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Efficiency in Development: The Value of Time, Prototyping to Production

In medical device development, “time is money” is not only a well-known phrase, but a fact of working within the industry. Especially for small businesses, each day spent in the development of a new product is a day of lost income rather than profit. Yet, determining where time and money can be saved without sacrificing product quality can be troublesome at best. From prototyping to production, EirMed provides their clients with the tools they need to release impactful products to the market in a manner that maximizes cash efficiency, ultimately supporting the success of the business as a whole.

Lost Time and Lost Money

When newly entering the market, the key to a product’s success is striking a proper balance between solid product design and efficiency in the development process. At EirMed, President Rick Curtis has dubbed this balance “Quality Speed to Market,” the principle of producing well-designed, effective devices ready-to-scale in a manner that allows for release to market as quickly as possible. One method of achieving this is mitigating any potential design complications that may arise later in development, which often necessitate redesigning particular aspects of the product and ultimately increase time to market. Beyond the obvious consequence of money lost in additional development time, delays such as these open the product to blows that have the potential to cripple its success upon release. If the product’s design is found to be lacking late in development, the need to implement changes to quality on the backend can result in lower device quality overall. This is particularly true at startups, where releasing their product is key to producing the income flow that will allow them to continue operations.

Further, increased time to commercialization opens the potential for interference from competition seeking to enter the market adjacently or beat the product to the market altogether. And concerns of time and money do not stop after release to market; manufacturing comes with its own set of challenges related to partners and supply chain. If a product’s supply chain requires stops at several different manufacturing partners, transportation costs skyrocket, with the resulting cost to manufacture potentially becoming prohibitive.

Diversity and Guidance

With an extensive catalogue of products spanning a wide variety of markets, EirMed guides customers through the process of establishing cost efficiency in development and supports them towards the release and successful commercialization of innovative products no matter the market. Originally founded by Tom Cervenka as a prototyping company, one of EirMed’s greatest strengths is their diversity of experience and capability. Rick himself began his career as a quality engineer in the medical and life science industry, before eventually moving into positions faced towards sales and acquisitions, gathering contacts in various market segments and areas of manufacturing along the way. As President, he states his goal “to create a world-class contract medical manufacturing business,” beginning with the core capability of injection molding” and expanding to additional capacities over time. Working hand-in-hand with customers and their engineers, EirMed provides advice geared to achieve the Quality Speed to Market standard, producing benefits to market and company alike. Ideally, this process begins at the earliest phases of development, where their vast network of contacts can be tapped to identify and evaluate true opportunities in the client’s target market.

In the development process, EirMed’s strategy of reducing time to market and maximizing profit revolves around identifying the most viable avenues available and reaching solutions to design issues as early as possible, mitigating the necessity for potentially damaging redesigns in later stages. This includes solving issues of scaling; early in the process, EirMed provides recommendations on materials to be used that account for manufacturing volume and cost. For companies with early-stage products, EirMed deploys a strategy in which the scaling up of production is done in direct relation with the product’s progress in the commercialization process. Rather than scaling to the millions right away, customers are coached through adjusting operations to fit the requirements of clinical trials and early commercialization before investing funds into scaling to the millions right away. Using this strategy, data can be gathered which will determine more realistic and accurate representations of what the product’s demand will be and what kind of revenue stream it will produce, saving money to be allocated elsewhere while reducing uncertainty among investors. Often, Rick says, EirMed will even invest towards scaling up production themselves, in addition to the support already provided both during and after commercialization. Beyond issues of scaling, in the cases where design changes are necessary to the success of the product, the company advises clients on the challenges that accompany these changes, providing insight on the implications particular redesigns will have and when they can be best implemented.

Continuing Support

Another of EirMed’s important strengths is their ability to support customers all the way from development to early commercialization and even, in some cases, high volume manufacturing. To this end, the company strives to integrate new capabilities and capacities in the interests of simplifying manufacturing processes as much as possible. If a particular manufacturing requirement cannot be met in-house, EirMed takes steps towards acquiring the necessary capabilities to reduce points of contact on the supply chain, greatly reducing potentially hefty transportation costs. Per Rick, the company’s goal for customers is to “optimize their balance sheet” and reduce the costs of things not “necessarily needed to be successful” for a startup or small business. Where EirMed’s competitors may excel at one particular phase or another, they strive to be a valuable partner to businesses at every steps of a product’s commercial lifecycle.

For most companies seeking to release medical products to the market, if not all, effort and resources are precious commodities that must be conserved wherever possible. With EirMed, clients can expect to be backed in this effort by a capable team with diverse and expansive knowledge of medical device development spanning a wide selection of market segments, helping them to release their product faster and more efficiently. In turn, profits can be expanded and companies can begin building recognition and influence in the market earlier. Over the years, EirMed’s value as a partner on the road from prototype to manufacturing has found many clients continuing programs with them for years, and continuing to work with them on new projects over time.