Originally Published MDDI March 2005
|According to The Medtech Group's Gil Reich, Costa Rica will play a major role in outsourcing in the coming years.|
Although the medical universe that exists in Costa Rica is still small, The MedTech Group Inc. (South Plainfield, NJ) is confident it will grow. So confident, in fact, that the firm has opened a new manufacturing plant there. The plant, which was finished on budget and ahead of schedule, has been operational since November 2004.
Currently, there are only five medical device OEMs in Costa Rica. However, the company is confident that strategically, the plant will bring its services closer to its customers, says Gil Reich, vice president of sales and marketing for The MedTech Group. In addition, a plant in Costa Rica will create a foothold for the company in the growing medical arena in the country.
The new plant will provide the same services as the company's plants in the United States. It will focus on medical outsourcing, providing complete product development, manufacturing, packaging, and cleanroom injection molding. The company also provides sterilization services and employs a microbiologist to facilitate those services. Design and process engineers are available to assist companies with their product development and manufacturing processes.
The MedTech Group chose Costa Rica for a number of reasons. “Costa Rica has been a democracy for 100 years; it has a stable government, low wages, and a very high literacy rate,” says Reich. The company can draw from the country's many universities and technical schools for staffing.
Although Reich admits that moving work to China is enticing, he has some concerns about intellectual property there. “As a contract manufacturer, we are given access to intellectual property on a regular basis,” says Reich. “We are not crossing China off the list, but we are not ready for that yet.”
Reich describes the plant in Costa Rica as an investment for the future. The company plans to supply services only to the companies also located there, but those companies are manufacturing devices for export.
The MedTech Group is also continuing to look at other processes to add to its capabilities, but as Reich says, “we take our marching orders from our customers. We try to be close to them, and add what they want and need to our basket of services.”
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