Producing a medical device is a multifaceted task involving design, material sourcing and manufacturing. All these can be costly, making it difficult to juggle the various stages of bringing a new device to market.
For an Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), the prospect of outsourcing manufacturing should be an attractive way to cut cost and simplify a new product workflow. The purpose of this article is to take a closer look at how a Contract Manufacturer (CM) can help an OEM save money and work more efficiently.
Switching to a CM can save a lot of money along the way. When a company outsources manufacturing, a single entity takes responsibility for the multifaceted production operation that normally consumes high logistical management and administrative cost.
In addition, CMs can often cut supply costs because they order parts in bulk for multiple products, so they negotiate better deals with suppliers. These types of negotiated deals simply are not possible for most small- and even medium-sized medical device OEMs.
When using a CM, prototyping plays a major role in cost-cutting. Many CMs have low-cost tooling available to build multiple prototypes quickly and at a lower cost. That is a huge advantage since it allows it to iterate through prototypes until they get a top-quality product, with little capital expenditure
Typically, the earlier you involve a CM in the product development process, the better the results will be. This manufacturing partner may be able to provide insight into the product, particularly with respect to how the design will work with any foreseeable manufacturing constraints. The result is a final product that functions and is manufactured optimally.
In the early stages of working with a new CM partner, it is difficult to forecast production volume. This can be of significant concern to OEMs when bringing a new product to market.
Thankfully, this is also an issue that can be solved with outsourcing. Experienced CMs are typically capable of providing robust estimates for production volumes. Additionally, once product manufacturing begins, it becomes much easier to accurately forecast future production and to stay one step ahead and avoid production bottlenecks.
Many OEMs that look to outsource production prioritize cost reduction. A CM allows an OEM to utilize its resources more efficiently by focusing on the other key aspects of bringing a new product to market such as design and distribution. While this can be expected, it is important that quality is not taken for granted.
It is important to take a long-term approach when a contract manufacturer can contribute positively to product design and quality.
When evaluating a potential manufacturing partner, it is important to keep in mind that production quality consideration is just as important as cost.
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