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What Recession? How Biomedical Device Companies Thrived in a Bad Economy
Date:1/31/2012

  • Increased Marketing Efforts: These companies continued to increase spend on marketing efforts during the Great Recession of the last couple of years (2008-2010).
  • Investment in Research & Development and New Products: The most successful biomedical device companies developed a robust pipeline of new products and R&D capabilities, which allowed them to navigate challenging times successfully. Even during the great recession they were increasing their R&D spend.
  • However, Holtzman warns, "Despite the unparalleled success of the biomedical device industry from a 10,000 foot view, our close study reveals operational fissures that, if left unchecked could threaten future growth."

    For instance, some firms, having grown through acquisition of start-ups and by purchasing of piece parts of organizations now have too many plants and too many labs to be efficient.

    Holtzman believes that consolidation will be a key driver facilitating growth over the coming years and that companies should sweep up the collections of purchased parts and turn these businesses into coherent and focused companies in order to achieve maximum efficiency.

    In the future, the industry review reveals that the big opportunity for the biomedical device business – one already being grasped by the best in the industry – will be to move beyond the sometimes bumpy revenue stream from selling things, and migrate to a business model focused on selling systems that provide a point of control and differentiation (through software) or that yield sustained revenues from related consumable products used in caring for patients.

    "This is the kind of strategy that worked for King Gillette when his business first adopted the razor and blades model, and one that has also worked for IBM as it has migrated from a hardware business to one driven by sustained revenue streams from software and services," Holtzman says. <
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    SOURCE WTP Advisors
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