I am just one person, an individual recruiter, but I want to try to help my orthopedic friends in device companies through this difficult time.
Over the last couple of weeks, I have been talking with many orthopedic leaders during this strange time of cancelled procedures. Leaders are scrambling to figure out what to do and most are laying out contingency plans.
I have no advice on what to do with your finances, payroll, or sales. Every device company is different. Every hospital/ASC is different. But I see some general opportunities for all.
#1-The procedure rebound will come.
First of all, the good news. There will be a BIG rebound. Elective cases will come back with a boom at some time in the future. Nobody knows when but here is the best guess from the OrthoStreams community so far.
First elective cases open up – June/July
Large backlog of elective cases – Sept/Oct
#2-Use this time to clarify
Adversity is clarifying.
Orthopedic companies should use this time to refocus on what your value is. Do you sell implants or pain relief? Do you sell drills or holes in bones? What is your secret sauce, really?
#3-Rethink your business models to be more competitive after the C19 spike.
When hospitals and ASCs come back online for elective orthopedic cases, there will be permanent changes to the orthopedics business.
After 9-11 airports changed the security protocols FOREVER. Largely because the terrorist threat was in the airports.
After C19, hospitals will change their protocols for how they deliver healthcare FOREVER. Largely because hospitals are the front lines for the war on C19.
Please understand this. Hospitals will be changed forever. They will change the way they interact with your company and your reps. Your reps will not cruise in and out of the hospital because they have a great relationship with the surgeon and have good standing on Reptrax. Things will be different.
You must take time now to proactively rethink your training, planning, distribution and service.
How can you shift your sales from hospitals to ASCs customers?
How can you improve your scheduling, delivering, sterilizing, and servicing businesses to put less work and less stress on hospitals/ASCs?
How can you sell more procedure specific single-use disposables and less systems that require autoclavable trays?
How can your sales reps provide surgery support with less-human contact? Avail?
How can you prove to the hospital that your implant box packaging is C19 free?
How can you prove or certify that your sales reps are C19 free before they enter the hospital?
How can your reps provide and wear their own PPEs?
How can you partner with a wearables company for remote clinical data before/after surgery to take the followup visits clinical outcomes burden off your customers?
How can you partner with companies that specialize in VR surgical training to train more surgeons on your systems faster/cheaper, than physical training in a resort hotel?