"The biggest difference between working with VirtaMed and other companies is the trust, support, and fantastic relationship that VirtaMed and J.S. EVRO had from the start and continue to share."
So says Stefan Strnad, General Manager for J.S. EVRO Bulgaria, a company originating through his father Joseph, owner of J.S. EVRO-Instrumente GmbH, manufacturer of surgical instruments with a product portfolio offering instruments for use in general medicine, orthopedics, endoscopy, urology, and electrosurgery.
"At the time I learned of VirtaMed, I was starting evaluations in the market for surgical simulators. We took professors to test the system. All were extremely satisfied with the VirtaMed simulators, because our customers seek perfection. Usually they find something to criticize, but no one had any complaints."
Of that first encounter with VirtaMed's products, Strnad says,
"My personal opinion was that VirtaMed's simulators were the best. I was proud to touch the quality instruments. They gave a fantastic feeling for what surgery is like and an accurate impression of what it takes to become a good surgeon."
Strnad and VirtaMed began a sales partnership in 2017.
"For many years, J.S. EVRO has sold educational products to universities, but at a lower price point. This gave us a connecting point with educational departments and the opportunity to offer the system to universities. In the case of simulation, they wanted the best."
When presenting the simulators to universities in Bulgaria, Strnad trained his entire staff on the simulators, demonstrating remarkable enthusiasm for VirtaMed's product and faith in its value to the customer. They hosted multiple events to show professors and students alike the benefit of simulator training. Strnad recalls,
"Once the students saw what was available, they wanted access to this technology. The demonstration was a very important step—not just speaking with the decision-makers but showing the students what was possible."
This dedication to and appreciation for VirtaMed's mission and product has benefited both companies.
"I would highly recommend VirtaMed as a partner because it gives you a fantastic counterweight into the medical device market. Margins are much lower than selling this kind of simulator. Fantastic niche. Working with VirtaMed has engendered stronger respect from competitors and increased the reputation of J.S. EVRO."
In Strnad's opinion as a leading distributor,
"Such systems are necessary to stay competitive in the country and the world. The surgeons from universities with these simulators will be the best—if other universities don’t compete, students will go where the best technology is."
His experience in the industry has reinforced that,
"Simulators offer a unique way to teach students various specializations, and the simulators serve students well, making the students many times more proficient and enabling them to acquire skills more quickly than without such a training tool. We are selling the future of young surgeons and making their education possible. Your products must be sold because they make great surgeons."
Of the product support and training provided by VirtaMed, it is Strnad's experience that,
"VirtaMed's staff are educated well, the trainers are professional, and they knew absolutely everything about the systems. The trainers came twice to ensure that everything was working properly and they could answer any other outstanding questions."
As for what the future holds, he says,
"I hope VirtaMed will invent some other tools for us to distribute. I believe that both companies are only just beginning each of their success stories."
The hope—and the belief—are certainly mutual.
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