Updated: May 11
Many innovators struggle even after launching a product successfully. This is mainly because the innovation assumes a life of its own that needs an efficient supply and distribution chain. As a medical innovator, you will soon realize that you are poorly equipped to handle the manufacturing, distribution, and marketing needs of the product. You need to plan and define your involvement after the product has become a success because the wrong type of involvement could lead to commercial failure very fast. What do you need to handle and what can be handled by others?
The biggest hurdle when it comes to manufacturing is production costs. Are the resources you require available locally or do they have to be shipped from sources across the world? Do you have the human resources available at affordable costs? What is the prevailing regulatory environment? All these questions give you answers that have implications on cost and timely production.
Licensing is an option to consider when defining your involvement in the industry. This involves making agreements with other entities allowing them to use your intellectual property or innovation. Most innovators are shy to license their innovations for fear of losing their intellectual property. You should be careful to patent the innovation before licensing another party to deal with the product.
Outsourcing is yet another route to minimizing your involvement in the manufacturing process. This typically involves non-essential components that do not require safeguarding of intellectual property e.g. gelatin capsules. This is a proven method of minimizing costs and cutting paperwork in your business processes.
The biggest question when defining your involvement in distribution would be, what is the monetary gain if you are in the market directly? Licensing typically covers manufacturing and distribution rights. But the biggest consideration in granting distribution rights is quality control. How good is the licensed product in comparison to the original product? This is crucial in the medical industry considering the sensitivity of the products. Poor quality products can lead to adverse impacts on the original manufacturer including product bans.
Do you have the capacity to run a corporate entity? Most innovators are not good business managers. A successful product translates to business growth, which in turn translates to higher organization needs, legal, human, and financial issues to be handled. You need a competent team to handle these issues.
After a successful product launch, it is time to let the product grow, taking care to put in processes that aid in this growth. Assessing the right amount of involvement will ensure that your product sees continued financial success.
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