Growth is the game for medical imaging equipment distributor Merry X-Ray
Being America’s largest independent dealer of diagnostic imaging equipment is an ongoing journey for Merry X-Ray (MXR). Over six decades, the ambitious privately owned company has moved ahead of the market. In recent years, a focused acquisition strategy has propelled the organization into the digital imaging space as it continues to hold firmly to its base of customers who invest in conventional imaging technology.
The San Diego-based firm employs over 500 people and is one of the leading sales and service organizations in an intensely competitive medical device market. With rising labor costs and higher prescription drug costs decimating once-lavish medical device budgets, the timing is ideal for forward thinking companies such as MXR to serve an increasing number of customers who insist on innovative and cost-effective technologies.
“We’ve created a lifecycle with the pillars of our business being new and used equipment sales, service, parts, and support for all imaging modalities,” noted company CFO Bernard Amato, CPA.
“That makes us unique in the market. There aren’t many players out there that have that capability in one place.”
In addition to selling and servicing OEM imaging equipment, MXR has a robust reconditioned equipment business that includes full-scope support for the technologies they sell. “We provide a more cost-effective solution, along with a variety of products and services tailored specifically to a customer’s needs, which gives the customer more flexibility and efficiency,” Amato explained.
“In branching out into different modalities and services including MRI, computed tomography (CT), and ultrasound equipment, we've positioned ourselves as a more significant player in the diagnostic imaging market, and our goal is to be our customers’ sole source to support all of their diagnostic imaging needs.”
MXR’s leadership position is the result of a carefully crafted slate of acquisitions. In the past five years alone, MXR has purchased 19 medical imaging companies. In a market facing increased consolidation, ISO certification is a critical differentiator; MXRs purchase of a trio of ISO-certified industry players — Nationwide Imaging Services, ultrasound parts and services group, Conquest Imaging, and Consensys Imaging Services — speak to their savvy strategy.
“We have nationwide reach where we can provide support to OEMs to assist them with backlogs that come up from time to time, as well as helping them overcome geographical limitations. They come to MXR for that assistance,” Amato said. “Nationwide worked very hard at becoming an approved vendor for GE, for example. GE utilizes nationwide for their installations and de-installations of their equipment, and that couldn’t have happened without ISO certification. We provide the quality assurance for OEMs that they require for their customers.”
In addition to being a certified repair organization for a number of the world’s largest diagnostic imaging manufacturers, including GE, Siemens, and Hologic, MXR sells and services marquee equipment from Carestream, Konica Minolta, Sony, Agfa Healthcare and many others.
“With our distributor agreements for both new and used equipment, we assist OEMs with maintaining their stock against other competitors,” Amato pointed out. “Essentially, we’re marketing their products for them, and that’s a smart move on their part because the third-party market is not going away.”
The Merry (MXR) Legacy
“Our three key factors for success are: one, a strong management team; two, being privately owned with a long-term strategy; and, three, all of our acquisitions have been debt free, which eliminates a lot of restrictions and limitations that come with financing.”
MXR’s management team consists of a blend of legacy thinkers that includes CEO Ted Sloan and EVP Jeff Root, who have each been with the company over 30 years, and an infusion of energy from outside hires and senior execs from merged companies who have added depth and reach to the company’s infrastructure.
Keeping MXR in the family is a high priority. Company founder and board chairman Leo Zuckerman remains involved with MXR in its 62nd year, and plans to hand the reins to his son. “When a company has a long-term strategy, decisions are made thoughtfully,” Amato said.
One very thoughtful acquisition, the 2017 purchase of Universal Medical Systems (UMS), a leader in veterinary CT and MRI imaging, is further extending the company’s reach. “We recently signed on with VCA, Inc., and that propelled us fully into the market.” With over 800 animal hospitals in the U.S. alone, VCA is the nation’s pre-eminent provider of veterinary services.
When asked where the road leads next for MXR, Amato gave the ultimate answer: “Up!”
He added, “We’ll continue to grow organically and solidify our position in the market with more focus on expanding the service group. We pride ourselves on customer service and employee satisfaction, and we’re going to continue to grow as a force that is separating itself from the rest of the competition. MXR is going to be a name that everyone will recognize.”
As a Nationwide Distributor of X-Ray equipment, accessories, supplies and service Merry X-Ray (MXR) has a very extensive product portfolio. Our Service Department performs service, maintenance, and installation of most X-ray equipment. They look forward to providing for your imaging needs.
Their focus is to all X-ray equipment including but not limited to CR, DR, PACS, CT, MRI and Ultrasound. Merry X-Ray chooses partners based on several criteria: they must have outstanding product reliability, be financially stable, and offer support for customers.
Their service engineers are factory-trained for installation, maintenance, and repair of X-ray equipment to OEM specifications. Merry X-Ray covers the entire United States. Wherever you are, they can be! They offer service and maintenance on all imaging equipment.
Merry X-Ray began in 1958 and has become the "go-to" distributor for all medical imaging needs. In 2005, Merry X-Ray started expanding through acquisitions, which increased distribution and service coverage to all 48 contiguous states, as well as Hawaii and Alaska, making Merry X-Ray the largest distributor of X-ray equipment, service and supplies nationwide.
They also carry many durable and consumable supplies for our customers. There are currently over 40,000 durable and consumable products available to their customers.