The COVID-19 pandemic caused huge disruptions in manufacturing, and medical device manufacturers weren’t immune. A survey carried out in December 2020 examined the scope of the disruption and discovered that six out 10 manufacturers have been affected by supply chain disruptions, and nearly half (47%) have been essentially unable to function because they were unable to access on-premise systems that lockdowns prevented them from operating.

Certainly, the pandemic introduced some novel challenges, however most of these disruptions have been the results of an unlimited amount of latest stress placed on outdated weaknesses: Inefficient handbook operations still required numerous folks for on-site to work, management had restricted visibility into the present state of operations and inventory, and real-time enterprise data was unavailable to tell data-driven choices and adapt rapidly to changing situations.

Manufacturing management have responded by accelerating their digital transformation efforts.

A recent survey from Dimensional Research reveals that almost all (91%) manufacturers have increased their investment in digital transformation, and greater than three-quarters (77%) mentioned the improve was significant or dramatic. An even larger proportion (95%) said that digital transformation is a requirement for the future success of their corporations.

Digital transformation is very vital to medical device manufacturers because they should have good quality data, and particularly monitoring metrics, to trace complaints and system efficiency to comply with regulatory necessities. And these necessities are getting stricter. For instance, the EU Medical Device Regulation that went into impact earlier this year requires manufacturers to track the lifecycle of their merchandise, establish ongoing issues and make modifications as needed to make sure patient security.

For any company, digital transformation is a complex process. Deploying new technology is arguably the easiest a part of the process, whereas developing a long-term technology technique when the future is unclear might be the most difficult. Alongside this, the underlying processes and procedures should even be transformed, and careful change management is required to make sure that the project is successful. But the rewards of undertaking this journey are substantial — medical device manufacturers can achieve vital will increase in effectivity from automated and optimized processes. The capture and evaluation of operational data gives insights that inform quick and correct decisions, while new technologies allow the organization to develop into way more nimble permitting it to acknowledge and respond to changing market situations earlier and quicker. Quality management, patient and medical complaints, and compliance and monitoring all become much simpler and a lot simpler to manage. All of this provides corporations with a major aggressive advantage and also makes their businesses more sustainable for the long-term.

The Challenges of Medical Device Manufacturers

The medical device manufacturing industry is dealing with significant challenges like each other manufacturing industry. For starters, expert labor is increasingly powerful to seek out for all manufacturers, including those who make medical devices. Deloitte reports that manufacturers are struggling to close the skills gap, and the problem isn’t getting any better.

Likewise, medical corporations need to manage costs and optimize their inventory so that they don’t seem to be carrying excess inventory, yet always have enough available to avoid lost sales and delays because of an absence of raw materials. And they need to make sure that their supply chain is strong sufficient to resist unexpected shocks, especially given how specialised lots of the essential elements could be. Accomplishing this requires the complete supply chain to function on the similar platform so that all stakeholders have visibility into the supply chain to make planning and delivery more manageable and correct. And inventory accuracy have to be updated, which is usually a time-consuming project if using traditional, manual methods — time that many manufacturers really can’t afford to spend.

The Foundation for Digital Transformation

Digital transformation will help handle all of these challenges. Increased automation can reduce the impact of expert labor shortages; supply chain automation, advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) can predict and safe the optimum amount of inventory to meet demand and reduce extra costs; analytics can optimize scheduling and, together with AI, allow predictive maintenance to increase equipment uptime and utilization. Additionally, automated methods can track and manage customer complaints and medical device performance in the area, centralizing information to ease compliance and allow enhancements and upgrades. By combining all of those applied sciences, producers can produce a superior product.

However, these technologies can’t function as discrete methods; otherwise, they’ll simply exacerbate the drawback of informational silos. Instead they should be integrated right into a holistic digital platform that collects, shares and analyzes information — a reliable, single model of the fact about medical device manufacturing operations.

An group’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform should type that integration platform. When people think about ERP platforms, they sometimes imagine a system for offering core financial and enterprise process visibility only. While that’s actually true in sure circumstances, a well-architected ERP platform is able to doing much more — organizations can combine further applications and level solutions into an ERP system to automate key enterprise processes, present real-time analytics for data-based decision-making, and help manage policy changes around procurement and sourcing. It needs to be easy to include new, good manufacturing unit technologies into the ERP solution similar to AI, analytics and internet of things (IoT) devices and platforms to provide real-time data and analysis within context. The ERP solution should serve as the single model of the truth for the whole operation if it’s going to be effective going forward. Where previously the ERP system was the system of record, it has now become the platform of integration, however the enterprise needs to embrace this alteration and leverage technology to enhance their enterprise — like some of the competitors are doing.

The medical devices sector faces some robust challenges as we emerge from the pandemic, but by establishing a powerful digital basis on which to construct their digital transformation, they’ll place themselves for long-term success.

Author's Bio: 

Business solution-centric Odoo Consultant and IT professional with about 11+ years of experience spanning Odoo delivery, Sales, pre-sales, Odoo product development, Odoo business consulting, outsourcing & ADM services in leadership positions.

• Has headed Practices for Enterprise Solutions ( SAP, Baan & Odoo )

• Experience across domains likeSales and Marketing, Logistics, Manufacturing, Retail, Chemical, Automotive maped to Odoo

• Extensive experience in large program delivery & business process transformation consulting (Odoo Consultant) for multiple programs

• Demonstrated experience in designing new product & service offerings and executing global Go-To-Market strategies for new offerings for new market penetration

• Proven leadership skills with balanced focus on people, processes & technology

• Pioneered the use of ERP systems in various Processing Industry

• Worked as Process Heads of Marketing, Sales, Purchase, HR, ERP Project deliveries and also worked as Business Heads for many companies like IBM, JKT, Denave India, FCS and presently at Apagen