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'We make it easy’ Fast-growing company finds niche in customer service (access required)

By Austin Light CHARLOTTE — The folks at Global Medical Imaging, an ultrasound service and repair business in South End, aren’t doing anything new, according to President Todd Ezrine. Their products aren’t unique and their services — repairing and refurbishing machines used by doctors to check fetuses, detect prostate cancer and perform other procedures — aren’t, either. So how did they become a $20 million company in just seven years? Physician John Manely thinks he knows. Manely, owner of Mountain Kidney Associates in Asheville, has been a GMI customer almost since the company opened in 2002. “I think it’s simply because they have competitive prices and really good service,” Manely said. “We’re probably a small account for them, but we’re not treated like that.” Ezrine said it really is that simple — good prices and service mean more business — but he attributes those qualities to a strong business plan and strict adherence to efficiency. “Our founders [Scott Ray and Ryan Dienst] have invested every penny back into the company,” Ezrine said. “That’s how we continue to grow and continue to stay ahead of the competition.” And GMI has plenty of competitors. First are the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of ultrasound equipment, global giants like General Electric, Siemens and Phillips. A spokesperson for Siemens said company policy prevented him from commenting on other vendors. Representatives from Phillips and General Electric were not available by press time. The OEMs make the ultrasound machines, sell them to hospitals and private practices in pricey bundles that include service charges and insurance policies, and maintain them for additional fees. GMI and its competitors, on other hand, repair the machines for a significantly lower price than manufacturers, according to Ezrine and Manely.

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