Trusted Reusable Surgical Instrument Supplier in the Southern Hemisphere [Interview][Transcript]

Guest: Chris Kaiser

Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest Bio: Chris Kaiser is the Sales Manager of INKA Surgucal Instruments since its inception in 2004. It is a family owned and operated company based in Western Australia. INgeborg KAiser founded the company in 2003, having spent more than 30 years working in the surgical instrument industry in Germany.

Segment overview: In today’s Health Supplier Segment, Chris Kaiser joins us today to talk about their wide range of German made products from INKA Surgucal Instruments. They are one of the largest reusable surgical instrument suppliers in the southern hemisphere. Three generations of the Kaiser family now manage the business, which continues to deliver the
highest quality products and exceptional customer service.


Health Professional Radio – INKA Surgical Instruments

Wayne Bucklar:   You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. My name is Wayne Bucklar and today my guest is Chris Kaiser. Chris is the Sales Manager with INKA Surgical – a surgical instruments firm. Welcome to Health Professional Radio Chris.

Chris Kaiser:   Thanks Wayne, pleasure to be here.

W:   Now Chris just to start with, tell us what geographical footprint do you service and what products and services you have to offer.

C:   Wayne, our geographical footprint that we service is mainly Australia but we also lead into the Pacific and to South East Asia. The kind of products that we deal with are high-end reusable surgical instruments and our focus has always been on quality instruments – anything reusable and trying to abstain from disposables.

W:   Now Chris just to put a context around that, surgical instruments cover a whole lot. Just expand out that kind of description of the scope of instruments for me.

C:   Look, in a sense we covered all aspects of surgery. So it entails everything from your general lumps and bumps and every day so our instruments are being used – the general instruments, through to specialized areas such as “Neuro, Cardiac, ENT” all the specialties out there, so  we cover every base in that sense.

W:   And am I correct in my substance here, that these are German manufactured?

C:   That’s correct. In this day and age where products are made all over the globe, Germany traditionally has been the leader in instrument manufacturing since post-war Europe and our biggest thing we concentrated on sticking to that, our background adding to it, we’ve originated from … in Germany which was for a long time considered the leading manufacturer in the world for surgical instruments.

W:   Uh huh.

C:    And that’s our driving force is to continue to utilize German instrument markers and give people premium quality product to use.

W:   So Chris given that our audience as you know is predominantly clinicians in acute care, what’s the message you’d like them to take away?

C:   I’d say my main message whenever comes to products and anything that entails surgical is you generally “get what you pay for.”

W:   Right.

C:   Quality always comes at a price.

W:   Yeah, we have an express at our business that “You can have a good pass or  cheap pick any two.”

C:   (laugh) That’s very relevant.

W:   Yeah. So Chris your firm’s been manufacturing for like ever I think. You’re not exactly new to this are you … you’re a 30 years?

C:   Yeah, we’ve been around a long time. My parents started in the industry pretty much from the time I left school.

W:   Right.

C:   I worked in numerous places in Germany before they moved out to Australia in 1982 and decided to try a hand in supplying instruments in Australia. And pretty much ever since, I think it’s about 1984 that they got the ball rolling and started a small business and it’s grown exponentially since then.

W:   Always good to hear a success story.

C:   Its nice. It’s a lot of hard work and that’s what it’s all about.

W:   And Chris you’re based in Western Australia. Is that your only corporate presence or do you have other locations?

C:   Look, basically we have a number of sales representatives in each state in Australia. The head office is based in Perth and then obviously in this day and age, there’s a lot of flying backwards and forwards and to-ing and fro-ing but we do have a physical presence in each state.

W:   Right. Now Chris one of my favorite questions in all these interviews is about “misconceptions.” What are the misconceptions about your products and services or your business that drive you nuts and keep you awake at night?

C:   Look, I would say my biggest bug there in this industry without a doubt the number one the red tape and processes that consumers in healthcare that need to go through. I think it really money’s the word in a sense that people, when they’re looking for products say generally well look at three different brands and there is a distinct lack of comparison within comparing an apple to an apple.

W:  Yes.

C:   So a product from company A, B, or C could have the same description but the quality can differ drastically. And then quite often we see that they tend to go with the cheapest or the second cheapest. The prices can be hugely different but it always comes back to that initial saying that “You get what you pay for” and the false economy that comes with that. If you need to buy something 10 times a year at $25 but at $100 it will last you for 10 years, it’s that false economy comes with that.

W:  Yes.

C:  And at times it’s a huge source of frustration.

W:   I can understand that would be.

C:   Yeah and they’re trying to convey the people … at the end of the day financially it’s not just going to be viable if you’re going to buy something 6 times a year when you can buy it once and it’ll give you years of service. So that would be our main bug there that we have within the industry.

W:   And in this age of driving for tenders and competitive value for money etc. etc. particularly in dealing with governments, that’s gonna be a difficult message to get across.

C:   That’s right, that’s a huge challenge. And we are in a different time these days than we were a number of years ago. Things have changed a lot, a lot of people in the private sector are now looking at having agreements in place. And there’s many people involved in the chain that generally the people at the cold phase don’t have a much of say. The people that are pretty used of products and look after them and so on and say forth, and that’s where it can make life very difficult for ourselves or for the end-user if the dollar talks first, as opposed to the quality of the product. Then I guess that covers all facets of life particularly in the industry.

W:   I can well and truly believe that. Chris if people want to get a hold of you, what’s the best way to do that?

C:   The best way these days we’ve got free call numbers, we’ve got email, websites, pretty much in any form of communication you can make contact people. They’re more than welcome to visit the site, particularly people who are local in Western Australia, we get quite a few urgents or a few theatre staff come down from time to time. Yeah, in this day and age of E-trading, the possibilities are endless.

W:   And what is your website Chris?

C:   That is inkasurgical ( which is all locates one word dot com dot au.

W:   Now that is

C:   That’s correct.

W:  Now I always get into trouble when I do this, because every time put a website on the air or a phone number on the air people say “Oh I didn’t have a pencil.” So for those people, fair warning get your pencils it’s

C:   That’s the one.

W:   Thanks for joining us this morning on Health Professional Radio. It’s been a pleasure having you on air. We will have a transcript of this interview on our website and also a SoundCloud archive at This is Wayne Bucklar for Health Professional Radio.

C:   Thanks Wayne.

Liked it? Take a second to support healthprofessionalradio on Patreon!