An Interview With Dick Sullivan, President and CEO

 Dick Sullivan

Horiba ABX Inc first made its mark in the industry in 1983 with the release of Minos 7, an analyzer half the size and half the price of its direct competitors—a minor technological revolution. Since that launch, the company has expanded and grown consistently. We spoke with the president and CEO of the company, Dick Sullivan, about Horiba ABX’s offerings and its position in the marketplace.

CLP: What are some of the products and services offered by Horiba ABX? How have these had an impact on the industry?

Sullivan: Horiba ABX Inc offers a full range of hematology analyzers specifically designed for a physician’s office laboratory and small to medium-size hospitals. A nationwide factory-trained field service force and 24-hour hotline-troubleshooting support all of our equipment. Additionally, we offer on-site systems integration, middleware implementation, and training. All of these instruments are designed for ease of use by physician’s office personnel and provide quick results while the patient is still in the office. These instruments provide the physician both diagnostic and therapeutic data for on-site decisions.

CLP: What makes Horiba ABX stand apart from its competitors?

Sullivan: HoribaABX is part of a billion-dollar global company represented in 120 countries, with manufacturing sites in Japan, the United States, Europe, China, and Brazil. We were recently voted one of the fastest-growing IVD manufacturers in the industry. The diversity of the Horiba Group provides ABX with unique core technology shared across the scientific, process, medical, semiconductor, and automotive industries. This proprietary technology is designed for today’s market demands for simplicity, speed, and, most of all, quality.

CLP: What new products are being developed by Horiba ABX?

Sullivan: As an outgrowth of our specialization in small laboratories, we are releasing the Pentra 400, a benchtop chemistry analyzer incorporating the features of speed and simplicity mentioned above with more than 50-analyte capability. The system has received FDA approval and will begin installations in May of this year. We have also just released the Micros CRP 200, the first whole blood chemistry and hematology analyzer in the industry that provides CBC and CRP with one-button, single-sample simplicity. Obviously, our technology is designed for going upmarket to higher-throughput, multiple-parameter, and complete hemogram data for larger hospitals. This is also part of our future direction.

CLP: How has Horiba ABX met new market expectations following recent innovations in the industry?

Sullivan: Reimbursement issues and medical costs have resulted in a demand for lower-cost and higher-speed instruments, and the industry has responded accordingly. Horiba ABX has met this demand by applying our unique and patented corporate core technology, resulting in high-quality, low-cost, easy-to-use systems. The industry has continually increased its demands for ongoing training and technical support due to high turnover in many laboratories. For Horiba ABX, customer satisfaction is our number-one priority. We offer more service preventative maintenance calls at no additional cost per year to ensure quality and reliable results.

CLP: What trends have you observed in the industry?

Sullivan: I see the physician’s office laboratory industry growing rapidly and adapting testing for analytes previously sent out to large reference labs. There is an increased demand for faster, easier-to-use systems at even lower running costs. Patients are also demanding home testing for self-diagnosis to help with the rising costs of medical care. Obviously, these tests will need to be foolproof.

CLP: Where does Horiba ABX want to be in the next 5 years?

Sullivan: Through internal development and an active acquisition program, we plan to be a top IVD manufacturer and full-service provider in the industry.

CLP: What are some of the difficult issues Horiba ABX has faced?

Sullivan: We have only been in the US market for the past 6 years. As a late entry, we needed to provide a reason for customers to give us a chance. A few reputable giants held control of the industry, and customers were reluctant to change. How did the company resolve these issues? Perseverance, support, unique self-guiding systems, and satisfied customer referrals have helped us gain recognition and growth within the market.

CLP: What would you like readers to learn about Horiba ABX?

Sullivan: We are much larger than most people know. We have started a new “Connecting you everywhere” advertising campaign aimed at educating the market about our ability to provide high-demand locations with reliable, easy-to-use systems—not only in the physician’s office laboratory and community hospitals, but at the Olympics, Tour de France, Red Cross, Antarctica, and the Cambodian jungles.

Michelle Said is associate editor of Clinical Lab Products.