As Robert Scoble, the former technology evangelist at Microsoft, once said, “change is inevitable, and the disruption it causes often brings both inconvenience and opportunity.” In the past 8-10 weeks since COVID-19 has disrupted both our lives and industries across the globe, we’ve seen this change occurring. Now is the time to figure out and determine how to use these changes to our benefit.
We’ve all had to make difficult decisions, formulate new strategic paths, and create opportunities for success. One important aspect is to decide who we should work with and where we should be taking our business. Recently, there has been a discussion on the value of working with manufacturers both here in the US and abroad. The questions have been geared around contract manufacturers’ skills, capabilities, and pricing models that benefit an organization.
We continue to see medical device companies, both in start-up mode and those that are well established, search for alternative methods, and design new devices for innovative therapies, treatments, and procedures. At the same time, many are trying to solve some of the most challenging healthcare needs in today’s environment. Now more than ever, companies are looking for local contract manufacturers that offer a fair and balanced approach to the design and process of medical devices, while at the same time offering cost-effective pricing models and strategic partnerships.
Many medical companies continue to work outside the US, but the concept of reshoring has always been under careful consideration. Industries and supply chains have struggled with the idea for years by weighing the advantages and disadvantages. Many see the benefits and many are trying to make the best decision based on a number of factors.
What are some reasons for bringing manufacturing jobs and resources back to the US economy? Americans want to feel more confident in their own resources and not so dependent upon outside entities, which will have a large effect on our economy. Of course, these are difficult decisions to make, but we’ve come up with 5 important reasons for conducting business within the US and bringing value to local customers:
Lines of Communication
It’s important that fluid communication is shared by both parties, and that both have equal footing within a conversation about the clear direction of a project. When communicating your vision, having to deal with a language barrier can be difficult and frustrating. In addition, it can be much easier to schedule meetings and phone conversations with businesses close to your time zone. It can be a real challenge working with vendors 10-14 hours ahead or behind because it takes extensive planning to find the right time that works for both parties. When you work with national vendors, the time difference in North America is always within an 8-hour workday, rather than having to constantly translate the time to Asian or European locations.
Different Interpretations of Quality
You always want to ensure you are getting the best materials, the highest quality, and that your contract manufacturer is using the highest standards to produce medical devices. The ability to work with people who have experience, expertise, a rich knowledge base, and understand the theory behind the project is invaluable. There is an element of respect that local and national vendors share in regards to intellectual property, values and ideas, and respect for the laws and regulatory standards. With other countries, you open yourself up to unfamiliar laws and parameters that may not be as stringent or standardized as they are in the US.
Quicker Resolution, Reduced Turnaround
The ability of a contract manufacturer to solve problems, guide themselves, and resolve issues with speed and efficiency makes everyone’s job much easier. Businesses want to work with a manufacturer that thinks independently and doesn’t have to be told how to do things every step of the way. You want someone that can take the initiative and work autonomously. If a question comes up, the manufacturer can pick up the phone or send an email to quickly resolve any issues that may arise. You’ll have the ability to keep the project moving forward at a steady pace, without having to deal with extra meetings, phone calls, and other time-consuming inconveniences. A partnership should work towards the end goal and accomplish that goal efficiently and effectively.
A More Skilled Workforce
It’s important to have a manufacturing workforce that has the knowledge, skills, and expertise to deal with complex ideas, designs, and concepts. A team that is capable of understanding how medical devices work and how they integrate with the human anatomy, but ultimately, knows how to put all of the pieces together to make a medical device. They will understand the engineering side and how to integrate those principles with quality and regulatory standards and practices.
In some instances, manufacturers need to reach out to subcontractors and specialists who have training and understanding in one particular area. Without a workforce of this nature, you could end up with a manufacturer that has the basic skills to repurpose medical devices already in a particular market. Or perhaps they have the skills to produce medical equipment by reverse engineering, but they don’t have specialists with the skillset to create something new and innovative.
Stronger Vendor Relationships
It goes without saying that you want to build a strong relationship with your manufacturer. People you can trust, who have an understanding of your expectations and molding needs, and a team that is able to follow through appropriately. These relationships take time to build. You have to establish what you want, your expectations, and where you want to go. It is a two-way street, both parties need to be invested. In a healthy partnership, both parties need to be able to work out differences, find common ground, and prove to be reliable throughout the relationship.
The Bottom Line
We’ve discussed the benefits and advantages of partnering with a local, US-based medical device contract manufacturer. From better communication, higher quality medical devices, problem-solving and turnaround, a higher-skilled workforce, to stronger relationships, but the benefits don’t end there. We can’t forget about our own economy and the people that live in communities all around the country. When we buy within the US, we support local employment and income, create tax income for local governments, and we promote economic innovation and prosperity.
As a leading medical device contract manufacturer, our team at Biomerics is here to provide you with high-quality medical devices that are innovative, meet the proper regulations, and increase productivity. With endless challenges in the medical device industry, we know how important it is to have the highest standard of production and quality control. You can be sure that we will always meet regulatory compliance, seek ways to automate manual processes, and help you find a competitive edge.
Are you interested in partnering with a US-based medical device contract manufacturer? Visit OEM at our landing page here for more information!
**Want to know more about our manufacturing operations or services, send us an email and we’ll get in touch with you about all of the options available to you.