Making the List
It never fails. No matter how I plan, the task of my publisher’s note sneaks up on me. It’s not so much the writing of the letter, but the matter of choosing a topic to explore. Every year at this
time, I sit down in front of my computer and think about the themes,
trends and headlines that characterized the past year. Most often in
years past when I am writing my letter, I’m flying back from a trade
show or conference somewhere and banging away at my keyboard
until it’s time to put up my tray table and shut down my laptop. This
year, thankfully, I am in the comfort
of my office and have plenty of time
to reflect on the issues that defined
our industry in 2014.
Was it a new medical device
technology that shook the industry? Maybe it was a manufacturing method that made headlines—3-D printing perhaps? Was
it a hot-button political issue that
“stirred the pot” so much that everyone in the industry was talking
about it? Was it a healthcare scare such as Ebola that had every
sector of the medical technology industry scrambling?
There’s definitely plenty of fodder for reflection.
What stood out to me this year was the amount of mergers
and acquisitions that took place and the questions they raise
about the future of our industry. Politicians, pundits and industry insiders have debated the impact of inversion deals—such
as Medtronic buying Covidien and moving to Ireland and the
Wright Medical-Tornier merger with the combined company
headquartered in the Netherlands—on the overall health of
medtech innovation and its contribution to the economy.
With these companies chasing lower tax benefits overseas,
where does that leave the U.S. medical device sector? Are we in
better shape? Worse? Neutral? Time will tell.
In addition to the blockbuster deals mentioned above, other
notable mergers and acquisitions in 2014 from both the OEM
and supplier side included:
• Tecomet acquiring Symmetry’s OEM Solutions business
• Autocam Medical acquiring Southeastern Technology
• Zimmer merging with Biomet
• Steris Corporation acquiring Synergy Healthcare
• Becton Dickinson buying CareFusion Corporation
• Stryker acquiring Small Bone Innovations
• Lubrizol buying Vesta
• Hill-Rom wrapping up the buyout of Trumpf Medical
• St. Jude Medical acquiring Neuro Therm
Another question that arises with so much M&A—inverted or
not—is how outsourcing and supplier networks and services are
impacted. As we all know, medical device companies continually
search for ways to streamline their lists of approved suppliers.
When two large companies merge, those lists often merge as well
and then shrink again to reduce overlap. This leaves outsourcing service providers wondering: “How do I make the list?” Stay-ing on the coveted list nowadays usually means offering a broad
array of capabilities—the ol’ one-stop-shop.
That’s when Medical Product Outsourcing’s 2015 Company
Capabilities and Outsourcing Directory can help. For MPO’s
annual directory, this year represented the largest amount of
companies that have chosen to showcase their services and
overall capabilities. Clearly, they view this source guide as a key
vehicle to promote their skills. Firms no longer can get away with
being“just” an injection molding or tubing company.
They realize that they can’t sit and wait for clients to come
to them or rest on“we have all the business we need” or“every-one knows who we are” laurels. Just consider if companies such
as Coca-Cola, IBM, Apple and Google thought that way. We all
know who they are and what they offer, but they know that they
need to keep their message out there. That is one of several reasons the companies in the 2015 Company Capabilities and Outsourcing Directory need to be in here.
Following every period of consolidation comes expansion
as new companies with innovative, game-changing technology
eventually are formed to fill the void left by the marriages of the
“big guys.” Suppliers need to be ready to meet the needs of the
next generation of OEMs, and showcasing a wide variety of services is paramount for companies to stay afloat.
As we head into 2015, it is time to charge ahead and keep
your message going. Putting yourself on this list will help you
make the list.
On behalf of our entire team, thanks again to our loyal readers
and advertisers for their continued support of MPO. We wish all
of you a very happy and healthy holiday season and look forward
to a prosperous 2015.
Howard A. Revitch