• The Finding PLM to Fit Mid-Sized High-Tech Companies ebook explains how smaller companies in the high technology industry find themselves stuck between full-featured Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems that feel out of reach and less capable solutions including cloud-based file sharing or very basic data management applications. They know they can’t afford the errors and inefficiency inherent to informal data and process management, but can’t afford a large time, resource, and financial investment to fix their problems. Unfortunately simple solutions like web file sharing, while very attractive, fall … [ read more ]

    Finding PLM to Fit Mid-Sized High-Tech Companies
  • The How-to Guide to Transitioning from 2D CAD to 3D CAD  shares best practices for moving from 2D to 3D. The guide shares the reasons you should consider going from 2D to 3D, common challenges to avoid, and benefits enjoyed by other companies who gone to 3D. The guide then shares advice to make your switch from 2D to 3D CAD a success. The recommendations were developed by analyzing the responses of Top Performing companies and comparing them to Average Performing companies.This eBook is one in a series of three:Transitioning from 2D CAD to 3D CAD Migrating from 3D CAD to a new 3D CAD Adopting … [ read more ]

    Best Practices for Going from 2D to 3D CAD
  • The Reducing Cost of Quality in CPG report shares perspectives from a survey of over 175 CPG companies to determine how Top Performers manage consumer packaged goods quality. The research finds that these leading companies are able to achieve better quality results with lower internal costs. The report analyzes their processes, organizational structures, and enabling technology to determine how they can get better quality results without placing a financial burden on the business.Please enjoy the summary below, or click the report to download a PDF overview (free of charge, no registration … [ read more ]

    Reducing Cost of Quality for Consumer Packaged Goods (survey report)
  • What type of experiences prepare engineering students the best for "real world" industry work? What should new graduates know when they start their first job?Please share your experience, thoughts, and lessons learned in this new survey on the engineering skills gap. We are exploring questions such as, what types of things do you look for in a new graduate? How can engineering colleges and universities improve their curriculum to better prepare students for today's modern products?  What concerns do you have about the future engineering workforce?Developing the future workforce is critical to the … [ read more ]

    What Skills Do You Wish Engineering Graduates Had? (Survey Invite)
  • This infographic shares the importance of developing a cohesive digital thread when developing formulated products in the consumer packaged goods industry. The digital thread should be driven by customer requirements and incorporate the recipe / formulation, specifications, packaging design, compliance information, claims, cautions, ingredients, labeling, artwork, and more to provide a full view of the product and it's design history. An effective CPG Digital Thread relies on an integrated Product Innovation Platform to connect product data from early in the front end of innovation through development, … [ read more ]

    The CPG Digital Thread (infographic)

Service Lifecycle Management for Medical Devices


SLM for Medical Devices: The Strategic Role of Service highlights the strategic role that service plays in the medical devices industry in ensuring customer satisfaction to enable future sales, while maintaining optimal costs to protect profitability.

Please enjoy the summary below, or click the report or title to download the full PDF (free of charge, no registration required).

NOTE: This paper is from the Tech-Clarity archives, it was originally published in 2004 but still has relevance today.

Table of Contents

  • Executive Overview
  • Compliance is Critical
  • Enabling Compliance with Automation
  • Service is Strategic to Customer Satisfaction – and Future Sales
  • Making Best Service Practices Standard Operating Procedure
  • The Good and Bad of Servicing a Captive Audience
  • SLM Drives Superior Service at Optimal Cost
    • Never Ignore a Call for Help
    • Reduce Waste in the Call Center and Office
    • Avoid the Service Call (or at Least Reduce the Urgency
    • Make the Right Calls First
    • Close the Call the First Time
    • Keep Technicians Productive, not Just Busy
    • Turn the Service Call into an Opportunity
    • Turn Service into Cash – Rapidly
    • Stop Revenue Leaks
    • Enhance the Customer Relationship
    • Grow Revenue by Restarting the Service Lifecycle
    • Turn to Proactive Management
  • Summary
  • Recommendations
  • About the Author

Executive Overview

Ask an outsider about what makes servicing medical devices challenging. They will probably tell you that—beyond all of the regular challenges in servicing equipment—you probably have to face a lot of extra red tape and regulatory complications. Of course, they will have guessed right. But outsiders don’t service medical devices, and managing regulatory requirements is not the whole story about servicing medical equipment.

Servicing medical devices is not the same as servicing a consumer item like a television, a computer, or an entertainment system. Manufacturers in consumer industries can sell their products and then move on to the next piece of business. This is also true for industrial equipment, although often to a lesser extent. Manufacturers in those industries can draw a hard line between manufacturing and service, or even choose to leave service to third parties that they have no relationship with. Although many of these companies are trying to capture the revenue potential available from servicing their own equipment, it is generally a decision that is based on growing the top line. Service in the medical devices industry, however, is not optional. Service is integral to the relationship with the customer and very tightly tied with the success or failure of the company. In the medical devices industry, services are strategic and manufacturers of equipment used in the medical field are held to a higher level of responsibility by their customers.

There are advantages and disadvantages of the closer relationship between medical device vendors and customers. On one hand, companies typically don’t have to compete for service contracts with competitors. Because of the complexity of their products and the highly regulated environment, it is often very difficult for uninvited third parties to maintain a manufacturer’s equipment. Our outsider might guess that the lack of competition for the service contract means that the cost of maintaining equipment is not an important issue. On the contrary, it means that managing the cost of servicing equipment is frequently more important to the bottom line than in other industries. This contradiction is a result of the lack of competition, and the buyers’ knowledge that they don’t have flexibility to shop around a service contract. To compensate, the buyers may negotiate the service costs well in advance, often as a part of the equipment purchase. In these cases, service revenue is fixed. Therefore, services profitability can only be impacted by attacking the other side of the profitability equation— cost. Service Lifecycle Management (SLM), coined by industry analyst firm AMR Research, is an approach that allows service organizations to better manage their service-related processes. SLM results in both better service and reduced costs. For medical device companies, it is critical to take advantage of the opportunities that SLM offers to simultaneously enhance the relationship with the customer and keep service costs in control. And yes, compliance is critical to all aspects of the business and shouldn’t be minimized in the least.


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