“Supply disruptions are going to carry over from 2021 to 2022,” predicted Michael Muchin, general manager, North America, Avery Dennison Medical. “Demand is coming back for the industry, but while inventory levels are slowly rebounding, supply challenges are impacting the delivery of materials. This market dynamic has created a perfect storm. It’s a very challenging supply environment across the medical sector.”
Scott Herskovitz, president and chief executive officer of Qosina, also expects to see supply chain issues along with labor shortages in 2022. “There are still material shortages resulting from chemical plant explosions as well as labor shortages and sickness that continue to impact every company,” he explained. As a result of these challenges, he is concerned about overbuying, which could lead to crucial products being taken out of the economy that might be needed for others.
His advice? “Get orders in early and communicate forecasts.”
Herskovitz also acknowledges that “for medical devices, it is hard to replace components because they could be specified in 510(k)s—but not all products are like that. If companies are able to consider alternative components, we stock a wide selection with similar functionalities.”
Avery Dennison is working with its customers "to accurately forecast demand and to accept forward orders so that we limit supply disruptions,” Muchin added. “We are also collaborating closely with our global supplier network. As part of Avery Dennison Corp., we are fortunate to have strong relationships with large suppliers. That relationship has helped us secure raw material allocations when supply was constrained. Ultimately, it’s been a combination of us working closely with our customers and suppliers to source the right inventory at the right time.”
Kevin Young, vice president of corporate development at Web Industries, believes that "supply chain issues run deep. They include concerns over sourcing reliability from the Far East and the cost of shipping. These are typically global dynamics over which no company has total control. Finding supply sources that can mitigate them should be uppermost in medical device producers' minds. Regional contract manufacturers exist in North America and Europe that can accommodate fluctuations in demand and do not depend on overseas transport to meet delivery schedules. Depending on a medical device manufacturer's volume and timing needs, outsourcing to regional contractors may be a suitable alternative to the supply processes manufacturers currently have in place." The company is a contract manufacturer for assembling COVID test kits and a converter of PPE used in the medical industry.