Restructuring to Improve the Customer Experience
Growing business while staying ahead of the competition is a focal point for most organizations, particularly in the competitive and high-stakes health care market. Maintaining and striving to further enhance the delivery of high customer satisfaction are also vital to long-term success. In August, FUJIFILM Medical Systems USA, Inc., Stamford, Conn, decided to reorganize to better meet those two ends. Explains Robert Cooke, senior vice president, “Like all organizations, we face the continued imperative for growth, and that requires regular evaluation of our strategies and associated structure. We realigned to improve the overall experience that customers have with our company and our technologies, and our goal is to maintain that high level of satisfaction as we continue to expand our portfolio and further integrate our solutions offering.” The primary function of the reorganization was establishing cross-functional ties throughout the organization, enabling more effective collaboration among all departments and at all levels of the company. To that end, under the new infrastructure, Cooke, who previously led the Medical Informatics Division, will now fulfill the expanded role of overseeing both sales and marketing of solutions delivery and support, as well as sales and marketing operations for all products and distribution channels. His and other key leadership positions have been restructured to straddle customer service and product development.
Changing Marketplace Cooke says that in his view, reform has only accelerated changes that were already underway in health care; although Fujifilm’s restructuring is not a direct response to reform, it is a response to the increasing focus on patients in both health care in general and imaging specifically. “One of the anticipated benefits of reform is improved outcomes for patients, and that ties well into our mission and values,” he notes. “Through a greater degree of integration across our portfolio, we hope to be able to improve the outcomes providers get with our technology.” Health IT, often touted as a key strategy for reducing costs while increasing quality and effectiveness, plays strongly into this strategy, notes Jim Morgan, vice president, Medical Informatics, who now oversees enterprise informatics sales and product management including PACS, RIS and cardiovascular imaging. “We’ll now be able to start with our customers’ goals and objectives before working with our product development teams,” he says. “We’ve had synergy, but we weren’t as synchronized as we could have been. If our informatics products are similar in ways they need to be similar—such as the simple routinely-performed tasks like application logon, audit trails, system management, and so on—we can help solve their problems faster. And we can lower our costs, passing the savings on to the client.” Erica Rouleau, vice president, Modality Solutions, who is responsible for sales and marketing for digital x-ray and women’s health, adds that the company will focus increasingly on providing solutions instead of isolated products—another way to maximize efficiency and ease of use for end users. She explains that Fujifilm merged its radiography business with women’s imaging to allow the two complementary technologies to build on each other’s strongest features. “We’ve seen impressive clinical results with our selenium-based digital x-ray technology, and improved workflow for our customers as well,” she says. “Higher image quality and faster image availability yield returns—you’re increasing the workflow of your department and improving patient care. Those are the attributes that health care providers and their patients are looking for.” In the Trenches Rouleau explains that synergizing sales, marketing and product development will enhance the user’s experience. “It’s about helping customers meet both their short- and long-term goals, listening to what they need and interacting with them as a partnership,” she says. “We recognize the challenges our customers face on a day-to-day basis. They need to bring superior patient care at a cost-effective level.” Providing a comprehensive approach to meeting the needs of health care providers requires strong integration: “With this new structure we will be better prepared to help the hospitals, imaging centers and radiology and cardiology practices we serve improve their outcomes. Through a greater degree of internal coordination, we will enhance our ability to more effectively deploy our technologies,” Cooke says. “It’s also our hope that facilities will benefit from strengthened relationships with us. We want to gain a deeper understanding of their needs, while at the same time better articulating the value of our products. So as we develop and introduce more technologies customers can immediately integrate them into the mix and experience the added advantages that come with using our full portfolio.” In the case of medical informatics, Morgan says, customers can expect to see the company extend its experience into imaging-reliant areas of medicine. “Like any company, you have to look at where we’ve been to have a better idea of where we’re going,” he notes. “As we prepare to launch our Synapse 3D product, which is designed to work across both radiology and cardiology, it would be natural to conclude that we’ll continue to expand our capabilities within those two departments. As opportunities arise, we’ll also expand into other imaging-centric departments to grow our reach in the health care environment.” Meanwhile, Rouleau’s oversight of both women’s imaging and digital radiography will respond to customers’ need to secure new patients through imaging annuities like mammography. “It’s not a certain technology or a certain detector we’re looking at, but rather enabling the customer to bring in more of that female patient population and grow their overall customer base,” she explains. “Women make 85% of health care decisions, so there is a strong mission to capture that patient by bringing a broad suite of services.” Cooke concludes that the reorganization cements the customer-centric focus of the company. “By integrating all of our business processes into a single structure we can be much more effective and efficient not only in responding to the needs of healthcare providers, but also in proactively anticipating and providing access to the range of capabilities that will enable them to be most successful. This will improve their overall experience with Fujifilm,” he says. Cat Vasko is editor of ImagingBiz.com.
“This positions us to more rapidly respond to customer needs and help facilities adapt to the ever-evolving health care landscape.”
—Robert Cooke, Sr VP, FUJIFILM Medical Systems USA