Innokas Medical is developing a new operating model and routines of cooperation between the purchasing department and designers which will optimize purchases and provide a competitive edge.
Sourcing Manager Satu Heiskari has been in charge of Innokas Medical’s purchasing for a couple of years, but her career at Innokas Medical has lasted longer. While she was attending evening upper secondary school she noticed Innokas Medical’s small ad in the paper, applied, and got an assembly line job in a company she had never heard of before. She even wondered what kind of plant could even exist practically in the middle of town.
Attending marketing school while working opened the door for her to Innokas Medical’s purchasing department, where she worked first as a buyer and then as a department head before landing her current post.
A price advantage through cooperation
Today competition is stiff in the healthcare technology industry. As Sourcing Manager, Satu Heiskari is in charge of Innokas Medical’s requests for tenders, and she is on the lookout for new cheaper and more efficient purchasing channels. She is currently also ramping up a new operating model—closer cooperation between purchasing and design.
“Because I am cooperating with product design already during the initial phase of design, I am able to influence product choices so they are optimal from the standpoint of purchasing, also. And that again benefits the customer and affects the price and quality of the product,” Satu Heiskari says.
“Taking into consideration the commercial perspective, price, availability, and distribution channels is the purchasing department’s area of expertise, and product designers do not always necessarily have as much knowledge in these areas. Therefore, cooperation with them is important and I am glad to work with them,” she adds.
New tasks keep the work interesting
Innokas Medical is no longer at all the same company it was 17 years ago when I came. Its operation has expanded to the Helsinki area and Estonia. “I no longer know everyone by name. The fact that there are others in the purchasing department who came to Innokas Medical when I did says something about the atmosphere of the company.”
“When I started here I didn’t think I’d spend my entire career in the same place. But my work is well-rounded, and whenever I have wanted new challenges, they have been available. Many times I have been able to as if start a new job even though the employer has been the same,” Satu Heiskari ponders.
It is constantly possible to learn something new. The familiarity with components that I once acquired in PCB assembly has been beneficial even though technical know-how is not necessarily one of the competence requirements of a buyer. We have a component engineer as a specialist in that area, from whom I can get technical support whenever I need it for purchasing decisions.
Whenever something new comes into production, I go take a look. I’m still that much interested in production even though I no longer know exactly which components go into each device.