Looking to learn more about outsourcing medical manufacturing? You’ve reached the right place. Watch our blog for white papers, tips, article links and other information focused on helping medical device manufacturers save time and money without cutting quality. If you’d like to learn more about Forefront Medical’s capabilities, visit our About page or our website: http://www.forefrontmedical.com/.
Outsourcing discussions often focus on manufacturing capabilities or regional labor costs. However, that narrow focus often allows hidden costs related to transactional redundancies and other inefficiencies to slip in.
In addition to lowering the labor cost and eliminating the need for investment in plant and equipment, outsourcing to a full service contract manufacturer frees up working capital, by eliminating the need for money to be tied up in raw material and work-in-process inventories. The contract manufacturer typically purchases material and carries the costs of production during the conversion cycle, billing the OEM as product ships. Administrative transactions are reduced since the contract manufacturer manages the bulk of the supply chain. There may be additional savings in overhead personnel as contract manufacturer resources eliminate the need for large manufacturing support organizations. If logistics are optimized, unnecessary transit legs may be eliminated. In short, when the value stream is optimized, many unnecessary, hidden costs are eliminated and throughput increases. In this case study, Forefront Medical Technology, discusses the ways that changing the manufacturing strategy for a specialty drug infusion set reduced cost and improved overall quality. Read it here.
Medical Product Outsourcing magazine’s January/February issue looks at outsourcing trends. Learn more about ways Forefront’s ability to support products which require both mechanical and electromechanical design & assembly improves quality while reducing product development time and cost. If you are going to MDM West Feb. 11-13, be sure to visit Forefront in Booth 2385. You can access the full article here.
Contract manufacturers serving the medical device market typically divide into two distinct segments: electronics contract manufacturing and precision engineering contract manufacturers. Electronics contract manufacturers build both printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs) and electromechanical systems. Precision engineering contract manufacturers focus on non-electronic products requiring molding, metal fabrication, extrusions or other custom components. There are distinct skill sets in each type of supplier. Electronics contract manufacturers are typically experts in the assembly and test issues related to PCBAs and associated box builds. Precision engineering contract manufacturers are expert in tooling development, materials qualification and assembly automation.
The reasons these distinct supplier segments exist is because medical devices segregated neatly into each segment. However, as electronics become more pervasive there is more convergence. One good example of this is drug delivery systems. The dispensing mechanism is electromechanical, but there is also a substantial amount of tubing and disposable components associated with the system.
A core benefit of either type of contract manufacturer is access to shared resources of production at a fraction of the cost of developing that production infrastructure inhouse. Customers pay for the shared machine time they use instead of having to absorb the full costs of inhouse equipment they may not be fully utilizing.
The disadvantage of segregating contract manufacturing services to either electromechanical or precision engineering disciplines is that creates silos in the product development phase, increases complexity of the supply chain and may add redundant cost structures or markups to the final assembly and fulfillment process.
Forefront Medical Technology believes that offering both electromechanical and precision engineering services is fundamental to achieving lowest total cost of ownership in contract manufacturing. In the drug delivery system example discussed above, the ability to address both the electromechanical, tubing and disposable component elements of the equation enables customers to leverage synergies throughout the product development and commercialization process. This whitepaper looks at the benefits of this type of full service outsourcing approach in terms of product development, regulatory considerations, supply chain management, production and assembly processes, and fulfillment. Read the full whitepaper here.
Forefront Medical Technology will be exhibiting at MDM West in Anaheim Feb 11-13 in booth #2385. Use promo code SPECIAL to get a free expo pass and 20% off the conference. Register here. Be sure to ask about our electromechanical support capabilities.
Tooling for molded parts is often an area that many medical device manufacturing sourcing teams see simply as a line item in non-recurring engineering costs. However, anticipated project volumes, complexity of tool, tooling vendor selection and tool maintenance strategy are all issues that can impact product quality, tooling cost and overall project cost. This whitepaper looks at the cost elements of key decision points in tooling strategy development and Forefront’s solutions in those areas. Read the full paper here.
Intellectual property (IP) is the core of competitive advantage. When products are outsourced, the contract manufacturer performing the final assembly typically has access to the complete documentation package for the products they build. Where are the checks and balances? How can be certain your company’s IP will be protected? In this whitepaper, Forefront Medical Technology, a specialty contract manufacturer with a focus in disposable diagnostic, drug delivery systems and medical device systems, looks at four areas sourcing teams should audit in determining the ability of their contract manufacturer to support their IP protection needs.
- Company business model
- Supply chain management/documentation control practices
- Level of vertical integration
- Legal protections within the contract manufacturers headquarters’ country.
Read the full whitepaper here.