How Stryker Maintains Continuity and Connectivity in the New Era of Global Standards and Mandates

By: Chase Maser

Since 1941, Stryker Corp. has developed innovative products to improve patients’ lives and push the boundaries of healthcare. 

Primarily, their focus is on surgical devices, but throughout their lifespan, Stryker has maintained success in a range of medical fields, such as orthopaedics, neurotechnology, and spinal care. In fact, Stryker’s revenue for 2018 topped $13.60 billion, while employing over 33,000 people across the globe. Needless to say, building steady profits and remaining competitive in advanced disciplines doesn’t come from hard work alone. Instead, it comes from a transformative strategy of upholding global standards and mandates as times change. 

In a fast-paced world of connectivity and changing regulations, Stryker has been able to adapt and prepare for the future. 

Staying Connected in the New Era of Supply Chain Management

With up to 65% of a company’s products and services value coming from suppliers, one of the biggest challenges of today is sharing data with all parties to keep people informed. 

Data is the one resource that can impact success on all fronts—the overall quality of products and services, delivery and cost parameters, customer service and satisfaction, and above all, increasing profitability. With that in mind, supply chain leaders are at the helm of these areas by controlling costs through maintaining a variety of potential hindrances. For example, issues regarding weather, transportation delays, financial problems, quality mishaps, and supplier finances all contribute to supply interruptions. As a result, progress suffers and leads to a lack of efficiency and a cycle of constant hurdles. 

However, Stryker recognizes the importance of transparency within their supply chain and makes it a point to collaborate with suppliers to create better visibility and predictions for future success.  

They achieve this by…

             Cost optimizations through product life-cycle management, direct sourcing, shared services, indirect spend, global ERP systems, plant network optimization, and shared services

             Creating a master resource plan to share with suppliers based on demand signals and meeting a supply plan 24 months in advance

             Using capacity plans to identify potential bottlenecks and risks to supply, as well as making recommendations for mitigation of future supply demands

             Understanding demand volatility to set appropriate inventory levels and meet supply chain lead times

             Conducting financial evaluations of supply plans and weighing product availability against supply costs to ensure investments are in line with operational targets and end-goals

             Tracking the success of supply plans with full organization and production scheduling to ensure a streamlined supply chain

             Analyzing KPIs for capacity utilization and supply plan attainment, while upkeeping a master-data table for all parties involved and having constant communication with all parties through daily and weekly updates

Stryker’s Approach to Maintaining Global Standards

According to Ivan Lai, the Senior Director of Stryker’s neurovascular global supply chain, the two biggest challenges facing their supply chain include:

1.          Consignment/field inventory

2.          Capacity flexibility and responsiveness

To solve these issues and maintain high global standards, Stryker optimizes existing systems and fuses them with data insights and full transparency among different parties. This approach cannot be stressed enough—companies must support team members with trust and strategic partnerships, rather than pigeon-holing them into transactional positions that only allow insight into a particular field. 

Upholding global demand and finding success means being proactive with cost reductions, navigating and anticipating risks, and most of all, striving for innovation at every turn. 

Medical supply chain connectivity is set to be a hot topic at LogiMed 2019, taking place in March at the Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego, CA.

Download the agenda today for more information and insights.

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