In medical device start-ups, the focus of decisions on suppliers and partners is often on the needs of the here and now. You might need a design partner, for example, or a reliable supplier of specialty needles. These here-and-now considerations are essential, but it is also important to remember that the suppliers and partners you choose today will influence your long-term goals and objectives.
For example, the suppliers and partners you choose today could make your start-up more attractive to investors, helping you achieve your scale-up goals, new product development plans, or market expansion objectives.
Today’s decisions on suppliers and partners will also influence the decision-making process in larger companies that might consider your start-up a potential acquisition target at some point in the future.
Or you might have key customers that you have a strategy to onboard in the next year or two – the types of customers that will transform your business from a start-up operation to a leader in the field. Again, the suppliers and partners that you choose today can influence whether you are successful in winning orders from your key target customers.
Making the Right Decisions Today to Ensure Maximum Success in the Future
When choosing suppliers and partners, it is essential that the needs of today are addressed. If you need a stock of specialty needles, for example, it doesn’t make sense to partner with a supplier who can’t deliver for 12 months because of supply chain challenges. Similarly, if you need product design support, it is best to choose a partner who can start work on the project without delay.
All that said, it is also important to look to the future to ensure the suppliers and partners you choose are not only right for today, but also for the future.
Why Suppliers and Partners Are Essential for Long-Term Success
Supply Chain Security
Supply chain security is essential to give confidence to investors or companies who might acquire your start-up that you have the capability to scale. This particularly applies in situations where the scale-up plans are rapid and involve multiple jurisdictions.
Design, Engineering, and Technical Expertise
Continuous improvement and innovation are essential for most medical device start-up companies. Therefore, it is beneficial to partner with suppliers who offer a wide range of services that include design capabilities. Strong engineering and technical expertise are also highly beneficial.
Full Product Lifecycle Capabilities
An investor or company looking to acquire your start-up will be taking a long-term view that is likely to cover the full lifecycle of the product. As a result, it is best to choose partners and suppliers with capabilities across the full medical device product lifecycle.
The importance of capacity in the medical device industry should not be underestimated. There are many examples of start-ups and more established companies that are not reaching their full potential in terms of sales and profits because they are unable to find suitable capacity. This could be capacity in design and development to push their products forward, capacity in regulatory support to obtain the required approvals in target marketplaces, or capacity in manufacturing to meet market demand for existing products.
Working with a smaller number of highly skilled and experienced partners and suppliers will give you more time to focus on growing your start-up and achieving your goals. Partners and suppliers that can offer value-added services in critical areas, such as regulatory compliance, are critical for you to achieve your desired exit strategy and/or long-term goals and objectives.
Other Long-Term Benefits of Choosing the Right Suppliers and Partners
- Quality – ensure consistent quality of products and services as your start-up grows.
- Scalability – ensure you have the ability to scale according to business needs and market demands.
- Reliability – ensure operations are reliable with risks identified and mitigated.
- Innovation – get access to knowledge and expertise that can drive innovation in your start-up.
- Networking – the right partners can open doors to new contacts and opportunities.
- Credibility – the right partners can rapidly build the credibility of your start-up in the marketplace.
- Negotiation power – the right partners can improve your negotiating position when talking to investors or companies interested in an acquisition.
- Risk management – utilise the expertise of an established partner to mitigate risks in your start-up.
Partnering With Arrotek
Arrotek has extensive experience partnering with start-up companies to help them achieve their objectives today and in the future. We offer a comprehensive range of services including medical device design services, specialty needle manufacturing, regulatory support, and more. To discuss your requirements, please get in touch today.