Since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic early last month, members of our industry have been looking for signs about what it means for our medical device businesses. One thing is certain, 2020 will be a turbulent year for procedure demand. Analysts agree that because many orthopedic procedures are elective and getting postponed to help free up space for critically ill patients, Q2 will take the biggest hit and procedures will get rescheduled for Q3, Q4 and into next year.
Orthopedic surgeons are preparing to work extra hours when procedure bans get lifted, and some governmental bodies are already making plans to ease these bans and allow out-patient procedures. How can OEMs and CMOs ensure an uninterrupted product availability for surgeons and hospitals as these procedures get re-scheduled?
Here are 3 considerations:
- Stay connected
Keeping an eye on trends in the news, maintaining regular conversations with your customers and informing your suppliers will help you gain a better understanding of anticipated demand for the year and create an evolving plan to meet the needs of the industry.
- Maintain a steady supply
A sharp increase in demand when procedures get rescheduled could potentially put unmanageable strain on the supply chain, and contract manufacturers will not be able to keep up with the increased demand from the orders. Maintaining a steady supply now with an informed view of the year will prepare us for a spike in demand later.
- Be ready when our patients need us the most
As patients’ procedures are delayed, surgeons are looking for temporary ways to ease their pain, and their need for orthopedic surgery will have intensified. Ensure you don’t miss a surgery due to lack of product on the shelf.
Sources aligning with this forecasted trend include: Orthopedics This Week, Canaccord Genuity (orthopedic surgeon surveys), SmartTRAK analysts and a survey of Orchid’s customers
By planning and staying ahead of the curve, you can avoid the bottleneck in the manufacturing process and delays in obtaining product.