GUIDE TO OUTSOURCING: OUTSOURCING NEWS
Market demand prompted Jabil to increase its attention to the medical device industry, the company says.
Jabil (St. Petersburg, FL) has launched a single-use device (SUD) business that will focus on outsourcing products such as drug-delivery devices, catheters, and diagnostic and laboratory disposables.
“The strategy is to focus on large market segments in which we have, or can develop, corresponding global design and manufacturing capabilities offering our customers credible global outsourcing,” says Gaet Tyranski, business unit director, medical, for Jabil. Tyranski, who has been with Jabil for nine years, was appointed to the position in early 2008.
Despite an unstable economy, Tyranski says that Jabil launched the new business unit to meet market demand. Jabil customers had been asking for SUD outsourcing for years. He says that Jabil felt that it was a good time to develop a strategy to offer SUD manufacturing as a natural extension of its existing electronics manufacturing and medical device manufacturing services. “The SUD business is an extension of our existing expertise. We know medical, we know molding and assembly, and now we are bridging the gap, not crossing a chasm.”
In addition, he says, market dynamics—growth market, fragmented suppliers, and reasonable returns—“are attractive and remain so despite the economy.” He cites as an example the need for diabetics to still take insulin.
Tyranski says that more than ever OEMs need credible global, stable outsourcing partners. “Our customers are seeking risk mitigation, and the smaller companies that have traditionally dominated the contract SUD market are a risk,” he says. “If anything, the market dynamics have thus improved for Jabil” because it is willing to enter new markets. He explains that in down markets, weak competition affords greater opportunity for stronger players. “So, as long as the industry fundamentals—increasing outsourcing, underlying market growth, and reasonable returns—remain intact, we will be well positioned for success.”
Tyranski notes that Jabil has SUD design experience at its facility in Vienna, Austria, and already has a molding and assembly operation in Uzhgorod, Ukraine, both of which help position the company to make a smooth transition to SUD manufacturing. “We are also looking to expand this footprint through targeted merger and acquisition activity,” he says. Jabil has converted existing facilities in Asia—acquired through Taiwan Green Point—to medical molding and assembly operations. The company's facilities in Wuxi, China, and Penang, Malaysia, are already ISO 13485 certified for medical device production.
In addition, the company will be taking advantage of its SUD design capabilities in St. Petersburg, FL. The SUD unit will offer design and development, tooling, molding, and assembly of devices. It will also provide services including packaging, sterilization management, and aftermarket assistance. Jabil's expertise is in low-volume, high-mix and high-volume, low-mix manufacturing as well as in design, supply-chain, and aftermarket services.
Tyranski emphasizes the importance of a contract manufacturer's commitment to the device industry. “Jabil plans to be a long-term partner to our medical customers, existing and new,” he says. “We continue to position ourselves—and invest in trade shows and other industry events—as the partner of choice for medical OEMs. If the competition is retreating, we should be in a great position to welcome customers and give them the attention they deserve.” He notes that this particularly applies to customers that “feel abandoned or feel like their suppliers are not investing in their future.”
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