Three Ways to Reduce the Effects of Orthopedic-Specific Complexity

Often the result of rapid growth, complexity can bring complications to your business, and it can imperil your growth and profitability. You’ve heard it before—from us, as well as from other professional sources that carry weight.

Despite the challenges it brings, complexity isn’t all bad. In fact, some of the factors that increase complexity also increase value. Think about customer growth, the expansion of your product portfolio, and growth through mergers and acquisitions. Each increases complexity, but they can all contribute to building greater value, too.

Now consider complexities specific to the orthopedic industry, which can put significant pressure on OEMs. The individual processes of sourcing and procurement, assembly, quality critical inspection, cleaning and sterilization, packaging, and shipping and distribution are already complex. Added together, the overall complexity is more than the sum of its parts.

We’ve already noted that strategically tackling complexity offers real advantages. To see complexity—and simplicity—in action at a functional level, though, requires a different lens. Here is a closer look at three key functions specific to the orthopedic device industry, along with their main challenges and best practices.

The challenge:
Managing your inbound supply chain requires a tremendous amount of coordination. Over time, you develop relationships with multiple vendors. Sometimes this happens through merger and acquisition, too. With so many moving pieces, creating realistic assembly schedules becomes very difficult. It may be even more difficult to adhere to them. When you can’t, you encounter difficulty supporting current demand as well as future sales-generating activities.

The solution:
Working optimally requires forecasting what’s inbound and coordinating it with the components you have on hand—and what’s needed in the field. You need realistic assembly schedules and—once they’re created—you need to meet them.

Consider the relief that a comprehensive service like Millstone’s Tier 1 solution can offer: coordination of your component supply chain, assembly into finished goods, and a single invoice. With that kind of solution, you can already be cash-positive when the invoice comes due.

The challenge:
Patient safety is your utmost priority. Getting your products safely into patients requires successful package design and validation. These processes can be fraught with risk, affecting your time to market, inventory turns, and your ability to recoup the investment you’ve made in product development.

The solution:
Consider robust pre-validated packaging solutions. Available in both pouch and tray designs, these packaging solutions can fit a vast majority of spine and orthopedic implants—and have already passed the lengthy package validation process. If pre-validated options won’t work for you, expertise in packaging validation can be invaluable in helping you reach the market quickly and safely.

Shipping and distribution
The challenge:
Responding to market demand and case coverage needs quickly—whether they come in during business hours or not—can drive up labor costs significantly. Yet what is the opportunity cost of not being able to support one of your valued surgeons?

The solution:
Consider extending your shipping window with labor that flexes and scales with demand. You won’t drive up overhead, but you will allocate resources in a way that ultimately supports velocity and enhances your profitability.

The orthopedic implant industry brings its own set of complexities to an already complex business world. Often, stepping back from key functions and considering fresh ways of approaching them lets you allocate your resources in the best way to drive your growth and profitability.

At Millstone, we get it. We believe quality drives patient success. That’s why we’ve perfected all the capabilities medical device manufacturers need to get to market. Today we offer post-manufacturing and aftermarket services to more than 50 customers, including some of the top 10 orthopedic companies in the world. We are constantly evolving our processes and services to help OEMs achieve sustainable success. We offer clean room packaging, medical device specific warehousing, finished goods distribution, loaner kit management, advanced inspection and reverse logistics services—all with an unparalleled focus on quality.

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