Automation Questions – Today’s Medical Developments

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Keith Glaser, Director, Medicine and Hygiene, YKK (USA) Inc., is part of YKK’s team of medical industry experts who work one-on-one with customers to find solutions to their challenges. unique.

A recent comparative analysis from BCG has found that leading medical technology innovators consistently outperform their peers in revenue growth while protecting or increasing gross margins. A common thread between all these companies is the commitment to invest in R&D. Another unifying characteristic is that these innovators embrace external partnerships.

With their unique perspective and capabilities, suppliers are ideal resources to help medical device manufacturers innovate, strengthen their competitiveness and improve their profitability. But innovation can go even further when manufacturers partner with suppliers who bring a new level of knowledge that can only result from forming trusting and intimate relationships with their customers.

While many providers will say they are customer-focused, fewer can say they are truly intimate with the customer. And the two approaches are fundamentally different. One of the three value disciplines articulated by Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersma, customer-facing companies do not just deliver what the Marlet wants. Instead, they prioritize what their strategic customers to want. These companies are constantly adapting their products and services to consistently provide the best overall solution to their customers.

In this article, we’ll explore the distinctive attributes of companies that are intimate with their customers and how the added value they provide drives continuous innovation.

Profiling customers’ intimate businesses
While there are no obvious, outward signs that a company is prioritizing customer intimacy, there are a few clues medical device makers can look for. An easy starting point is to consider who else a supplier works with. Do competitive and innovative companies choose them as partners? If so, that’s a good sign for what they could bring to the table with any new relationship.

Another brand of corporate intimate clients that’s how they sell. Instead of taking a “one size fits all” approach or simply selling a product or part, customer-focused companies are dedicated to finding high-impact, long-lasting solutions. To do this, vendors need to listen with an open mind to the challenges their customers face and their goals before recommending a solution. What does the customer really need? A product? An idea? Technical support or manufacturing? Something else? If the best solution for the customer is not what the vendor offers, the vendor should value the relationship enough to provide a referral to other vendors, resources, or relationships to help address the most important need. In addition to this, customer intimate businesses will proactively leverage their supply chain partners and relationships across their network to develop the ideal solution. While the result may not be the cheapest product or service available, it should be the one that best meets the customer’s wants and needs. It can even solve a problem or need the customer didn’t know they had.

Earnings management is another area where intimate client companies differentiate themselves. Many vendors consider the sale closed when the purchase order is signed and look at customer service transactionally. Intimate enterprise customers have a different perspective on this and instead focus on building an end-to-end experience and taking steps to ensure proper solution implementation, right down to assembly processes and packing. Customer’s intimate vendors will also engage their own resources, including technical support, to maximize results.

A final distinguishing characteristic of intimate companies with their customers is their willingness and ability to tailor relationships so that they remain productive over the long term. Fundamentally, these organizations have a culture steeped in creating highly productive partnerships with customers. They go beyond just building strong relationships and invest in fostering trust, transparency and respect at multiple levels of the client organization. The customer’s intimate suppliers also use every point of interaction to learn, analyze and generate insights that create value and support a steady stream of innovation.

The impact on innovation
Medical device manufacturers that align with customers’ intimate suppliers win in two ways: increased impact, speed and rate of innovation, and reduced total cost of ownership of their products. The resulting innovation can be incremental around products that address specific market needs or transformational when the product requires shared investment to meet business, financial and regulatory challenges. These partnerships can also produce innovation that results in ongoing incremental cost reductions or a new production paradigm and quantum cost reduction.

Whether the resulting innovation is incremental or transformational, the value of partnering with an intimate supplier customer is clear. These vendors engage in shaping products, processes and services to fit an increasingly refined view of their customer – to that customer’s immense benefit. Although the approach is costly for the supplier, rather than considering the cost in the context of a single transaction, it is seen as an investment in a long-term partnership.

The best customer engagements yield insights that neither party has considered before. In our experience, the commitment to collaboration and the deeper level of customer understanding achieved by aligning product development, manufacturing, and brand and supplier administrative functions are the keys to success and remain critical to unlocking continuous innovation in the medical device industry.

About YKK
Founded in 1934, YKK solves complex fastening and securing problems for the medical device market with a focus on cost control, quality and regulatory compliance. YKK’s portfolio ranges from bespoke, off-the-shelf product solutions to machinery and is backed by deep engineering expertise and integrated production capabilities in more than 70 countries and regions. The company serves as a trusted technical advisor and committed partner to assist customers with lifecycle management, new product development, changes in capacity requirements, and high-volume production.

YKK’s collaborative, “solutions first” philosophy brings a different approach to the medical device market, resulting in tangible excellence that can be seen, touched, felt and heard.

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