– We’ve been doing this for almost 30 years, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you have to focus on every little detail. To survive in this industry, you must tolerate being outdone on all points, says Dag Nord, general manager and senior partner at Endotech AS, at the outset.
Endotech is Norway’s leading supplier of endoscopic equipment, and has since 1992 collaborated with healthcare organizations and professional environments throughout the country.
– There are not many industries that have such strict requirements for the supply chain as we have. We are subject to very strict directives for the processing of our products at all stages. This applies from production to shipping, storage and until the product is inside the patient, continues Nord.
When Endotech had to find a new partner for the storage and shipping of their products in the autumn of 2019, they also had to consider the new regulations on medical devices (MDR), which were scheduled to be introduced at the end of May 2021. This directive contains further strong restrictions in the requirements of the supply chain.
Strict requirements for subcontractors
Since Endotech is subject to very strict requirements from the authorities, they must also place correspondingly strict requirements on their subcontractors. Several different criteria must be met to qualify as a potential collaboration partner.
– There are an insane number of links in the production chain, but ultimately, we are the ones who front the products to the hospitals. This means that we are also responsible for the entire series, no matter who has made a mistake. We are no stronger than the weakest link in the chain and therefore we must know that we are working with decent people, who treat the goods as we ask them to, says the company’s manager passionately.
Nord says that the company scouted out relevant candidates and carried out a mini-tender round to get an impression of how the various actors would meet their expectations and wishes. After meeting with three finalists, and visiting their respective warehouses, the choice finally fell on Distribusjonspartner.
– Distribusjonspartner clearly stood out because they have a great focus on control, order, tidiness and compliance. They have good routines for cleaning and checking dust and air quality, as well as installations that ensure that our products are kept as clean as possible in a warehouse. In addition, the premises are well secured, and only relevant people have access to the warehouse, he explains.
Distribusjonspartner takes care of the entire process
Today, Distribusjonspartner takes care of the entire process from receipt of goods when the medical equipment arrives in the country to delivery at the relevant locations. This includes the entire order processing, packing of goods, dispatch and transport.
– We often visit the premises, both announced and unannounced, to get an impression of the routines for storage, hygiene and tidiness. We are very satisfied with the total package Distribusjonspartner delivers in accordance with the strict requirements regarding storage, processing and shipping, emphasizes Nord.
Besides high efficiency, good follow-up and employees he describes as «great people to deal with, every single one of them», there is one thing in particular that Nord has noted.
– The employees at the warehouse are organized in teams. This means that those who process our goods are experienced and have knowledge of our products and the requirements placed on them. It is not just anyone who picks out our goods.
– The deviation has become almost zero
Nord has also seen an interesting trend when it comes to discrepancies in Endotech’s deliveries.
– After we switched to Distribusjonspartner, our deviation has become almost zero. As long as people perform manual tasks there will always be something, but let’s say there are maybe five incidents in a year. If an error does occur, it is handled very professionally. Then they quickly come out and say: «We’ll sort this out and we’ll take it at our expense», he praises.
He attributes the almost non-existent deviation to good routines and controls, as well as the fact that it is the same people who carry out the routine tasks throughout.
Dag Nord is well satisfied to have found a subcontractor that satisfies Endotech’s strict criteria, but he is still unsure whether he will recommend colleagues in the industry about Distribusjonspartner.
– Basically, I have no problems recommending Distribusjonspartner to similar suppliers like us. On the other hand, I don’t really want to do that, because it is absolutely golden for us to have such a supplier for ourselves, he concludes jokingly.
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