An end-user analysis conducted recently by Frost & Sullivan, 'First World or Third World? End-user Perceptions of Hospital Medical Equipment in Key sub-Saharan African Countries' revealed that end-users ranked CK Scientifc above its competitors in terms of customer service. CK Scientific received the highest customer service ranking of 9 out of 10.
"The company has installed its equipment in virtually all major public and private hospitals in Zambia, and currently commands just under 70 per cent market share," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Ishe Zingoni. "CK Scientifc's success is attributed to several key factors, including its close relationship with manufacturers, best customer service offering and its technological innovation."
CK Scientific is the exclusive distributor in Zambia for several global manufacturers such as Becton Dickinson Biosciences (BDB), Thermofisher Scientific, Tuttnauer, Invernnes Medical and Cavidi and Bionor. It works closely with international manufacturers in tailoring products to Zambian conditions. The company sends (invests in) local bio-engineers and technicians for technical training overseas - a unique practice in Zambia - who then train Zambian end-users on the use of equipment and assist in installing and commissioning it.
"The company offers a 12-month domestic product warranty to its customers," adds Zingoni. "This is in clear contrast to most suppliers who import equipment online and lack the expertise to provide the necessary technical support."
An efficient feedback system also underlines the company's popularity with end-users. CK Scientific has a policy of responding rapidly to queries. The maximum is 24 hours and for out of town queries, CK Scientific operates a computerised 'call logging system'. The system allows over-the-phone trouble-shooting before dispatching personnel to distant locations. In cases where the faulty equipment is critical for hospital operations, the company offers replacement for the period of repair to avoid customer inconvenience.
Previously when vast areas of Zambia were not 'wired' for Mobile phone networks, CK Scientific Group – with it's services spanning the whole country had to invest in rather costly Satellite communications.
A customer friendly and resourceful website is also maintained.
"CK Scientific boasts a technological first in Zambia that provides a simpler and more efficient method of autoclaving medical waste," concludes Zingoni. "This technology, called Autoclavable Medical Waste Management, autoclaves toxic biological waste thus converting it into safe waste which can then be sent to a grinding site. As opposed to the routine incineration of Bio-hazardous medical waste; this is much safer and environmentally friendly as it does not discharge environmental pollutants to the atmosphere"
Other areas of pioneering adaptable and appropriate technologies for the local market are such as the deliberate alliance with Bionor of Norway. The said manufacturer has a robust semi-elisa work platform/station on which screening for HIV for example is done for semi-confirmatory purposes. The workstation can also be operated from a 12V battery so that in remote areas away the electrical National Grid, such areas can still have the Voluntary Counselling & Testing (VCT) done quite easily. Bionor also manufactures a semi-elisa HIV test using saliva as test specimen. Given the stigma in these parts of using blood, the CK Scientific Group has promoted this in Zambia and found greater and easier acceptability. Many Corporate entities conducting blind HIV prevalence surveys among their staff and suchlike workplace interventions have met with greater success using this protocol.
Still in the HIV/AIDS arena, CK Scientific Group exclusively patners with Becton Dickinson Biosciences (BDB) in providing equipment and necessary accessories to sustainably run the same for determining CD3,4, 8. In collaboration with BDB effective local after-sales support is offered.
In relation to Cavidi, they manufacture and supply a novel protocol to evaluate and monitor Viral Load ideal for resource constrained environments. Compared with the standard methods (which are much more costly and require high technologically advanced infrastructure) available; this method has been proved reliable and accurate. In collaboration with the Ministry of Health and after successful independent scientific trials/evaluations, CK Scientific is working to promote and implement this protocol so this service can be decentralized to the primary points of health care provision.
The Frost & Sullivan Award for Customer Service Leadership is bestowed upon the company that has demonstrated excellence in customer service leadership within its industry. The recipient company has shown tremendous responsiveness to customer needs and has continually focused on long and short-term customer profitability goals. In addition, the recipient company demonstrated flexibility in tailoring its product offerings to suit customer businesses. The recipient company has possibly developed and implemented innovative customer care systems that set unprecedented standards for customer interaction, timely response, and/or attention to customer needs.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.
About CK Scientific
The CK Scientific Group (ckscientific.org) is a bonafide Zambian company specialising in the field of Applied Science/s. In terms of it's specialised portifolio lay-out it is organised under five divisions. These are Bio-Sciences and Research, Educational (from elementary to tertiary/specialised), Industrial/Analytical, and Medical and Clinical Diagnostics.
Across the product portifolio CK Scientific Group – representing authentic and world renowned manufacturers- deals in the actual equipment – capital and otherwise- and then sustainably stocks the accessories, consumables and reagents needed to effectively run the said equipment.
Other local (domestic) after-sales support consists in technical product support in form of warranty, repairs and preventative maintenance. In this way we supply and equip the scientist and work by their side with needed on-going support/supplies so the scientist concentrates on their bench work.'
The CK Scientific Group's Vision is to give to it's clientele‚ the BENEFIT from SCIENCE'.
Christopher CK KANGWA
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