Randy Herron, Planner/Scheduler and Buyer, Orchid Supply +, from Orchid talks about his experience attending OMTEC for the first time.
I had the pleasure of attending the 15th annual Orthopaedic Manufacturing & Technology Exposition and Conference (OMTEC) held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois from June 11 – 13. This conference center and the surrounding areas cater to all types of professionals that travel from all around the world to attend various events throughout the year. OMTEC is labeled as “The world’s only conference exclusively serving the orthopaedic industry.” OMTEC is also recognized as an international conference that facilitates dialogue and partnerships among suppliers, service providers and orthopaedic professionals. This year, more than 1,000 people from 88 unique device companies were in attendance. There is positive growth year over year for total number of attendees and unique device companies that attend. As the orthopedic industry continues to increase and grow revenue each year, the relevance of this conference continues to rise.
Networking at the Conference
This conference allows Orchid to showcase all of our offerings to our customers and colleagues. We show the world who we are, what we do and what our mission is. It provides us the opportunity to meet face to face with many of our customers (some of who we talk to, but haven’t met before), which is beneficial in itself. It’s always good when you can put a face to a person you speak with on a regular basis, or even only on occasion. This is one of the best ways to build rapport. We also have the potential to generate sales leads by interacting with the individuals who are able to make the important business decisions. Many of our customers attend to make it a point to seek us out and discuss their current projects, along with insight knowledge pertaining to industry trends and forecasts that will allow us to plan for successful business relationships and hopefully get a glimpse of what the future holds at the same time.
The Expo Hall
My first impression of the conference was “Wow.” It was laid out very well and the exhibitors were placed in a fashion to where each booth popped out in its own unique way.
I walked the entire floor and visited each exhibit on display. It was interesting to see how our competitors and other companies display their talents and interact with professionals in all sorts of roles. Even though we are under one roof with our competitors, they are not there to outsell us or diminish our reputation to our customer base. They are there to educate, inform and network with everyone. The orthopedic industry has a “we’re all in this together” approach. We are all there to help grow the industry and lean on one another when needed.
Orchid’s Presence at the Conference
In addition to the expo hall, OMTEC’s educational sessions are a draw for professionals throughout the orthopedic industry, with a full agenda of topics affecting the industry today. Orchid sponsored OMTEC’s Tech Center, which had presentations focused on orthopedic coating. Three Orchid employees participated in coating presentations: Parimal Bapat, Christopher Scifert and Armando Salito.
Orchid’s booths were strategically placed so that we saw a lot of foot traffic – and that we did. Seeing our booths and all of our representatives in attendance made me appreciate Orchid’s reputation in the market as a worldwide leader of medical device outsourcing services. We had a large number of customers and visitors come up to both of our booths to engage in all sorts of dialogue, which provided a ton of added value.
One key takeaway I had, was that we are in fact a customer service driven company. As a company, we thrive on great customer service, which was echoed over and over again at the conference this year. I was personally told on multiple occasions that this is what sets us apart from our competition. This is something that we should all feel proud about. We need to take this positive feedback and continue to build off of it.
Orthopedic Industry Trends
There was a lot of buzz this year regarding personalized medicine, enhanced data leading to improved results and ambulatory surgery centers (ASC’s).
Personalized medicine is the wave of the future and is the direction the industry is heading. It’s not a matter of if, but when. Personalized medicine will thrive because it will connect and engage the patient at the same time. Since no two patients are identical, this will be catered specifically to each individual patient, based on their own specific needs. In order for this to be successful, capturing enhanced data is a must. Right now, companies are in the data collection stage. Soon, technology will be able to utilize this data to help create better procedures, implant insights and results.
A big focal point of OMTEC this year was the ASC’s and how they are changing the game. Historically, hospitals have been the footprint for orthopedic surgeries. Hospitals have inefficiencies and higher costs that have not gone unnoticed. Orthopedic procedures are continuing to move away from hospitals and into ASC’s because outpatient settings have demonstrated the ability to increase patient satisfaction, along with lowering the cost of surgery. In addition, surgeries are becoming easier for all parties involved. This is a win-win for everyone. This has changed the way surgeons and nurses operate, along with changing the way device manufacturers produce their products. ASC’s will become more and more common in the near future and will set the industry standard of excellence for orthopedic surgery moving forward.
In closing, the conference was very enlightening for me. It gave me a newfound appreciation for our industry and, most importantly, Orchid. I felt OMTEC to be very beneficial for any professional in my type of role. It was a very positive experience and it gave me the opportunity to meet customers, exhibitors and visitors face to face to open up various points of dialogue about our business and our involvement in the orthopedic world. It was a perfect opportunity to network with all sorts of professionals in our ever changing industry. I would highly encourage anyone that feels they would benefit from it to attend. I took a lot away from it and I am thankful for the opportunity.