Whilst many businesses have unfortunately seen a downturn in demand, such as Orthopaedics following the cancellation of elective surgeries, and contact lens manufacturers as opticians close for non-essential treatment, there are many businesses that have been able to adapt their operations to support the fight against COVID-19.
Testing equipment manufacturers, have realigned their factory to focus on developing detection equipment for the virus. In addition, surgical equipment manufacturing companies have also seen demand increase as NHS trusts and central Governments try and secure adequate supply.
Even with product demand, business continuity is not without its challenges
Medical Devices businesses that are able to continue production have been met with two common hurdles:
1: A limited supply of raw materials
Although the employees of Medical Device manufacturing businesses are designated as key workers and companies are continuing to manufacture as normal, many of their suppliers do not share the same designation. Some businesses have expressed concern that unless they can secure more key raw materials, they’ll be unable to continue to keep their production running.
2: The impact of social distancing on production
The need to ensure staff maintain a suitable distance from one another has caused concern in facilities where this is not a realistic option. Concerns have also been expressed by staff members that they feel uncomfortable about working in close proximity to others as they have family members designated as vulnerable. Other business functions, such as Engineering, have struggled to complete planned work due to the impossibility of maintaining distance from another person in order to do their job.
How can Medical Devices companies overcome these challenges?
Companies are generally sourcing raw materials from new international suppliers. However, this takes significant time and some have struggled to find suppliers who meet sufficient quality and manufacturing standards. To overcome this, many Medical Devices manufacturers are rapidly re-designing their products to use new materials from suppliers that also meet key worker status.
Most companies have sent all non-essential staff to work from home, using video conferencing in-place of meetings. Where production staff have been unable to work from home, companies have been innovative in splitting their shifts, reducing staffing numbers on each shift to enable the maintaining of a 2 meter distance between employees.
Companies are also innovating their supply chains. For example, one British manufacturer of bicycle components, Hope Technologies, has repurposed manufacturing staff, and equipment to build parts for ventilators. We foresee a need for supplier quality engineers, who will inevitably need to respond to this innovation.
We can work with you to overcome your operational challenges
NES Global Talent understands that these are exceptionally difficult and unprecedented times for your business. We know things are tough and endeavour to support our clients throughout this trying period.
We are strategically placed in the Life Science market to access key professionals that can help to sustain your Medical Devices operations. Furthermore, we can help you adhere to social distancing policies through our video interviewing software. With this technology we not only provide a 1-2-1 meeting functionality, but can facilitate meetings between multiple parties and subsequently speed up your onboarding processes at this critical time.
Please get in touch if you need staffing support.