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Growing Supply Chain Complexity Increasing Impact on Medical Device Company Operations
Date:10/13/2009

HOLMDEL, N.J., Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent survey of industry professionals at top medical device organizations found that although increasing complexity of global supply chains is changing how device companies manage suppliers, many (45 percent) feel their current quality systems are insufficient to mitigate compliance, risk and safety issues associated with supply chain management. Among these and other key findings, the survey, conducted by Sparta Systems, indicated that efficiency remains device companies' chief concern when managing overseas suppliers. Other priorities were evenly distributed among gaining insight into product sourcing, meeting differing regulatory standards and managing regional supply quality issues.

As device manufacturers continue to grow their supplier networks and source components from further corners of the globe, the need to identify and prioritize supplier relationships using a risk-based approach becomes critical in ensuring the quality of finished products. Of those device manufacturers surveyed by Sparta Systems, 56 percent reported using more than seven overseas suppliers, with 70 percent indicating that they worked with suppliers in more than four different countries. 80 percent of those professionals surveyed purported to prioritize supplier relationships based on the level of risk and safety they present to the greater manufacturing operation.

To manage supplier relationships and manage other quality and compliance processes, many companies have deployed sophisticated IT systems serving a range of additional functions in the global manufacturing operation. Among other key findings, Sparta Systems' survey found that:

  • Customer complaints, a common occurrence in the device industry, were handled mainly via quality management (QMS) applications (45 percent). Other ways those who were surveyed track, trace and report complaints varied between standard electronic databases
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SOURCE Sparta Systems, Inc.
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