CHATSWORTH, California--Replacement Parts Industries, Inc., has announced the celebration of its 35th anniversary this year.
Founded in 1972, RPI is family-owned and operated. The company manu-
factures and markets after-market parts for hospital, medical, laboratory, and dental equipment. When RPI opened its doors, quality was its first concern.
"As a company that manufactures replacement parts for healthcare equipment, it was imperative that our parts were as good or better than the manufacturer's original equipment parts. And that holds true even more so in today's quality conscience marketplace. In fact, throughout our 35 year history, we have always maintained that our parts are guaranteed to our customer's 100% complete satisfaction. We are proud to stand by our parts and our customers appreciate it", said Ira Lapides, President and CEO, of Replacement Parts Industries.
Several milestones have marked the success of RPI since it opened its doors. The company was incorporated on Feb. 29, 1972, then mailed its first catalog nine months later. The catalog included only 19 parts to
fit autoclaves. As of this year, RPI boasts of more than 2400 parts to fit a vast array of equipment including bulk sterilizers, centrifuges, infant warmers/incubators, exam tables/chairs as well as dental laboratory equipment,
delivery units, film processors, and lights.
About 11 years ago, Ira Lapides (the son of two of the original founders of RPI, Sherry and Al Lapides) was asked by the Board of Directors to become the company's vice president, and later President and CEO.
It was under his leadership that RPI pursued ISO 9001 certification status for the company, introduced the RPI Web site, significantly increased the number of new models of equipment that RPIoffers parts to fit, and began a new trend
with developing one-of-kind parts and value added kits. This year marks RPI's seventh year as being ISO 9001 certified.
"RPI has been a leader in replacement parts for healthcare equipment for more than 34 years, and while we have consistently produced high quality parts
and established excellent systems, ISO prompts us to do even better. The ISO 9001 certificate is a nice badge to advertise to our customers and prospective customers, but the proof will always be our parts and customer service.
We believe that ISO will help RPI maintain the level of excellence required in today's marketplace," said Lapides.
RPI was the first company in the healthcare parts industry to have a Web site. Since its introduction more than 10 years ago, the RPI Web site has added pages dedicated to service tips, technical assistance, at-a-glance parts
cross reference guides, trouble-shooting guides, and exploded views of equipment.
Perhaps the most impressive tool on the Web site is the one that assists its users in finding parts. The search tool is based on a hierarchy system in which the user selects a type of equipment, then the name of the original equipment manufacturer, and then the model. At that point a complete listing of all parts that fit the model is displayed with an option to obtain details and an illustration for any of the parts listed. It's simple and fast.
RPI prides itself on offering parts that its customers demand, including parts that fit both new and older equipment. For example, RPI offers parts for some equipment that was first introduced more than 30 years ago. As their customers explain, "some of the older machines are true work-horses and are better than the newer ones, so we need those parts to keep them running."
On the flip side, customers also expect RPI to have parts that fit newer models. That's where Ira Lapides has reallyset a milestone for the company. Since his taking charge of RPI, the company has launched more than 20 new lines of parts. It's incredible how RPI caters to the needs of the industry. RPI's secret, according to Lapides, "is communicating with our customers on a regular basis and incorporating their feedback into our product development plan."
With respect to the design and development of parts, RPI has expanded its goal of manufacturing parts that meet or exceed the OEM's performance. Today, RPI also focuses on developing one-of-kind parts such as a clear filter housing vs. the OEM's brass-nickel plated housing that fits dental delivery systems. RPI's clear filter housing allows visual inspection of the filter inside, without having to remove the housing.
Developing parts that are end-user friendly is also important to RPI. For example, RPI's condenser waste bottle kit that fits a table top sterilizer was designed with a "quick disconnect" that allows the bottle to detach from the unit with just a simple snap, thus preventing spillage and making it an easy task for the end-user to dispose of the liquid.
The RPI Field Service Calibration Smart Kit for ultraclaves, and the specialty O-ring Kit for servicing endoscope washers, are just two of the exclusive, value added kits that RPI customers appreciate, and are demanding more of in the future because they offer just about everything needed for servicing specific aspects of equipment in one convenient kit.
In addition, RPI introduced Planned Maintenance Month to the healthcare service industry, and it is celebrated by its customers every June with a free PM poster from RPI. The poster is developed and designed by RPI with the intention of reminding the industry of the importance that regular PM programs play in the well-being of their equipment.
The posters are created using lively themes to present PM service tips, suggestions and pertinent articles. It has become a useful resource and work tool for health-care service professionals.