Interview with Luc Provost, CEO B Medical Systems at AIDF AID & DEVELOPMENT ASIA SUMMIT 2016
Luc Provost is CEO of B Medical Systems (a former division of the Dometic group), specialized in the production of medical refrigeration equipment for blood and vaccines. Since Luc joined the group in 2000, he significantly contributed to the company’s strategic planning and to field operations worldwide. Luc Provost holds a university degree in business and management from UCL Mons and in international marketing at the University Laval Quebec. Before joining B Medical Systems, he gained a valuable experience in the industry and the army.
Please describe your company profile/backgrounder in a nutshell.
B Medical Systems S.à r.l. is a Luxembourg based company with more than 30 years of experience in the medical refrigeration sector. It is a leading manufacturer and distributor of cold-chain equipment for large scale vaccination programs in emerging markets. In the most difficult situations and remote areas in the world, our customers can count on us to ensure the success of their vaccination campaigns - and to help save lives.
What is your company’s presence in public-spirited aid and development strategy at present?
B Medical Systems, or formerly Dometic S.à r.l., has been active for many years in providing cold-chain equipment for programs financed by the Vaccine Alliance Gavi. Gavi was created in 2000 with the purpose of improving access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, Gavi brings together public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to vaccines for children, wherever they live. As a leading manufacturer and distributor of cold-chain equipment for large scale vaccination programs B Medical Systems has worked together with Gavi in many emerging markets. Over the years, we have built up a vast network of agents and have gained an excellent reputation for quality and efficiency of installation, as well as after sales support. Our expertise in the field also allows us to develop bundled solutions which combine our quality products and cutting edge technology – such as our latest product innovations.
Can you please elaborate more on your solutions of cold chain equipment for large scale vaccinations programs in emerging markets? Especially your new innovation of a Blood Bank Refrigerator operated by a solar direct driven (SDD) system, which is a life saver in remote regions?
The MRB 3000 SDD Blood Bank Refrigerator is the first solar direct driven (SDD) blood bank refrigerator. Solar generators produce mostly more energy than SDD refrigerators consume. But this is not our only SDD product. Our Health Center Kit recognizes the excess of available energy and charges automatically a battery which offers other crucial supplies to the remote health center, such as communication and lighting for over 35 hours and allows to power essential devices operating on direct current. We currently offer a 10 years warranty* on all solar direct drive products, including a data logger. The Data Logger allows real time, worldwide remote monitoring of temperature(s), lid openings & GPS position with data access via the internet on google maps. Such information can be crucial for the quality surveillance of the cold chain and the monitoring of vaccines. Alarms are set for preventive and corrective maintenance for temperature deviations and lid openings and will be sent by text message or email.
What future trends do you see for the Public-spirited aid and how does your company prepare for the future?
We believe that in the future there will be an increasing focus on Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and sustainability. It is thus our strategy to align our product offer to these challenges.
Keeping in view of the ongoing trends and situations, what products would you like to introduce in future?
The main focus of our R&D is to further develop our products to achieve utmost reliability and very low need for maintenance or with no need for maintenance at all. We also want to continue thinking out of the box and develop innovative solutions such as the Health Center Kit, which is a unique product on the market today.
What organisations support you and to what extent in achieving your goals, since you are involved in life saving humanitarian work world-wide.
B Medical Systems has a strong distribution network worldwide, which allows us to ensure long lasting relationships with key cold chain stakeholders including WHO, UNICEF and GAVI, as well as local governments. There are many success stories of how our products have helped to save lives. One example is Nigeria where our SDD vaccine refrigerators were installed. In Nigeria, over 40% of under-5-year olds’ deaths are attributable to vaccine preventable diseases. In 2013, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) completed a comprehensive cold chain assessment in which they identified the need to transform the vaccine supply chain and to re-design the flow from cold stores to service delivery points and shift to solar-powered systems for cold chain at service delivery points.
B Medical Systems supplied 1,565 Units of TCW 2000 SDD refrigerators and icepacks freezers in collaboration with Prezzo Shed Investment Limited who carried out the local components of the contract for transportation, distribution/ delivery, installation and training of health workers. As a result of this change, vaccines are more accessible and potent presently in Nigeria than at any other time. The joint efforts of NPHCDA, the GAVI Alliance, B Medical Systems, Prezzo Shed Investment Limited and other partner in the past years were successful in leading to the recent declaration by WHO on September 25, 2015 “that Nigeria has been officially removed from Polio endemic list” and it is also the first time that Nigeria has stopped the transmission of wild polio virus.
What was the main motive to attend AIDF ASIA Summit, how did it go for you? Did you achieve your goals?
It was a very successful event for us. Being a Gold Sponsor of the Summit allowed us to address a high level audience. It was a good opportunity to present B Medical Systems’ new ownership and our current product offer, in particular our 10 year-warranty for our Solar Direct Drive products, which was received with great interest by the audience.
*This offer is subject to initial installation of the unit by a designated B Medical Systems Service provider and having activated the Data logger on installation (GSM network coverage needed). This has no impact on our existing guarantees for Photovoltaic modules.
INTERVIEW SOURCE: Issuu