SOURCE: Intertech

February 28, 2007 07:17 ET

Medical Device Companies Can Learn From McDonald's Vendor Approach, Intertech's Vogel Writes

NORWOOD, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 28, 2007 -- Medical device manufacturers can learn how to get the best out of their vendors by studying McDonald's, David A. Vogel, president of Intertech Engineering Associates, writes in the current issue of Today's Medical Developments.

McDonald's got to the top by working with small, entrepreneurial suppliers, winning their loyalty and benefiting from their success, Vogel writes. Founder Ray Croc reached out to smaller suppliers for innovation in distribution, technology and food products.

"With today's technology explosion, medical device manufacturers need equally creative solutions. It's impossible for even the biggest company to develop all the creative solutions in-house," Vogel writes.

Kroc knew that vendor loyalty was a crucial asset and viewed vendors as partners.

"McDonald's benefited because suppliers worked diligently to improve product quality and efficiency, often at their own risk. Because they knew McDonald's would reward their loyalty, suppliers invested in new products and processes to benefit McDonald's," he writes.

Vogel supplied electronic communication equipment to McDonald's years ago. He was pleasantly shocked when the McDonald's manager told him he wanted to make sure there was enough money to make the deal profitable. The manager also asked what else they could do to make the project successful and provided some up-front funding, cementing Vogel's loyalty.

But too few companies take that approach today.

"Too often, in the 'David and Goliath' business match-ups, the larger company in the transaction seems to have an attitude that the smaller company is lucky to be doing business with it. There is often resentment by the large company that the smaller company would be financially successful because of their business relationship. There often seems to be an unspoken attitude that the smaller company should be ready to take losses to ensure the success of the larger company. These attitudes do not instill the kinds of supplier loyalty that can become so valuable in the long term," Vogel concludes.

The full article can be read at www.onlinetmd.com/article.cfm?id=550.

Intertech Engineering Associates, Inc. (www.inea.com) in Norwood, Mass. provides hardware and software development, requirements and quality engineering, product validation services, training and consulting for medical device manufacturers. Vogel, Ph.D., is a top expert in device development, software safety and regulatory compliance.

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