Merry X-Ray Corporation: Over 60 Years of Innovation
Written by Ryan Cartner
Merry X-Ray (MXR) supplies medical diagnostic imaging equipment and services for a wide range of equipment types including those for computerized axial tomography (also known as CAT or CT scan), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, and more. The company is headquartered in San Diego, California.
“We have evolved into a National Multi-Vendor sales and service organization. Over the last 60 years we have made over 15 acquisitions that are mostly aimed at transforming MXR from an analog business into a truly single source for our customers’ diagnostic imaging needs including ultrasound service and repair,” states Ted Sloan, President of MXR.
MXR has been operating in the diagnostic imaging market place for over 60 years and is working continuously to further its position as a national service and equipment provider for all levels of healthcare by offering a full range of imaging equipment and highly trained technicians to service the different modalities. MXR’s full breadth of offerings and its national coverage enables it to cover the needs of entire networks of hospitals and imaging centers.
The company was established in 1958 when chemical engineer Leo Zuckerman purchased an existing operation from George Merry. Zuckerman’s vision was to build a service-oriented business selling photographic developing chemicals and film to local hospitals and doctors. It began on the East Coast, but by 1995, MXR had achieved enough success that Zuckerman started to consider further expansion through acquisition and purchased SourceOne Healthcare that year.
The company is now nationwide and has acquired the equipment, the accessories, the training, and service expertise for well-known medical device manufacturers. MXR is continuing to expand through multiple acquisitions.
One notable addition in the last six years occurred in October of 2017 with the purchase of Cary, Illinois company Consensys Imaging Services. Consensys is a national, FDA-compliant, ISO-certified service provider of diagnostic imaging equipment, and by acquiring this company, MXR has gained a talented group of highly trained service engineers who are qualified to work on CT, MRI, and ultrasound equipment.
“The acquisition of Consensys significantly expanded Merry X-Ray’s presence in the CT, MRI, and ultrasound market,” says MXR Vice President of Parts and Supply Chain Lynn Kaplan. “It allowed us to leverage Consensys’ tools, technologies, and experience to provide high quality, cost-efficient service solutions to our customers nationwide that we weren’t able to support prior to the acquisition.”
Through Consensys, the company has access to 300 expert field service engineers that operate in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, the British Virgin Islands, and more.
In December of 2018, the company added to its ultrasound service capabilities through its purchase of California-based Conquest Imaging, a leader in reconditioned ultrasound parts and repair services for ultrasound equipment. “This is the most recent acquisition, and it allows MXR to offer an ISO-certified, multi-vendor ultrasound probe repair as well as parts sale,” says company President Ted Sloan. “Conquest has a research and development department that is continuing to make improvements to both our abilities as a repair facility and to our offerings to customers.”
As a result of the acquisition, Conquest will be able to lower overhead and direct investment toward repair labs and research and development into other modalities. “We had many companies interested in potentially acquiring Conquest Imaging,” says Conquest Executive Vice President of Finance and Operations, Effie Fryer. “MXR provided the best fit and delivered what they promised in record time. MXR communicated their interest in August of 2018, and by the end of December, we were a part of the MXR family. We found the right company to help us grow and offer greater value to our current and future customers.”
Merry can now provide reconditioned ultrasound parts and probes at 30 percent less cost and with a longer warranty than original equipment manufacturers. It has Conquest’s expert engineers completing probe and portable system repair for a broad choice of manufacturer brands at a lower cost and a much lower turnaround time than typical for these services. In the future, MXR will make more acquisitions that add to its product catalogue and services, all toward the overall goal of advancing the success of its customers.
“One of the reasons Conquest Imaging is such a good fit for MXR is the culture,” says Fryer, “MXR cares about its employees as much as it cares about customers. Employees are the greatest differentiator and strength of our company. When your priority is taking care of customers, you need committed employees providing solutions.” MXR has built a highly effective combination of experts with decades of experience and enthusiastic newcomers who are ready to learn.
Merry X-Ray offers a consultative approach to assist radiology departments and imaging facilities in purchase planning using the expertise of MR, Ultrasound, X-ray, and CT Specialists. By using modality “Specialists” in the defining stage at the very onset of purchase planning, the customer has access to experts for device requirements, model and brand choices, biomed service support, and structural buildout needs of the facility. Non-biased “Specialists” that can sell across manufacturers assure the solution is best suited for the customer’s unique needs, regardless of brand.
“We want the market to know that MXR can provide comprehensive solutions for all their digital imaging needs,” says Kaplan. “Customers that work with us are getting decades of experience in equipment purchasing, site project management, and a nationwide team of qualified and reliable engineers that can support them across all major imaging modalities. Our commitment to quality is at the foundation of everything we do and the customer is backed by a strong infrastructure of leadership, logistics, and support.”
Today, MXR employs over 350 people operating at five locations throughout the United States. It has grown into a leading sales and service organization providing the imaging equipment market with a viable alternative to original equipment manufacturers. MXR has far exceeded its early goals by earning a reputation for better pricing and service response than its competitors while maintaining the same level of quality.
The company has developed a vast network of suppliers and, through them, a full catalogue of all the latest digital imaging equipment on the market. It can also service and repair equipment from all top manufacturers, and has a variety of service contract options including full-service maintenance as well as labor only and time and materials options. Because of these servicing capabilities, MXR also has a full line of reconditioned CT, MRI and Ultrasound equipment, parts and probes.
MXR’s products and services are specifically designed to meet the demanding needs of the evolving medical imaging market. These include everything from supplies like chemicals, labels, and disposable clothing to complete diagnostic imaging suites, as well as the necessary maintenance and repair services to keep those systems running optimally. The company is fully FDA-compliant and holds an ISO 13485:2016 certification signifying a quality suited to providing medical device services.
“When MXR first got started, the owner of the company was mixing chemicals in his garage,” says MXR Vice President of Service and Operations Shelby Lemler. “Over the past 60 years, the company has evolved into the largest third-party equipment, parts, and service provider in the United States. We feel that there is a lot left that we want to do, and we have no plans to slow down anytime soon.”
Since it is a privately held company, MXR can adopt long-term strategies that require investment now, but will only return results later. The company’s leadership has a keen understanding of how the market changes over time and has a clear record demonstrating an ability to adapt according to those changes.
After over 60 years in business, MXR is still a very nimble operation, always ready to adapt to the rapidly changing diagnostic imaging market.