Sourcing and Manufacturing Medical Products in Asia

Our experienced specialists can help you find the most qualified Asian suppliers for your medical products.

Sourcing and Manufacturing Medical Products in Asia

Asia has become the chief manufacturing center of the world for medical devices, components, pharmaceuticals, and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). However, searching for a qualified manufacturing facility for your medical product in Asia is not an easy task. Extensive screenings of potential suppliers and stringent due diligence is necessary to ensure that you find a capable, trustworthy supplier. It is essential to perform this step thoroughly as poor supply chain practices may have a serious negative impact on your business and reputation.

Pacific Bridge Medical can help you locate and qualify supplier candidates, conduct due diligence, ensure compliance with local standards, and more. We can even act as your supply chain management consultant.

Our services to assist you in importing from Asia include:

  • Determining the best Asian country to source products from
    China and India are powerhouses for sourcing or manufacturing medical products. Vietnam is also a low cost country that is developing quickly. In some cases, India and Vietnam can offer costs as low as half of China’s. We will conduct an in-depth assessment of the client’s product and needs in order to determine the most strategic and cost-effective Asian country to source from.
  • Initial supplier search
    Medical manufacturer directories, trade shows, catalogs and internet sources are all sources for beginning a manufacturer search. However, it is critical to acknowledge that while there is a wealth of information on the internet, this should not be the sole foundation for qualifying capable suppliers. PBM has on-the-ground sourcing experts who speak the Asian languages and will carefully inspect the details of potential suppliers’ manufacturing facilities and quality control processes.
  • Contacting, qualifying, and building relationships with capable Asian suppliers
    We will begin by initiating contact with suppliers via phone and email to pre-assess their capabilities, determine who actually owns the company, if the company possesses the manufacturing licenses for the devices they claim to produce, and how financially stable the manufacturer is.
  • On-site assessments & quality audits at supplier manufacturing facilities
    Face-to-face meetings are a crucial part of establishing and further developing business relations with candidate manufacturers. Although we will address inquiries similar or identical to the questions previously asked via phone and email, the impression received during the facility tour takes precedence over presumptions attained during the preliminary off-site investigation.PBM will confirm the following information during on-site visits:

    • Supplier headquarters (business operations) and manufacturing facility addresses
    • Direct contact information for all primary contacts (names, titles, direct phone numbers, email addresses, etc.)
    • Year of establishment Sourcing and Manufacturing Medical Products in Asia
    • Main export markets
    • Number of employees
    • Number of total manufacturing facilities
    • Annual revenue
    • Compliance with local and international standards
    • Relevant certifications (ISO 13485, CE certificates, etc.)
    • Primary (main) product lines
    • Secondary product lines (if applicable)
    • Valid operating licenses (official business license, invoice sample, tax registration certificates, etc.)
  • Providing a detailed supplier report
    We will submit a detailed report summarizing each supplier’s capabilities and ability to make the required medical products. We will indicate our assessment of components such as factory equipment/machinery used, production area cleanliness and organization, the assembly process, risk management procedures, personnel, etc. and also indicate our overall rating for the supplier based on our assessment criteria.We will discuss the report with the client and answer any follow-up questions. We will also communicate with the suppliers to provide an evaluation of the total costs.
  • Providing supplier product samples for your review
    We will ensure supplier diligence and comprehension of your product specifications (color & design, weight, dimensions, raw materials used for components) as well as printing and packing specifications (package printing colors, box packaging and design, etc.) by requesting samples based on your individual requirements.
  • Conclude a sourcing agreement
    We will assist with negotiating a sourcing agreement. On your behalf, PBM will negotiate production costs for product samples, product molding costs, minimum order quantity (MOQ) per purchase order, product price per unit, packaging & labeling, printing fees, and payment terms.
  • Quality assurance inspections for product purchase orders
    Our QC inspector will perform and manage quality assurance inspections at the supplier’s manufacturing and/or freight forwarding facility before the products are shipped to your final destination.We will develop schedules and maintain reports for all Quality Assurance Checks.
  • On-going supplier management
    We will continue monitoring the manufacturing and sourcing process to ensure that the products are properly manufactured to your expectations.

Whether you need comprehensive assistance with all services related to the sourcing and manufacturing process, or would like us to consult on a specific sourcing and manufacturing function, PBM can develop and execute a plan that’s tailored to meet your requirements. Contact us today or select your target market for country-specific information.

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Sourcing and Manufacturing Medical Products in China

China has become a key global site for medical device, pharmaceutical, and API sourcing and manufacturing. This is a function of its relatively low costs, huge industrial base, and large foreign investment. There are two key reasons why Western medical companies currently source and manufacture their products in China: 1) to reduce the cost of components, API’s, and finished medical products; and 2) to make or source medical products for sale in the expanding domestic Chinese market. However, many fall victim to insufficient preparation and misinformation, thereby causing delays and import issues.

Below are some common issues associated with sourcing and manufacturing in China that can make the process challenging:

  • Fast economic development is rapidly changing the country.
    Medical manufacturing costs are increasing dramatically in the key coastal urban areas, such as the Pearl River Delta in Guangdong and the greater Shanghai area. To deal with this, some foreign and Chinese medical manufacturers are moving their factories farther inland to less developed parts of China, while other factories are staying put and moving up the value chain by manufacturing more sophisticated medical products.
  • The research and fieldwork involved can be complex and time-consuming.
    Finding the right factories and subcontractors and/or setting up your own local facilities takes a great deal of patience and due diligence.
  • Finding quality, honest, and reliable suppliers can be difficult.
    Ensuring that your suppliers in China are reliable and have quality systems based on international standards is not an easy process. In China, suppliers and manufacturers are notorious for taking advantage of Western medical companies who are not familiar with Chinese business practices or know little about the China market. Chinese suppliers and manufacturers have been known to exude unethical practices. For example, if you assist a Chinese supplier with improving their manufacturing processes, you must ensure they will not replicate and sell products to your competitors later on.

Sourcing and Manufacturing Medical Products in India

India is one of the leading countries for sourcing and manufacturing medical products. Technical and quality standards are improving quickly with India’s mature medical education system. Medical products made in India are oftentimes cheaper than comparable products made in China. India also has over 100 FDA-approved drug factories. Additionally, more and more Class I and II medical devices are being made in India, and API sourcing is growing very quickly as well. Today there are a number of Western medical companies sourcing and manufacturing their products in India in order to reduce costs and target the growing domestic Indian market.

In searching for the best facilities to manufacture your medical products in India, be sure to keep these points in mind:

  • Dependable manufacturers can sometimes be difficult to find.
    It may take a great deal of time and effort to locate Indian manufacturers that are capable, reliable, and have quality systems that are up to international standards. Having local assistance in your manufacturer search can help solidify a relationship with a factory or subcontractor to guarantee that you will get precisely the service that you need.
  • Trying to reform manufacturing processes overseas can pose potential threats.
    If you help the supplier improve their manufacturing processes so you can import a better medical device product, how can you be sure that manufacturer will not also sell such products to your competitors? Security of intellectual property and loyalty of the producer can be uncertain in India, where this practice is prevalent.  This can come at a huge expense for foreign medical companies. Our team of experts can help your company feel safe about your operations in India because we have helped so many others overcome these same issues.

Sourcing and Manufacturing Medical Products in Vietnam

Vietnam is often referred to as the “next China,” with many similarities to China’s economy ten years ago. Costs tend to be significantly lower in Vietnam compared to China; as a result, some international medical firms are moving medical product sourcing and production from China to Vietnam. The success of medical product sourcing and manufacturing in Vietnam will be a function of how quickly international quality standards can be met. Nowadays, there are many Western medical companies sourcing and manufacturing their products in Vietnam. The reason for this is twofold; the first reason is to reduce the cost of components and finished medical device products, and the second is to make or source medical products for sale in the emerging domestic Vietnamese market.

When setting up your manufacturing business in Vietnam, it is important to take into consideration a few things that may make operations a little rocky:

  • Vietnam’s quality systems are often not up to standards.
    Although costs are lower in Vietnam, the production quality should not be compromised. In general, Vietnam’s quality standards are not as developed as China’s. However, that’s where we come in. Our team on the ground in Vietnam can help assure that your company is working with a manufacturer who will provide you with exceptional service.
  • Finding the right manufacturer for your particular medical product can be complicated.
    We understand that whenever you decide to go overseas, a lot of time and effort is spent on selecting the right manufacturers.  Even so, how do you know if this is the right one for your business? Making sure that your source is efficient, legitimate, and responsible are crucial ingredients for success.

Sourcing and Manufacturing Medical Products in Other Southeast Asian Countries

Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand

Other Asian countries in Southeast Asia are also low-cost centers for sourcing and manufacturing medical products. Although costs in these ASEAN countries are generally higher than costs in India and Vietnam, there are various reasons international firms choose to source or manufacture medical products in these countries. Such reasons may include more sophisticated manufacturing environments and better intellectual property protection.

To ensure that you are getting the most out of manufacturing or sourcing in these Southeast Asian countries, there are various challenges that may require a certain expertise. For example, you may question:

  • How do I know if the supplier is honest and trustworthy?
  • Are my products being made at international quality standards?
  • How do I deal with copying and competition?

Pacific Bridge Medical can help you secure a competitive manufacturer, make sure the products made meet your specifications, and help protect your intellectual property.

Pacific Bridge Medical’s local offices in Asia can assist your company in finding experienced, reliable, Asian medical manufacturers for long-term sourcing and manufacturing partnerships. We also have the expertise to help you set up your own wholly owned greenfield factory for medical products in the Asian countries. For a free consultation with our sourcing experts, contact us.

Related Resources

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