Healthcare provider market demands are such that medical device companies often find themselves in scramble mode when attempting to deliver innovative products that keep pace with burgeoning technology developments and are compliant with regulatory requirements.
In response, many companies look to manage production, shorten lead times, and lower costs, as well as improve their competitive edge through collaborative partnerships and outsourcing, but this is no longer sufficient to meet the increasing market demands.
So, what are the critical factors for success in product development – specifically, factors that will improve speed-to-market and profitability?
The PA Consulting Group recently surveyed 40 senior executives and representatives of medical device developers in the U.S. and Europe on the topic. Respondents were asked to evaluate their own company’s status and planned improvements, as well as their view of competitors’ time-to-market and cost-to-market.
Slightly more than half of the participants represent medical device technology companies (55 percent), while the remainder hailed from pharmaceutical companies with a medical device division. More than half of the companies (57 percent) in the research reported revenue of more than $5 billion in 2014, designating them as “important players” in the industry. Regardless of the company size, respondents, on average, are targeting a 25-percent reduction in both development time and development/production costs, over the next five years, to remain competitive.
While product innovation in medical devices was the top priority for companies seeking to bolster business – according to 66 percent of respondents – reducing time to market followed closely as a principal issue for 56 percent of the survey participants. Many respondents said they aim to accelerate their time-to-market efforts in the next five years, with the top levers toward achieving that goal being reuse of technology, focusing on core competencies and outsourcing other activities, managing strategic partnerships, efficient resource planning, and modularizing/standardizing parts and systems. Conducting risk evaluation early in product development also was a focus of respondents, since that foresight may help reduce the number of testing loops in advance of patient trials and studies.
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