medXLocal: Success in Europe?
Company and Product Background:
MedXLocal Inc. is a small manufacturer of portable X-ray
equipment based in Detroit, MI. The company wa
s founded by Dr. Jonathan Rubis, Dr. Judith
Tomich, and Ricky Thompson. Dr. Rubis is a ph
ysician with specific expertise in diagnostic
radiology. Dr. Tomich holds a doctorate of veteri
nary medicine. Prior to forming MedXLocal both
were practicing doctors Jonathan in a local hospital and Judith in a private veterinarian practice.
Ricky is an electrical engineer. The company was founded in 2007 and manufacturers a line of
portable X-ray equipment primarily used in ambul
ances or other locations where portable X-ray
equipment is needed.
It was Judith that first had the idea for the produc
ts that ultimately led to the formation of
MedXLocal. Her veterinarian practice specialized in large-animal health and she had used
portable X-ray equipment when visiting farms, es
pecially for bone fractures in horses. Though
quality of image was sometimes an issue, the portabi
lity was critical. Equipment costs were high,
but the practice could justify the expense
given its specialty with large-animals.
During a chance discussion with her long-time fri
end Dr. Rubis, she was surprised that Jonathan
mentioned he continued to be frustrated at the quality of affordable, portable X-ray machines.
Though such machines were widely available, he c
ontinued to believe that further cost reductions
could be achieved, yet still maintain important
features such as ea
sily storing images.
The company may have never been started had the tw
o not met Ricky Thompson. Ricky was an
electrical engineer with past experience in X-
ray equipment. In discussions with Jonathan and
Judith, the three agreed there was untapped potent
ial to further improve on existing portable X-
ray equipment. With Judiths extensive fiel
d experience, Jonathans diagnostic radiology
experience, and Rickys electrical engineering ex
perience, they soon deve
loped prototypes. By
2005 a patent was granted, and in 2007 sales began.
Initial sales were slow due to strong competition and entranced brands including Kodak and
Konica. However, MedXLocal took a strategy
to primarily focus on the ambulance market.
Notwithstanding the challenging years of 2008-2
010 the company was able to grow sales from
zero to $5,000,000 with an average per unit price
of $50,000. About 60% of the sales came from
ambulance companies, with the remaining sales to
traditional markets (s
ports arenas, cruise
lines, nursing homes, etc.) However, with the companys strong focus on the emergency medical
services (EMS) sector, its sales were also quit
e regional. Nearly 75% of their sales were to
Midwest and East Coast buyers. Sales were direct to the buyers.
: MedXLocal had very little international sales prior to 2009. It had
made a couple of sales into Canada, but otherw
ise no exports. This primarily reflected
Jonathans perspective that
the U.S. market was the companys
only priority. With sales mainly
focused regionally, he felt the rest of the U.S.
market was untapped. He was convinced their
focus-strategy in the EMS sector was a winning st
rategy that simply needed to be duplicated in
other states. He also felt direct sales was the only profitable way to grow. His long term goal was
to grow the firm to at least $25,000,000 and then se
ll-out to a larger medical products company.
Judith disagreed. She felt they needed a more balanced approach. She had travelled
extensively internationally and knew
the market should be strong for their products. However,
given the early success of the firm, she trus
ted Jonathans instincts and dropped the matter.
The Global Entrepreneur
MedXLocal: Success in Europe?
1- What should Jonathan and Judith from MedXLocal do?
2- what should Andreas do?