Two words – Research. OK, it is only one, but if you say it slowly it kind of sounds like two.
How do I research a company when I don’t know any?
First, identify what your needs are. Do you need a custom type or shape of rubber or plastic tubing, custom Y-connectors, machining, electrical sub-assemblies, or something else? Deciding how many of what item(s) is the first and best way to start in a direction you can be pleased with the end results.
Next, you could go online and start searching for Contract companies in the medical device field, or ask some of the manufacturing engineers at your company that have a few years of experience for help, or you could pick up and read that magazine you quickly threw into a sponsor’s bag at the last Medical Device show you attended. If it happens to be the annual Medical Product Manufacturing News (MPMN) sponsored by MedTechWorld in association with Qmed, they detail hundreds of contractors and the services they offer. You are in luck!
The MPMN breaks out processes and products into eighteen categories, with twenty plus sub-categories to help potential customers focus in on their business needs. Contact phone numbers and locations are provided for suppliers with some having additional company information provided within the magazine for easy and a quick review.
Is this the only way to find a new supplier? No. I recommend attending at least one contractor show in your area of the country every two years if your business requires moderate to heavy usage with them. Also, ask other trusted business partners who they know, like, and why to help get a high-quality referral.
Once you identify the company you would like to partner up with, be crystal clear on the requirements via specifications, test requirements, certifications, etc. before the purchase orders are placed. The more up front work to ensure everyone from both companies are on the same page, the less likely there will be a surprise for either business when the product or service has been rendered. Best of luck, and email if you have questions!