News, Insights and Best Practices for Manufacturing in Mexico

How Medical Device Manufacturers Create Supplier Relationships

16 Oct 2013

Category: Manufacturing in Mexico, Medical Device Manufacturing

While independently offshoring the production process to Mexico is challenging in any industry, medical device manufacturers face unique obstacles. If the products are being shipped to the U.S., they must be able to fulfill quality system (QS) requirements set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and follow its current good manufacturing practices (CGMPs) for medical devices.

The relationship between the manufacturer and supplier is essential to meeting medical device quality requirements, so for U.S. businesses considering expanding to Mexico, they need a way to not only find the right suppliers, but must build a strong partnership with them.

The Evolving Need to Build Positive Partnerships with Suppliers

According to Today's Medical Developments, a medical device manufacturing magazine, the suppler-manufacturer relationship is critical in the medical industry to meet quality requirements and customer expectations. Certain suppliers have instituted advanced features, such as automated loading and unloading, or have enhanced machinery to meet these specifications, but without a strong relationship with the manufacturer, these suppliers may not be willing to offer their manufacturing customers the full-range of benefits. 

Creating a great supplier-manufacturer relationship takes time, resources and experience. According to Harvard Business Review, this partnership is the foundation of the production process, as businesses are relying on suppliers more and more as a way to cut operational costs and boost material quality. This close relationship, according to HBR, can be complex, as manufacturers may be looking for specific types of materials while suppliers may be raising their prices due to innovations.

The challenge of building a relationship can be compounded when manufacturers have certain expectations. Medical device producers often have a checklist in mind about what they want when they look for a supplier, but there are other ways to pick a supplier. According to TMD, face-to-face meetings and conferences can help manufacturers find the right supplier. However, businesses can have trouble using these methods when they offshore to Mexico. 

The Benefits of Third Party Involvement

Shelter companies understand this essential relationship, and are able to help manufacturers build a partnership and receive quality materials and parts from the best Mexican suppliers as third parties. But shelter companies don't only aid manufacturers in sourcing items in Mexico, they also help U.S. businesses attain discounts to cut costs and negotiate with suppliers if an issue arises. In fact, an experienced shelter company assists manufacturers in finding the most value from their sourcing, and can even help businesses with their purchasing activities.

Creating a symbiotic relationship between suppliers and manufacturers doesn't have to be difficult in Mexico; shelter companies help businesses achieve quality standards and cut costs by partnering with the right suppliers. 

Check out our infographic to learn about nearshore manufacturing in Mexico!

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