Adapting to Trends: Five Developments in the Medical Device Manufacturing and Packaging Industry

By Pamela McMaster, CEO and Founder at PRO-TECH

Safe, sterile packaging is a pivotal component of medical devices and a high-quality packaging partner is critical.

Addressing industry trends and ensuring that proper steps are put in motion to anticipate and react to evolving challenges and opportunities is a matter of survivability. In many ways, proper forecasting combined with industry knowledge can set the stage for a company’s long-term success. The ways in which a company addresses industry trends, both at a micro and global scale, directly correlates to its ability to problem solve, overcome obstacles and thrive.

Here are five developing industry trends that medical device packaging companies should be aware of in order to effectively adapt:

  1. Global Competition: For any company, responding to a greater number of competitors is a daunting challenge that can tax resources and impact performance. Companies that once operated purely on local or regional scales in the past are now faced with an ever-growing list of new, global challengers. In this era of the truly global marketplace, companies must be aware of the broader competitive landscape and be aware of their own competitive advantages and how to continue to strengthen those advantages. One area that is key is execution – from building products as efficiently as possible, to keeping overall pricing in perspective, and moving swiftly from concept ideation to finished deliverable. Strong execution keeps customers happy and competitors at bay.
  2. Regulatory Challenges: Changing regulatory guidelines continue to impact the medical packaging industry and force companies to adapt. As globalization continues and medical devices are sold across countries with different regulatory standards, the packaging companies that support them must comply with a broader array of testing procedures and regulatory compliance. Staying on top of these modifications requires a quality assurance team that closely monitors the regulatory environment and designs processes and testing procedures that adhere to new guidelines. The key steps for successful acclimatization to change are to be aware, know the intricacies of the regulations, and have the industry and technical expertise to respond and advise your customers appropriately.
  3. Data Analytics: Technological innovations in the manufacturing and packaging processes within the medical device industry are greatly impacting whole value chains. The recent emergence of data analytics in this space likewise impact companies, both large and small, placing greater importance on how operational practices contribute toward company goals. Items like label-control systems, specialized 24/7 customer portals and the ability to view metric data such as delivery and processing times, inventory, or total landed cost lead to greater transparency at a company-wide level. This newfound openness is a rising trend within the industry, as customers can now expect raw, real-time data that impacts their decision-making and ultimately their business interests.
  4. Located in one of the industry’s key regions, family-owned PRO-TECH Design & Manufacturing is headquartered in Santa Fe Springs, Calif.

    Consolidation and Customer Experience: As the industry continues to boom, smaller medical device manufacturers and packagers are consistently being bought out by larger firms. With this comes an emerging trend of individual customers no longer receiving the same type of personalized and uniquely tailored services that were once common. As a result, customers have reported examples of impersonal customer experience, and worse, a genuine disregard for their business leading to delays in shipments and lost orders. The industry is maturing and growing, but with consolidation there can sometimes be a rush to focus only on the largest customers. Medical device companies will continue to have unique packaging needs that require dedicated one-to-one solutions and will continue to demand individuated services from their packaging partners. Packaging providers must continually innovate to ensure these changing needs are met without a sacrifice to the customer experience.

  5. Rising Healthcare Expenditures: As a whole, the medical device manufacturing and packaging market is driven by demand from hospitals, medical facilities and required equipment that comes with greater numbers of patients requiring services. As such, rising healthcare expenditures lead to greater demand for technological innovation, sterile equipment and reliable device production. If the current trajectory is any indication, the medical device industry can anticipate sustained and increased growth in the years to come.

Emergent industry trends oftentimes demonstrate the shifting tides of business familiarity that can spell outright success or failure for companies that know what to look for and when to act. Being mindful of new trends and adjusting to meet the inherent opportunities provided therein can be essential for companies looking to make an impact in the long run.

About the Author:

Pamela McMaster is the CEO and founder of PRO-TECH in Southern California. She started the company in 1980 in her family room, and it has evolved into a world-class medical device packaging company. PRO-TECH reflects Pam’s primary business principles by providing unequaled service, high-quality products and services, attention to detail and fair pricing.