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Choosing an OEM Partner: 3 Ingredients to a Successful Partnership

oem partnershipIn our last OEM technology blog post, we discussed things to consider when deciding whether to work with an OEM clinical technology vendor.  If thinking through these issues encourages you to investigate further, here are three key ingredients to identifying the right partner who will give you the best chance for your ideas and products to succeed in today’s dynamic healthcare marketplace.
As you might expect from a partnership, the first two ingredients depend largely on the partners!

  1. Complementing Capabilities: The impetus to find a partner comes from accepting that you and your company cannot or do not want to do it all.  As discussed in the previous post, an OEM technology vendor is able to offer you advantages in reducing costs, speeding development time, or gaining subject-matter expertise that are simply too expensive or time-consuming to attain given your resources and business plans.  Simply put, a good partner complements your capabilities.  In this way, you are better able to exercise your strengths and they theirs in pursuit of your goals.  Building a successful partnership starts with being able to identify where the differences between you and your partner make sense.
  2. Key Similarities: As much as complementing capabilities are needed in any successful partnership, partners need to be similar in many other ways.  For instance, they can share expectations on how the relationship should work, perspectives on the market opportunity, or even go as far as sharing risk in joint development of a project.  It’s not necessary that all of these things be shared.  However, at the very least, successful partners need to have a shared focus, especially in today’s healthcare environment.  As Paul Levy eloquently describes Intermountain Health’s approach to patient care, “Our focus on key clinical processes had a major secondary impact. These processes represent the entire care continuum that patients experience, without concern for the location of the care, such as home-based, clinic-based, or inpatient care delivery. Correctly managed, they lead naturally to patient-centered care.”  If this is the approach that successful providers are taking, it becomes even more important that companies and partners developing healthcare solutions do as well.
  3. Proven Success as an OEM Supplier: For any company choosing an OEM partner, the final ingredient to making a successful partnership is finding a company that has demonstrated itself to be a reliable and complementary supplier.  This may sound obvious, but it takes more than simply having the technology and products to be a successful OEM technology provider.  It takes expertise in helping companies integrate and implement technology solutions.  In healthcare, it also takes clinical expertise to innovate and develop solutions that can successfully be trialed and eventually proven clinically effective and beneficial to the patient and business.  In fact, two of SunTech’s partners can attest to this as both Honeywell Hommed and ExpressMD Solutions have developed telemedicine solutions currently being used, trialed, and proven in the market.

This is merely an overview of our experience as a medical device company that has learned to become an OEM clinical technology provider.  We’re happy to hear about others' experience in choosing OEM partners and/or sharing more of the detail to the ingredients above.

 

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