Medtronic supply chain chief Greg Smith on shortages, suppliers and strategy

Greg Smith is Medtronic’s EVP of global operations and supply chain. [Photo courtesy of Medtronic]

The heat is on for Medtronic’s global operations and supply chain leader as he forges new links with suppliers the company relies on for innovation, quality and reliability.

For much of his 36-year career in operations, Greg Smith has had to explain to family and friends what the supply chain is and what his job is all about.

“I don’t have to do that anymore,” he said.

It’s no wonder why. Examples of supply chain SNAFUs have intruded on nearly all aspects of our everyday lives since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, from shortages of masks, test components and toilet paper in the early days to persistent bottlenecks in semiconductors, resins and the many medical and consumer products that use them.

Smith is EVP of global operations and supply chain at Medtron…

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Tips for vetting contract manufacturers from Fictiv CEO Dave Evans

Fictiv co-founder and CEO Dave Evans [Photo courtesy of Fictiv]

Good help is hard to find.

Fictiv co-founder and CEO Dave Evans has built a business around solving that challenge. San Francisco-based Fictiv finds and vets contract manufacturers to connect them with companies like medical device developers.

After closing a $100 million Series E funding round this spring, Evans spoke with Medical Design & Outsourcing to share some tips and tricks around vetting potential manufacturing partners.

MDO: What are the biggest things you look for?

Evans: You want to look at that manufacturing partner and say, ‘What are they really, really good at? What is their core expertise?’ Because what happens — especially in the medical contract manufacturing (CM) world — let’s say they start off and they’re really good with a certain type of PCBA or a certain chip set. From there t…

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GE Healthcare says recovery in supply of contrast media is on the way

GE Healthcare says its contrast media products are used in more than 100 million procedures globally every year. [Image courtesy of GE Healthcare]

GE Healthcare (NYSE:GE) announced today that it is on the way toward restabilizing its global supply of iodinated contrast media — a vital imaging agent.

The company said its Shanghai facility, previously closed amid COVID-19 restrictions in China, will be close to 100% production capacity by next week. Said GE: “We will continue to work with impacted customers to help them plan several weeks ahead as supply progressively recovers.”

According to a recent New York Times report, thousands of Americans have had to wait for exams because of the shortage. As related by NYT, FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf described the situation as “just unbelievable” while testifying to a U.S. Senate committee. “Someone with a stroke or heart attack wouldn’t b…

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GE Healthcare says recovery in supply of contrast media is on the way

GE Healthcare says its contrast media products are used in more than 100 million procedures globally every year. [Image courtesy of GE Healthcare]GE Healthcare (NYSE:GE) announced today that it is on the way toward restabilizing its global supply of iodinated contrast media — a vital imaging agent.

The company said its Shanghai facility, previously closed amid COVID-19 restrictions in China, will be close to 100% production capacity by next week. Said GE: “We will continue to work with impacted customers to help them plan several weeks ahead as supply progressively recovers.”

According to a recent New York Times report, thousands of Americans have had to wait for exams because of the shortage. As related by NYT, FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf described the situation as “just unbelievable” while testifying to a U.S. Senate committee. “Someone with a stroke or heart attack wouldn’t be able to get an angiogram.”

The closure of the Shangha…

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‘Catastrophic explosion’ and resin shortage led Medtronic’s supply chain problems

Medtronic CEO Geoff Martha [Photo courtesy of Medtronic]Medtronic CEO Geoff Martha today said a “catastrophic explosion” in Medtronic’s supply chain for packaging and a shortage of resins were the biggest issues hurting the company’s fourth-quarter performance.

Fridley, Minnesota-based Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) reported about $350 million less in sales than analysts were expecting for the quarter, which ended April 29.

Martha said about 75% of the miss was caused by supply chain issues, 15% by the COVID-19 lockdown in China and the last 10% due to foreign exchange rates getting worse.

Supply chain struggles “came out fast and hard” in the fourth quarter across the company’s businesses, but were most pronounced in Surgical Innovations (SI), Martha said.

Get the full story at our sister site, Medical Design & Outsourcing.

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‘Catastrophic explosion’ and resin shortage led Medtronic’s supply chain problems

Medtronic CEO Geoff Martha [Photo courtesy of Medtronic]

Medtronic CEO Geoff Martha today said a “catastrophic explosion” in Medtronic’s supply chain for packaging and a shortage of resins were the biggest issues hurting the company’s fourth-quarter performance.

Fridley, Minnesota-based Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) reported about $350 million less in sales than analysts were expecting for the quarter, which ended April 29.

Martha said about 75% of the miss was caused by supply chain issues, 15% by the COVID-19 lockdown in China and the last 10% due to foreign exchange rates getting worse.

Supply chain struggles “came out fast and hard” in the fourth quarter across the company’s businesses, but were most pronounced in Surgical Innovations (SI), Martha said.

“It was three things,” Martha said. “It was semiconductors, which is affecting every…

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AdvaMed joins Biden’s Joint Supply Chain Resilience Working Group

AdvaMed executive Abby Pratt has joined the executive committee for the Biden administration’s Joint Supply Chain Resilience Working Group, the medtech industry association said today.

The working group’s members from government and industry will assist with implementation of the National Strategy for a Resilient Public Health Supply Chain.

Pratt oversees supply chain issues as SVP in AdvaMed’s global policy department.

“Without access to component parts, ranging from high-tech semiconductor chips to basic papers and resins, our members are struggling to meet the demands of our health care system, potentially impacting the health and wellbeing of millions of Americans,” she said in a news release. “I am grateful for the opportunity to work with members of this public-private working group to address issues impacting our industry and to help ensure our supply chain is secure for patients in need.”

Get the full sto…

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AdvaMed joins Biden’s Joint Supply Chain Resilience Working Group

AdvaMed executive Abby Pratt has joined the executive committee for the Biden administration’s Joint Supply Chain Resilience Working Group, the medtech industry association said today.

The working group’s members from government and industry will assist with implementation of the National Strategy for a Resilient Public Health Supply Chain.

Pratt oversees supply chain issues as SVP in AdvaMed’s global policy department.

“Without access to component parts, ranging from high-tech semiconductor chips to basic papers and resins, our members are struggling to meet the demands of our health care system, potentially impacting the health and wellbeing of millions of Americans,” she said in a news release. “I am grateful for the opportunity to work with members of this public-private working group to address issues impacting our industry and to help ensure our supply chain is secure for patients in need.”

AdvaMed President and…

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Texas power grid struggles a year after cold stopped semiconductor plants

Samsung workers at a semiconductor fabrication plant [Photo courtesy of Samsung]A heat wave in Texas took at least six power plants offline Friday with high temperatures forecasted to blaze throughout this week.

A record cold snap in February 2021 took NXP Semiconductors and Samsung chip fabrication facilities offline for weeks, contributing to a global semicondcutor shortage that is still throttling medical device production.

There’s no indication yet that the power grid’s latest struggles will reduce or stop semiconductor production, but the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has asked residents to curb their electricity use ahead of more heat.

“With unseasonably hot weather driving record demand across Texas, ERCOT continues to work closely with the power industry to make sure Texans have the power they need,” ERCOT Interim CEO Brad Jones said in a news release.

Get the full story at…

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Startup vies to get blockchain adoption in pharma off the ground

[Image courtesy of Pixabay]

Blockchain may be arguably one of the most hyped technologies in recent memory, but the distributed ledger technology better known for its role in cryptocurrency may have significant potential in the pharma supply chain, clinical trials and beyond.

A blockchain-based initiative known as PharmaLedger has won support from prominent companies like Pfizer, Novartis, Merck & Co., Bayer and AstraZeneca.

In 2019, the FDA launched a pilot program supporting the Drug Supply Chain Security Act with the support of IBM, KPMG, Merck & Co. and Walmart.

The pandemic’s disruption of the pharmaceutical supply chain further spurred industry interest in exploring blockchain to improve logistics networks, as the Harvard Business Review observed.

Overall adoption of blockchain in pharma or the enterprise at large, however, remains at a nascent stage.

Blockchain in…

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Texas power grid struggles in heat one year after record cold stopped semiconductor plants

Samsung workers at a semiconductor fabrication plant [Photo courtesy of Samsung]

A heat wave in Texas took at least six power plants offline Friday with high temperatures forecasted to blaze throughout this week.

A record cold snap in February 2021 took NXP Semiconductors and Samsung chip fabrication facilities offline for weeks, contributing to a global semicondcutor shortage that is still throttling medical device production.

There’s no indication yet that the power grid’s latest struggles will reduce or stop semiconductor production, but the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has asked residents to curb their electricity use ahead of more heat.

“With unseasonably hot weather driving record demand across Texas, ERCOT continues to work closely with the power industry to make sure Texans have the power they need,” ERCOT Interim CEO Brad Jones said in a news relea…

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Medtech CEOs sound off on semiconductor shortage, pushing Biden administration for prioritization

BD CEO, President and Chair Tom Polen [Photo courtesy of BD]AdvaMed continues to push the Biden administration to prioritize medical device manufacturers for semiconductor supplies.

With medtech companies still struggling to source chips amid a global shortage, the industry association held a meeting this week with some of its members and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo to make their case.

“Semiconductor chips are crucial to our industry and to the countless patients who depend on the medical technologies we produce,” AdvaMed President and CEO Scott Whitaker said during the meeting, according to a readout. “In this challenging environment, we simply cannot compete with larger players to gain access to chips.”

Get the full story at our sister site, Medical Design & Outsourcing.

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