is rowing the boat in the same direction … and people are rewarded for their efforts.”
In a nutshell
COMPANY: On Call Surgical
ADDRESS: Home-based office in Lenexa,