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Mediquip Company: Kurt Thaldorf’s Case Case Study

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Updated: Oct 27th, 2020

Kurt Thaldorf worked as a sales engineer in one of the subsidiaries of Mediquip, S.A., which specialized in providing technologies and equipment for healthcare organizations. On May 5, Thaldorf received a note that Lohmann University Hospital, which was located in Stuttgart, decided to purchase a CT scanner. However, in spite of Thaldorf’s participation in the competition for the deal, the sales engineer could not convince the decision-makers at Lohmann University Hospital that Mediquip’s product was the best option for them. It is important to analyze the aspects of Thaldorf’s marketing strategy and identify the major decision-makers at Lohmann University Hospital, as well as determine when Thaldorf lost the sale.

Decision Makers at Lohmann University Hospital

It is possible to identify the key decision-makers in healthcare organizations who usually influence sales. They include administrators, radiologists, physicists, and representatives of supporting agencies. At Lohmann University Hospital, the key actors who participated in the discussion of Mediquip’s offer were Professor Steinborn, the radiologist, and the head of the radiology department of the hospital, Dr. Rufer, the physicist at the hospital, and Carl Hartmann, the general director at this hospital.

Professor Steinborn, as the head of the team of radiologists, demonstrated his interest in buying the CT scanner proposed by Mediquip. Still, Dr. Rufer did not distinguish Mediquip’s CT scanner, among other offers, because of its specifications. However, the key decision-maker was Hartmann, who was interested in buying the cheapest product with good features among the proposed alternatives.

As the general director at Lohmann University Hospital, Hartmann was responsible for making the final decision about the purchase, and it was important for Thaldorf to influence this player’s position and opinion regarding Mediquip’s CT scanner. Although the CT scanner proposed by Mediquip could have more advanced features than other scanners proposed by competitors, including Sigma, Thaldorf failed to convince Hartmann as the key decision-maker that the higher price for the product was reasonable. Furthermore, Thaldorf seemed to lose the support of Professor Steinborn in discussing the price for the product because of worsening interactions with this decision-maker.

The Date When Thaldorf Lost His Sale

The analysis of the communication between Thaldorf and the major decision-makers at Lohmann University Hospital demonstrates that the sales engineer finally lost the sale on July 30. It is possible to admit that Thaldorf lost the sale even earlier, on June 1, but it seems that the turning point was Thaldorf’s interaction with Hartmann on July 30 because the sales engineer had two months to improve the situation after June 1, but he did not use his chance. Thus, the sale was lost on July 30, and it is necessary to discuss the details of Thaldorf’s weak communication with the hospital’s decision-makers that led to the failure.

It is important to pay attention to the fact that the first inappropriate steps were made by Thaldorf on June 1, when he was unable to provide Hartmann with the convincing justification regarding the price that was higher than in other competitors. General comments regarding the use of the latest technology without the list of buyers that we’re satisfied with the product could not convince Hartmann as he was focused on the price, and the proposed price in €1.6 million was extremely high for him. Thus, the lack of preparation and analysis of the competition in the market was demonstrated by Waldorf.

Waldorf had about two months to improve his strategy and convince Hartmann that the price was reasonable and justifiable with reference to unique features that Mediquip’s CT scanners had in comparison to competitors’ products. On the contrary, on July 30, Thaldorf did not provide any other arguments for selecting Mediquip’s CT scanner in contrast to other products that seemed to have similar specifications. Furthermore, a new price (€1.5 million) did not reflect advantages for Lohmann University Hospital, and it was not supported to demonstrate how the hospital could benefit from buying Mediquip’s CT scanner, which was expensive but of the high quality.

Conclusion

The analysis of the case indicates that Carl Hartmann was the key decision-maker at Lohmann University Hospital. His primary interest was in making a cost-efficient choice because of certain financial constraints. Offers of competitors in the industry demonstrated that Hartmann could receive innovative products at a lower price than proposed by Mediquip. Therefore, it was important to demonstrate the value of Mediquip’s product to Hartmann in order to justify its comparably high price.

On the other hand, Thaldorf needed to justify any proposed discounts or decreases in prices in order to accentuate the value for the buyer without provoking any controversies regarding the quality of the offered product. Thus, Thaldorf seemed not to examine the market and competitors’ offers in advance in order to prepare an attractive and customer-oriented offer with reference to emphasizing the unique qualities of the product and its reasonable price, as well as attractive discounts oriented to further cooperation with the hospital.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Mediquip Company: Kurt Thaldorf's Case'. 27 October.

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