Client: American Medical Systems
Location: Minnetonka, MN
Industry: Medical Supplies
Developing and marketing a new, lead-lined container for transporting nuclear medicines presented American Medical with an opportunity for a new strategic direction. And E-BI was chosen to help.
American Medical sought an organization with proven capability in product design and manufacturing to support a new, lead-lined container for transporting nuclear medicines. They believed that bringing this new product to market could, in addition to facilitating American Medical’s own transport needs, potentially open a new market in medical transport packaging in which American would have a competitive edge.
When we began working with E-BI, we quickly learned how much we didn't know about manufacturing this product. E-BI engineers, both USA and China-based, communicated very well. We felt like we were part of their processes and this gave us a feeling of integration within their organization.
American researched the field of outsourced service and manufacture providers, and selectively narrowed the field of contenders. E-BI emerged as the company with superior capabilities, said Ranieri, based on four key factors:
- E-BI’s Global Supply Chain Management (GSCM) system American had never made a product outside of the United States, therefore, it was important to align with a company that could hand-hold them during the manufacturing and quality control process. E-BI’s 14 dimension tracking and logistics GSCM system provided American with insight into every step of the manufacturing process with transparency “that goes far beyond an email, phone call or visit,” Ranieri said. “E-BI has spent years developing this system and it gave us the confidence that E-BI is a state-of-the-art vendor. It exceeded our expectations to have capability, at any time of the day, to get on the web, log on, and quickly find out any details about our RFQ, order, and detail about who is doing what and when. With the GSCM we experienced that it does not make any difference if E-BI makes our product in China or next door, as long as we have the ability to tap into the E-BI’s system. I know of no other potential partners or vendors that offer such capability.”
- E-BI’s Design Center. Utilizing E-BI’s design center eliminated the need for third part services. This reduced the communication prob-lems and increased the effectiveness of our processes. In a very short time American had a new design seamlessly moving into manufacturing.
- E-BI Support during the RFQ process. American was able to discuss every step with the open communication and detail needed to establish ‘comfort’ with E-BI as their pri-mary supplier. “Obviously, we wanted someone who was price competitive,” Ranieri said, “but not at the expense of quality or service. Our ability to discourse during the RFQ process helped us make a selection we could strongly justify and stand behind.”
- Open communication. Initial American concerns about the quality and reliability of communication with Chinese manufacturers were quickly laid to rest. “We get just as much communication with China as we do with partners here in the USA,” Ranieri said. “Engineers are talking to engineers, accounting talking to accounting, managers talking to managers.”
Collaborative dialogue between American and E-BI throughout the product management cycle produced the unexpected benefit of triggering “out-of-the-box” considerations. American, in discussion with E-BI, is now exploring potential markets for additional de-velopment through product offerings made by outside manufacturers.
In looking at American’s existing and potentially expanded utilization of E-BI design and manufacturing services, Ranieri reiterates the importance of strategic suppliers. “If I look back on the last 18 months, E-BI has certainly shown impact and value to achievement of our mission.“