Once upon a time, the online bookstore Amazon set the standard for virtual company success. In today’s market, more manufacturers are taking a page from Amazon’s book — pardon the pun — and moving away from brick and mortar businesses. Because more manufacturers outsource components of their business with globally dispersed supply chain teams, they are increasingly embracing the business benefits of going virtual.
Wikipedia defines a virtual business as: “A network of independent companies — suppliers, customers, competitors, linked by information technology to share skills, costs, and access to one another’s markets.”
One of the ways companies can “go virtual” is using a cloud-based product lifecycle management (PLM) solution. Put particular emphasis on the word ‘cloud’. Arena understands that while certain business trends, such as outsourcing, have streamlined manufacturing processes and reduced costs, these drivers have also introduced a host of unaddressed vulnerabilities and pain points.
Arena’s suite of cloud-based PLM applications allows manufacturers of all sizes to aggregate material demand, manage bills of materials (BOMs) with greater visibility, and securely share build packages across global supply chain teams. Collectively, these products enable a paradigm shift for manufacturers to transform their manufacturing operations and maximize business results by going virtual.
Arena PLM has enabled numerous manufacturers to “go virtual.” Yukon Medical and Mederi Therapeutics are two that we’ll explore in this blog post.
Yukon Medical: Going Virtual Reduced Overheard
Yukon Medical is a leading developer of innovative pharmaceutical preparation and delivery devices with a focus on reconstitution at the point of care.
“Yukon’s products allow direct access to the contents of standard drug vials without using covered needles, thus maintaining sterility and needle sharpness for administration,” said Yukon Medical’s Director of Technical Operations Carl Dupper.
Yukon was originally funded by European medical device component manufacturers and United States-based entrepreneurs. To cut costs and scale, their director repositioned Yukon as a “virtual company” by adopting an outsourcing strategy to eliminate expensive overhead.
Removing paper processes and providing supply chain wide visibility into the latest bill of materials version were two touch points that were absolutely critical in defining the next movements necessary to turn Yukon into an efficient virtual company that removed expensive overhead.
“Yukon has not had to hire any non value-added administrative support. And for a medical device company — that's unheard of,” said their Director. “Usually you have doc control, you have change champions, you have all these people that have these administrative roles to make sure that we meet regulatory requirements, and those responsibilities were handled by Arena.”
The real challenge was how Yukon – in its new virtual incarnation – could guarantee suppliers and contract manufacturers with the most accurate product information as it pertains to that product and its life cycle.
“The big win with Arena is the visibility of knowing where things are along in the design development and commercialization process and who is involved,” said Dupper. “These large medical device companies are now part of our change management process in Arena and we've been part of theirs. Basically all of our records that get supported in their change management system are a direct export from Arena PLM.”
Mederi Therapeutics: Removed Opportunity Costs of Managing Infrastructure
Mederi Therapeutics Inc. designs and manufactures products that treat diseases that affect the human gastrointestinal tract. These products utilize low-power radiofrequency (RF) energy to remodel the sphincter muscle at either end of the digestive tract, thereby improving function, providing significant symptom relief, and dramatically improving quality-of-life.
According to Mederi’s COO Oleg Shikhman, Arena’s cloud-based PLM solution has not only enabled his startup to work efficiently as a virtual company but has reduced opportunity costs of needing resources to manage infrastructure. “The fact that your system was a SaaS solution was certainly a plus for me over other systems that required me to buy additional hardware and store it locally. We are a small company who is really trying to minimize the investment in the infrastructure. Arena enabled us to operate as a virtual company.”
As part of Arena PLM, Arena Quality provides highly regulated medical device companies with a superior enterprise-wide approach to quality. This holistic quality solution offers visibility, cross-functional team collaboration, and long-term tracking of quality resolutions.
“If you want a medical device on the market, you must have a quality system in place; you must do document control; you must control your BOMs,” says Shikhman. “These are all resource consuming activities. So, the questions you have to ask yourself are: How do I do it? What resources do I have? How do I approach it? In the case of our company, we determined being virtual best ensured our success.”
“The way I look at it, Arena is just another supplier in my supply chain — I outsource manufacturing. I outsource distribution. I am outsourcing my document control to Arena.”
If you are interested in learning more about how Arena PLM can enable your business to operate without the pain of starting up and purchasing expensive hardware and the costly people and big iron infrastructure necessary to manage on-premise software, consider giving us a call.