Why the future of medical device manufacturers depends on streamlining inventory management
Reducing costs, improving efficiency and effectively allocating resources are key considerations to day to day operations. Creating a feasible model for inventory management is central to the sustainability of their business.
An effective inventory management system can reduce wasted space, time and overall costs. There are significant opportunities which can be leveraged beyond the present moment such as continuous innovation to remain competitive. The goal is to maintain a forward-facing edge within the larger health care system that is relying more and more upon technology and disruptive services that reimagine old models to meet current challenges and future needs.
“Device manufacturers are facing tremendous challenges amidst the changing landscape of the medical industry.
— Anthony Marino, COO, ExperTech Surgical
A streamlined system will allow manufacturers of all sizes to work effectively with hospitals and distributors at every level. Poor management or disconnected systems can lead to more than just inconvenience - there are potential issues with order fulfilment, accuracy and communications which rises concurrently with increased demand.
There are some key ways that manufacturers can move forward with more precision in driving their businesses.
Outsourcing solutions will allow manufacturers to focus on their core business. Turning their attention purely on product sales, product innovation and customer service will drive down costs and improve efficiencies. The focus on consistency and detail will enable manufacturers to deliver on their core expertise and expand their time and resources for innovation and product development.
Using a third party like simplOR to manage inventory, streamlines much of the process which the manufacturer would otherwise need to oversee. Not only does SimplOR adopt this responsibility, they also provide specialized case management support to the hospitals. There is a tremendous benefit to working with a third party who understands how the entire ecosystem works from manufacturer to technician to hospital, thereby creating an interconnected flow which serves each sectors’ needs. By leveraging technology and strategies from different business models to improve efficiency, a more robust approach to inventory management can be adopted. There is already a move towards centralizing the supply and logistics of medical devices which addresses inventory, warehousing, distribution, and billing functions that manufacturers mostly manage.
High sales projections lead to overstocked inventory, which reduces the efficiency of the manufacturing schedule. Orders are filled on a per requisition basis rather than a consolidated shipment to a particular customer. Extra shipments mean additional transportation and labor costs and increase the chances for discrepancies and billing delays.
SimplOR uses a customized software to deliver their services to manufacturers and other partners. Having access to specialized technology means that this is one less area of development that manufacturers need to invest in. Upgrades and improvements to inventory management software will be an area which third party technicians will be better able to manage and monitor as part of the service they provide, reinforcing the benefits of a lean approach. SimplOR can assist manufacturers in planning for the future, allowing them to fulfill immediate client demands without losing sight of larger shifts in the field. Manufacturers can also remain ahead of today’s operational challenges and have confidence in a model that is suited to the future of the industry.
The universal truth, whether it is recognized now or later, is that ignoring the prolific industry trends will prove unsustainable for manufacturers in the long term. The move to become an agile, responsive and efficient organization will become more necessary with the ever growing changes to the medical industry.