People move the medtech industry forward
The term “supply chain” brings to mind cold, hard steel, rather than the living, breathing people who keep medical device manufacturing moving from start to finish.
The global scramble for semiconductors and raw materials like resin has confounded manufacturers across all industries, and we’re all feeling the pain of shipping delays, whether by sea, rail or road. Companies that are successfully keeping up or ramping up are quick to credit the people who make it happen, from engineering teams to procurement groups, warehouse workers and suppliers.
When automakers canceled their chip orders in anticipation of a long, deep pandemic recession, buyers in the medical device industry got even closer with their suppliers — and kept cash fl owing to the people who make and move the goods.
Everyone’s paying in minutes, hours, days and dollars for the shipping industry’s short-sighted layoffs, but the medtech industry’s largest companies — as featured in this edition’s annual Big 100 rankings — did what they could to retain or add workers.
The big companies’ efforts to preserve and grow jobs matter even more considering that their aggregate revenue dropped 1.2% in 2020 compared to 2019, according to our analysis of Big 100 data. Of the nearly 90 companies in the Big 100 that provided employment data, about half added workers amid the pandemic, and more than a handful of others kept their headcounts the same.
The medical device industries’ largest companies certainly weren’t recession-proof this time around. Still, they held their own as they played a vital role in the fight against COVID-19.
These same companies are prioritizing their people when planning for climate change — the next big disruption that’s already upon us —as you’ll read in one of the feature stories in this edition. The extreme weather events causing power outages and damaging medical device facilities are also hammering the same neighborhoods, cities and regions where our industry’s most valuable assets live. When a factory returns to service faster than anticipated after a natural disaster, local teams are often to thank for the heavy lifting even as they help their own families and neighbors.
We’re not out of this pandemic yet, but the enduring resilience of medtech should encourage us as we push forward and remind us that when we take care of our people, they take care of us.
Medical Design & Outsourcing