The technologies in the medtech industry are rapidly changing, while at the same time the whole industry is globalizing at a fast pace. New emerging geographies mean for US and European companies new locational challenges and new types of risks to be addressed.

The worldwide medtech industry, a broad and diversified industry vertical with over 10,000 product groups and 500,000 technologies, is still growing. With a forecasted annual growth rate of 4.1%, the sector will reach sales of nearly $ 480 bln by 2020. But no dull moment in the medtech, as technology and innovation challenges have to be addressed, but also pricing pressures and regulatory changes. This last point (regulatory and legal context) varies per country. Take Asia as an example: more than 50 countries, varying tremendously in size, market access, regulatory approvals and reimbursement models.

Global manufacturing footprint

“Producing devices or equipment in every geography of the world is on the top of the board agenda of all medtech companies”, says Johan Beukema, managing partner at Buck Consultants International. “Clients are interested in the opportunities, location choices and risks in countries like Malaysia, Vietnam, Mexico and China. They want to combine the growth of these emerging markets and customer proximity with overall relative low production costs, in order to really optimize their global manufacturing footprint”. Beukema underlines that companies need to have a clear global manufacturing strategy, which has to address four questions. The why question is about the drivers behind such a strategy, varying from market pull to technology push. What refers to make or buy decisions, balancing the pros and cons of own manufacturing versus CMO strategies. The where question is to identify for an individual company relevant regions in the world. Last but not least is the how question, how to mobilize the company for change”.

Mathijs Pronk, senior consultant adds: “Buck Consultants International has a variety of tools to assist companies in making these strategic decisions. From C-level strategic workshops to complete footprint scenario simulation and location choices all over the globe. And always with a practical mindset, based on our 30+ medtech projects annually”.

For medtech companies Buck Consultants International has a specific presentation ‘Global Footprint Strategy, Scenarios & Location Choices in the Medtech Industry” available, free of charge. Please mail:

Learn more about this topic or want to discuss this topic with an expert?

Receive news from BCI