3 Ways to Mitigate Increased Supply Chain Demands during COVID-19
April 2, 2020
By Chase Maser
Medical device manufacturers are on the world’s stage as they respond to and assist those reeling from COVID-19 outbreaks.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and globally continue to rise exponentially. In a time of uncertainty from this worldwide pandemic, medical device manufacturers are facing challenges to keep up with equipment demand, service, and allocating personnel to keep manufacturing, repairs, logistics, and operations running.
Major healthcare brands, such as 3M and GE, are already ramping up production on respirators and ventilators to provide healthcare workers and patients with lifesaving equipment, but even with teams working around the clock, getting those products out to the masses takes time. The same rings true for all other medical device manufacturers who are changing direction to overcome supply chain demands during COVID-19. However, Quest International can mitigate challenges and bring relief to strained operations in several ways.
1. Rapidly Extending Your Teams
To keep up with the rapid pace of change to ramp up production, repairs, shipments, and support many medical device manufacturers may feel the need to hire short-term help.
As a quick fix, doing so makes sense, but when results need to happen fast—short-term partners only exacerbate stress through lengthy hiring processes and the need for constant oversight due to lack of quality and compliance. Instead of dealing with the potential to create more unnecessary work, companies can leverage support from the Quest team as their own, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, as Quest is an ISO 9001 and 13485 registered company with nearly four decades of experience the medical device manufacturers.
Quest International offers immediate assistance to medical device manufacturers that include:
Manufacturing, remanufacturing and assembly of medical devices in adherence to ISO 13485 standards
Depot Repair and Exchange Services with rapid turnaround times
Field Services and Clinical Training to aid in rapid deployment of devices
Virtual training for rapid onboarding of any process to ensure products are supported properly
Warehousing and logistics distribution of finished goods
Throughout this crisis, working alongside partners that understand your challenges and have tested quality programs, infrastructure, and resources in place to solve them is critical. At Quest, our team offers world class support that accommodates clients globally.
2. Utilize an Elastic Service Supply Chain
As the leading global post-sales service support partner for Medical Device OEMs—Quest’s infrastructure and resources are set up to accommodate bottlenecks that can be experienced within the service supply chain.
In a situation like COVID-19, as the focus is placed on the production of devices (ventilators, patient monitors, etc.) to meet demand within the marketplace, device manufacturers often overlook expansion of backend service and reverse logistics infrastructure. These critical components within the supply chain infrastructure are necessary to keep units in service and functioning based on Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) specifications. Otherwise, as units potentially get over utilized in such situations as the pandemic, device failures and preventive maintenance checks are vital in ensuring a healthy stock of devices are available and circulating to healthcare providers desperately in need of this equipment.
Those who are the most prepared for any supply chain obstacles should already have these considerations in mind:
Reverse Logistics - Outlining a robust reverse logistics and depot repair process that is capable of flexing and scaling to a rapidly growing install base.
Regionalized Distribution – Caching finished goods and critical service spare parts within regionalized hubs to ensure the robust availability of logistics operations.
Sustainability – Parts supply may become a challenge as manufacturing may consume the majority of parts to output volume. Implementing measures to screen, test and repair defective parts coming out of units so they may be re-certified and re-used in serviced units.
Anticipating all possible scenarios and then being prepared to implement ways of addressing the challenges is key to navigating through COVID-19 with the least amount of complications.
3. ISO Quality Standards to Align with Your Processes
Quest provides support to clients by already adhering to ISO requirements that deliver a high level of quality and ensure you remain compliant.
Below are the Quest’s ISO registrations, ensuring the highest level of quality, consistent service delivery and continual improvement:
Quest is also ANSI/ESD S20.20 registered, and takes the proper precautions when handling electronic capital equipment.
Partnering with a trusted OEM outsource partner that has a proven track record of success and certifications is what yields the greatest results. With help from Quest, medical device manufacturers have additional artillery that can be used in the fight against this global pandemic.
We are committed helping our clients find the best solutions to their needs during this difficult time. To learn more about Quest International and to inquire about our services, click the button below to see how we can support you.
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