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Medical Devices 2020: The procurement challenges won't be the same

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by Sakthi Prasad
10 September 2014

All businesses experience procurement challenges in some form or the other. Over a period of time, a broad contour of challenges such as price and supply availability will remain the same albeit with differing subtexts.

But what about technological changes and how will it affect procurement? Change is the only constant in the field of technology and given this maxim would procurement challenges brought about by technological changes remain the same forever?  Of course not.

Let's explore how technological changes can potentially upend the traditional landscape of medical devices procurement. Hey, wait a minute. To begin with, how do category managers anticipate such changes? Is there a ready-reckoner or an almanac that they can consult? Or do they have a crystal ball that they can gaze into? How wishful would that be?!

Before we embark on the potential future challenges brought about by changes in technology, let us make a broad checklist of current procurement challenges:

Medical device companies look to consolidate their supply base across different regions to optimize supply chain and maximize cost savings.

Device firms scout for new technologies that would better the performance of their current products.

Companies are keen to branch out into emerging markets either on a standalone or on a partnership basis. Usually, such investments tend to focus on building new facilities from the ground up. Besides Greenfield operations, device makers also look to partner with Contract Manufacturing Organizations (CMOs), where possible, for the current line of products.

Most firms constantly look for better and alternate suppliers that would leverage existing methodologies of manufacturing.

Device makers' search for market overview usually involves information on tried and tested therapeutic areas. In other words, the current procurement challenge focuses on the enhancement of current therapeutic areas.

The point to be noted here is that the underlined phrases in the above list of current procurement challenges would be replaced with different set of phrases by the year 2020. Or in other words, procurement managers would be focusing on different sets of challenges in the next six years or so.

In short, what would the procurement world of medical devices look like in the year 2020?

During the Webinar, Beroe's Senior Principal of Healthcare Industry, Janani Narasimhan, and Chanderkanth Gautham, Domain Lead - Medical Devices talked about how the future procurement challenges in the medical devices sector will be different from those of the current ones. Narasimhan and Gautham explained their propositions with the help of relevant case studies.

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