Paul Knee

Managing Director, Verathon Medical (UK) Limited

Q: Who are you?

A: Paul Knee – Managing Director of Verathon Medical UK Ltd.

Q: How long have you been with the company?

A: Nine years.

Q: What is your professional background?

A: Sales & Marketing PLC Directorships.

Q: What was your job before this one?

A: Sales & Marketing Director – at Group 4.

Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: For my team and I to build a bright future for Verathon Medical – growing the business and the relationships we have with our customers and to bring further innovative customer centred products to the UK healthcare market.

Q: What do you think your experience can do to advance the interests of the company?

A: Grow the skills and ambitions of my young, innovative managers.

Q: Do you find your job rewarding and if so how?

A: Very rewarding – great company, great products, great people.

Q: Does your job involve a lot of travelling?

A: Until beginning of this year I travelled extensively into Asia.

Q: How did the company begin and how long has it been running?

A: The company was founded in 1984 with the invention of the BladderScan by our CEO Gerald McMorrow, who was a former Vietnam veteran. Gerald had seen many colleagues having unnecessary catheterisation and wanted to come up with a solution that could avoid this invasive procedure. The company was born. Since then Gerald has acquired Bio Saturn Medical which was founded by Jack Pacey, the inventor of the GlideScope®. Jack is also still with the company and continues to innovate the GlideScope® range. The company has been going for 27 years.

Q: Where is the company based?

A: The HQ is in Seattle, USA – UK based in Stokenchurch, Bucks.

Q: Does your company have branches abroad?

A: We have seven subsidiaries (including UK).

Q: What is the company focus and what do you offer the anaesthesia industry?

A: Our main focus is to continue to improve, grow and develop our offerings to the UK market, particularly with the GlideScope® range. The GlideScope® was the first video laryngoscope developed and has always led the way in innovation and experience. Not to mention its focus on continued extensive research and clinical study. This way we can offer the industry a truly reliable, innovative tool that can be used in every situation from everyday use, to teaching direct laryngoscopy to extended applications such as NG tube placement and surgical assistance.

Q: How many employees do you have?

A: World Wide: 445 – and in the UK: 26.

Q: Who are your customers and what products/services do you offer them?

A: UK NHS, MOD and Private Healthcare Sector – all purchase our BladderScan and GlideScope® product range.

Q: What is your most popular product/service and why do you think that is?

A: The BladderScan has been used within the NHS for over 25 years and has established a market-leading position. It has proven to be reliable, accurate and clinically proven which have all added to its popularity. Having said that the GlideScope is the most widely adopted video laryngoscope in the UK with over 320 systems across the country so I would also say that is pretty popular. That is down to a number of reasons; the product is durable, reliable, innovative, easy-to-use and clinically proven to make a difference to the everyday practice of those using it.

Q: How do you keep up to date with changes in the market?

A: We spend a large amount of time communicating with our customers. The relationships we have with them are invaluable. The customer is the first to experience a change and keeping close to them keeps us close to how the market is moving, reacting and evolving.

Q: Do you have any new products on the horizon?

A: Yes we have just launched another new innovative cardiology/emergency medicine product called HeartScape and we have other products coming out in 2012.

Q: Do you foresee much expansion in the coming years?

A: Certainly our growth plans have remained strong and will continue. But first we have to concentrate on our market and making sure what we do now is right before we look at our next move.

Q: How do you advertise your products?

A: Via the internet, journals, word of mouth and recommendation and through events.

Q: What makes you different from your competitors?

A: The level of support after sales and the quality of our products.

Q: What technological innovations have you introduced?

A: BladderScan – bladder scanning technology, the concept of video-laryngoscopy, and our new 80 lead ECG machines.

Q: How are you committed to quality?

A: We are an ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 company – Quality is very important.

Q: How important is good customer relations?

A: Of paramount importance and significance.