COVID-19 has sent shockwaves rippling through the supply chain, with the impact on medtech posing the most critical challenges and repercussions. As C-suites of medtech companies scramble to make sense of the crisis and marshal effective action, they’ll need both short- and longer-term strategies for successfully moving forward.

At Pivot International, we’re playing a key role in delivering solutions to the current crisis. As qualified Essential and Critical suppliers with product development expertise that spans twelve industries, including medical, and 200,000 square feet of manufacturing capability that spans three continents, we’re helping medtech companies successfully surmount supply chain disruption. We’re ISO-certified, FDA-registered, CSA-approved, and deliver a proven 47-year track record of bringing award-winning medical products to market.

How can medtech companies effectively mobilize during this unprecedented time of challenge? Here are 11 crucial strategies for taking both short- and longer-term action to add ballast to your business in the present and better position it for the future.

Short Term Strategies

  1. Be prepared for further supply chain disruptions and stock-outs. After the COVID-19 health crisis, it’s highly likely that a large portion of deferred demand will return.
  2. Reevaluate short-term salesforce targets, and update your commission structures to account for the high likelihood that sales reps may miss bonus targets for reasons beyond their control
  3. Implement alternative contracting structures or price reductions, and consider this move to be an investment in deepening your relationships with customers. When this crisis subsides, they’re more likely to look to you as a trusted partner that, regardless of external factors, has their best interests at heart.

Long Term Strategies

  1. In addition to preparing for short-term supply disruptions, it’s also essential to plan for longer-term interruptions. Diversification stabilizes the supply chain, so consider multi-sourcing products from different facilities and in other regions, including domestic locations.
  2. Prepare for a spike in post-crisis demand. This may call for you to improve upon existing systems to locate and move inventory to where demand is highest.
  3. Prepare for a sustained shift of medical procedure volume, from office-based labs to ambulatory surgery centers to acute care hospitals.
  4. Be ready to respond to increases in at-home care. This will require you to deploy new, innovative products, supply chain strategies, commercial models, and user interfaces.
  5. Invest in telemedicine and connected devices (such as data monitoring, device support, and mobile diagnostics) to virtually support real-time physician consultations.
  6. Implement a telehealth system by investing in digital platforms that allow for internal training, continuing medical education, and team collaboration, as well as customer engagement (for example, a virtual rep in the operating room or telesales).
  7. Assuming a large portion of demand returns, medtech leaders should amend 2020 and 2021 targets based on the company’s ability to manage cash flow across quarters, rather than on the overall compensation of sales reps.
  8. Monitor the risk of disruptors (like Amazon, for instance) creating a foothold in select medtech categories, such as personal protective equipment.

Though COVID-19 has introduced what may be the most formidable threat the supply chain and medtech industry have yet encountered, solutions exist for not only surmounting disruption but also for driving innovation in a time where it’s never been more urgently needed.  

With extensive expertise in medtech and decades of experience in helping customers successfully navigate disruption, we can be part of the solution for getting your business back on track. Contact us today to learn more about how we can be a supportive partner to see you safely through the storm.