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Frequently Asked Questions

General

No. hystrix aims to improve the profitability for not only buyers, but also for medical product and service sellers as well. By removing inefficiency and waste, sellers can retain and even increase profitability in spite of their sometimes lowering their selling prices. Lower selling prices tend to be a concession sellers are willing to entertain as a result of their being able to lock in longer dated contracts and avoid ad-hoc buying from buyers that now actively use the hystrix platform. Buyers on hystrix must take delivery (unless specifically agreed with a supplier otherwise) of all those items that they contract to purchase over hystrix. Hence, whilst there is a risk that prices may be negatively impacted by the move to a digital channel, smart suppliers have realised that the trade-offs made result in most instances in higher profit margins overall.

Prices are only visible to buyers but not to other suppliers. hystrix allows suppliers to add their discount structures to the marketplace. Prices visible to purchasers depend (for the most part) on the volume (number of units) to be contracted, thus eliminating the need for lengthy quantity discount negotiations. In addition, hystrix has integrated digital negotiation-specific processes and chat functionality that drastically reduces the time required to conclude a contract.

No. MedTech devices, medical products and instruments, as well as all consumables and furniture procured by health institutions are available on hystrix. Services related to those products can also be contracted over the marketplace.

All contracts concluded via hystrix are based on the hystrix General Terms & Conditions (“GTC”), which define the rights and obligations of the contracting parties. The contracting parties (the procuring and the supplying institution) accept the GTC anew each time a contract is concluded and essentially undertake to purchase or supply certain quantities (number of units) of an item at a certain price (CHF excl. VAT, including delivery) during a certain contract period.

No. Mediclinic will not be granted access to any competitor or proprietary data other than what is and will be available to other procuring users.
No. hystrix uses all market information exclusively to adapt its own developments to the needs of the market. Concrete requirements can be discussed anonymously on a quantitative basis.

Pricing

No. hystrix works with virtually isolated rooms. When hystrix talks about transparency in procurement, it means unlimited comparability and maximum overview on the buyer’s side. Contrary to the situation with well-known marketplaces in the consumer goods market, at hystrix not all users can see everything. The prices of a supplier can only be viewed by this supplier as well as by all buyers. Similarly, purchasers cannot see the conditions under which other healthcare providers have procured the same product from a supplier.

Domestic suppliers tend to follow different strategies when using the platform. The most common strategy is to provide catalogue or a single unit list price that is likely the highest price that a product is sold at in Switzerland to a small hospital. This is so as they do not immediately cannibalise their existing profitability across the client landscape.

Participants

The marketplace is accessible to all manufacturers, importers, distributors and suppliers of medical products, implants and services as well as hospitals, retirement homes and medical practices (healthcare providers). It is even possible for healthcare providers to place products on hystrix to sell them to other healthcare providers.

Yes, suppliers can select to feature products on the homepage of the marketplace or promote products through hystrix’s various news channels, i.e. regular newsletters and social media announcements.

In the case of an offer request, healthcare providers can decide whether they want to make themselves visible to suppliers or remain anonymous. Experience shows that suppliers are more reactive and create more attractive packages when the procuring party makes itself visible. This approach is now followed by the majority of procuring users.

At the direct referral of hospital participants, hystrix has allowed a small number of parallel importers to participate on the platform. These importers all have onshore domestic warehousing as well as sales and service support on offer to their healthcare provider clients. hystrix does not facilitate or support offshore suppliers seeking to import products to Switzerland. 

Each organisation elects appropriate users that are able to undertake the contracting process on hystrix on their behalf. It is the responsibility of the respective organisations with user logins to manage and update hystrix when users leave or need to be added.

hystrix is not a party to the contracts closed over the marketplace between buyers and sellers and thus is not legally responsible for supplier or buyer performance in accordance with the contracts executed. That said, the hystrix team is highly motivated to ensure positive user experiences among it’s users and hence will do all it can to support users with questions, complaints or non-performance raised to it’s attention by one or other contracting party. hystrix will also rigorously seek to ensure compliance by users with the platform General Terms & Conditions (“GTC”) and will take appropriate actions in relation to any breach of the GTC by a user.

Geography

Yes, it is only available in Switzerland at this time. Pilots are being discussed and planned in other European countries at this time as part of the European Commissions Horizon 2020 grant.

Yes, in time, hystrix intends to expand the marketplace to other geographies. Each existing supplier user will be contacted in advance and will then be free to decide which products and prices to publish for another geography. Prices for one geography will not be visible in another geography.

Data security

Any information provided by a user, such as prices, conditions and existing customers or suppliers, is kept confidential from third parties in general and direct competitors in particular, unless the company declares corresponding co-users as potential buyers and communicates this to hystrix management in writing. 

In addition, all user, product and discount structure data is secured in accordance with the following standards:

  1. Access to web applications and services is encrypted via the HTTPS protocol.
  2. The administrative access to the servers on the part of HMAG takes place via an encrypted VPN tunnel and additional user/password information.
  3. Web applications and services can only be accessed with user/password information and additional 2FA (two-factor authentication)