The medical device industry continues to grow exponentially, partly because of how well new technology is being accepted in the healthcare industry. Another contributing factor is that start-ups are seeing success through partnerships with larger corporate players in getting their innovative products to market. It is an exciting time to be part of the trend that is bringing new and creative medical devices to the forefront. In this article, we’ll focus on practical methods companies can use in this industry to reduce some of their costs.
1 – Outsource Wherever Possible
To some, the idea of outsourcing any part of a production process may not feel right. However, outsourcing can help the bottom line if the job or tasks you outsource from the office, possibly even overseas, are those that are your most expensive to support in-house. Remote workers and outsourced entities will save you a great deal in the long run when you factor in the costs of doing that same work within the framework of your start-up. Outsourcing also gives you access to a pool of workers with skills that may not be easily available at your locales.
2 – Follow Good Practices
When you adopt the good practices required for the medical device industry as outlined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you’ll save a great deal by reaching and maintaining the expected compliance levels. Failure to do so can result in costly expenses ranging from replacement costs to legal action. According to Dickson, implementing, monitoring, and correcting problems before they can become issues related to GxP will not only keep your medical device company in business, it can help secure its global reputation.
3 – Adopt A Regulatory Strategy
Addressing the regulations that guide your industry is critical and having a regulatory mindset should be part of your business development strategy. Many medical devices are implanted inside of bodies, so having an in-house regulatory strategy will not only prove to be a cost-effective move for your company, but it will assist in implementing the strict guidelines that must be met to reach compliance. The strategy should assess applicable FDA regulations along with device classification options, potential device and product claims, regulatory risks, risk analysis, product requirements, and more. This strategy should be part of the business plan.
4 – Create A Reimbursement Strategy
Medical device companies would not exist if it were not for the innovative ideas and concepts that they develop. But these ideas sometimes come from outside of the four walls of the startup company. Medical professionals are often a source of inspiration, as they are the ones who have the most experience with the products and can see where a need exists or how an existing device can be improved with an adaptation. The success of these ideas must be rewarded through a reimbursement, much like a royalty. A reimbursement strategy implements this.
5 – Choosing The Right Team
Startups have an interesting future in the medical device industry, because they have the same footing in product development as the large corporations—and can sometimes respond more quickly. But what makes this reality a cost-saving measure is when the startup partners with a larger organization with the resources to make the innovative device designs happen. That requires the right combination of players at the partnership table. Make sure to combine efforts with a company that has a good cultural and financial fit, to avoid potentially costly recovery that may prevent an otherwise great device from getting produced.
6 – Setting The Pace
The largest factor in the revenue side of the ledger is sales. To be successful at that part of the business equation as a medical device company is to be ahead of the curve. This means knowing the trends and responding to needs that come from those trends sooner rather than later. Waiting too long may cost your company in lost revenues. That can be devastating, especially if the innovative new device you were trying to get off the ground ends up being the new one just released by your competition. Stay aware of medical and patient needs and design from there.
7 – Don’t Ignore the Competition
You are going to have competitors in the medical device industry—this is simply a fact of capitalism. And they’ll be trying to bring to market better and cheaper devices. Never ignore the competition. Instead, learn about your biggest competitors. Find out all you can about what they do and how they do it and then do those things better. When you know what the competitive landscape around you is like, you can better respond to issues that will set you apart from them.
8 – Start Small And Work Your Way Up
In the day to day business of the rapidly changing medical device industry, it can be difficult to keep things in perspective. There is a lot of success to come from the development, manufacture, and distribution of medical devices. The companies who have partnered with good company matches are doing well. But if you are just starting, this is like any other business. You have to start small. Test the waters, introduce your products, and possibly a partnership will present itself that will help your business grow at a manageable, sustainable rate.
Remember: If you’re throwing your hat into the competitive industry of medical devices, your top priority should be to avoid making costly mistakes. Recovering from a situation that ends up taking a chunk out of your revenue means it takes that much longer to make that revenue up and get ahead. It’s the same in any other kind of business. To be successful, you have to employ cost-effective measures at all times. This also means reviewing and revising them when needed. Avoiding this process will prove to be your most costly business mistake.