Medical devices have remarkably important role in patient care. The key element in the sector is that there cannot be any compromises done with the safety and effectiveness of the devices – the device needs to be perfectly suitable for its intended use. Meanwhile, the requirements of different parties have grown over the years: today’s innovations need to be easy-to-use and cost-efficient, and the latest technologies need to be utilized.
The medical staff, decision makers and companies in the field are increasingly cost-critical, and comparison between devices as well as the service providers is been made continuously. The decision makers benefit from the evaluation of, e.g., the availability, usability, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the latest technologies, which enables the hospitals to focus on their core daily work and allocation of resources. The requirements and needs of end-users reflect directly to companies selling their products and devices to hospitals – and thus to companies taking care of the design and manufacturing of those products and devices.
Therefore, agile design and product development comes to prominence in a situation where the device and its features need to meet the specific requirements of the customer, combined with cost-effective manufacturing, utilization of the latest technology and a rapid product launching schedule. In addition, we need to remember that all decisions that are made during the product development process will straightly have an effect on the manufacturing of the product; like on the production processes and materials that are used. However, especially in smaller companies, there are usually a limited knowledge and know-how of how to take all the necessary manufacturability issues into account. This may easily lead to manufacturing been carried out using inefficient and unfavorable methods.
Agility, cost-efficiency and manufacturability as competitive factors
We see the trend is quite clear. In addition to the development of design processes and utilization of the newest technologies, the cost-efficient manufacturability may be seen as increasingly important competitive factor within the medical device business.
But if there are limited capabilities to take the manufacturability matters into account in your or your partner’s company, the inconvenient methods, materials and solutions may be transferred also to following product generations in the future. Roughly generalized, about 20 % of the product parts cause approximately 80 % of the product’s manufacturing costs. That’s why these parts are, among other things, precisely one of the key elements engineers and sourcing should pay attention on - in order to ensure optimized manufacturing methods and materials and reasonable price of the final product.
Therefore, we see that the importance of the design and development phase of the product cannot be stressed out too much. The needs and requirements for product features naturally drive the concept stage of the product development - but these should be combined with the cost-efficient manufacturability rules. Therefore, the high-quality product development process should be based on wide knowledge and skills of taking all the necessary matters into account; like the objectives and limitations of product’s life-cycle and the different stages of it, and the various factors affecting on the manufacturability of the product. Through this, remarkable savings both in material and production costs can be achieved, which will obviously affect directly to the total costs of the final product.
The high quality combined with cost savings requires deep knowledge and capabilities
To ensure more agile product development as a whole, while ensuring the high quality, manufacturability and cost savings for your product, we see the companies with full-service capabilities have the competitive advantage. With a partner like that, the product development process is not carried out only in close cooperation with customer’s and company’s design and development teams but involving also all the other necessary resources from different functions during the various stages of the project; like NPI, sourcing, QA&RA and manufacturing experts.
Using the necessary experts of different functions enable the team to specialize also on different methods of DfX (Design for Excellence), where the entire process, from idea to finished product, forms a cost-effective process as a whole as the product design, manufacturability and an effective manufacturing processes are developed at the same time. The process is implemented alongside with the R&D project where the design can be optimized for the cost-efficient production process.
Additionally, the team will be able to create, e.g., a comprehensive manufacturability analysis, which should be made already in an early stage of the product development. The best results are typically achieved through this model, as the device structure can be still modified and the most potential matters for cost savings can be made. In most cases, this can lead directly to lower manufacturing costs without compromising the quality of the product - while speeding up the launching time to the market. These can be achieved with a partner with full-service capabilities in-house.
Choose the most optimal partner providing most value to your business
Therefore, we see that striving to more optimal manufacturing costs without compromising the high quality of the product is possible. It requires deep knowledge, wide capabilities and critical analytics taken into practice.
In future, this kind of knowledge may be seen to have even more important role in the field due to the existing trends. For example, due to digitization and the development of new technologies, the product life-cycles become shorter and the pressure for re-designing the existing products or for agile product development of new ones grows. Additionally, cost-effective products will be increasingly important from the perspective of competitiveness.
Thus, we see that the economically successful product is generated by ensuring the high quality of the product while optimizing its manufacturing costs already during the product development phase. Our advice to you is to choose your design and development partner wisely. If your partner has the full-service know-how in-house, they will be able to form a very talented team of design, manufacturing, quality and sourcing experts to successfully implement the projects – taking care of the manufacturability, cost-effectiveness, life-cycle management as well as the quality issues. The added value, which the professional partner can create to the client in such cases, may in terms of time-to-market, but especially financially, be very significant.
The discussion above related to the tips on selecting the most optimal co-creation partner to develop your medical device was only a small view to the topic. To get even more detailed overview and description about the topic, you should download our free White Paper where we share, in our opinion, the most significant areas to evaluate when choosing your partner to design and develop a new medical innovation to the market – with deeper discussion. Collect yours by following the link below!