Supply Chain Challenges Every MedTech Company Needs to Know About

By |Published On: January 10, 2024|

Entrepreneurs are keenly aware that the state of the world is unpredictable. From supply shortages affecting your ability to produce products to natural disasters and political unrest causing major production and shipping setbacks, supply chains are easily impacted by the state of the world. Of course, this is especially challenging when they occur where you’re doing business.

Since it is often impossible to predict news in the months and years to come, medtech businesses looking to launch and grow in the US need resilient operations systems to make their crucial work possible and enable their company to thrive. Just as important, a secure medical device supply chain is essential to getting life-saving technologies to the people that truly need it.

The hurdle of operations management can be especially challenging for companies abroad looking to launch or grow their medtech business in the US. Not only do they need to understand the supply chain to protect their business from experiencing unforeseen challenges, they also have a whole host of other important factors to worry about to ensure their business runs smoothly.

As Founder and CEO of Preferred Depot, the premier white label operations management, 3rd party logistics provider, and consulting partner for medtech companies growing in the US — navigating these challenges is the foundation of my career. So, to help companies all over the world successfully maneuver through this challenging territory and forge a path to the most resilient operations system possible, I am revealing the top challenges every medtech company needs to know about the supply chain to protect their business and ensure a smooth experience for customers.


The design of your packaging can cost you a lot of unnecessary money. Done right, it can save you a whole lot more! That is why a key part of a resilient and smooth operations system is using a consultant for packaging design. Many marketing teams often responsible for these designs don’t know the impact their decisions could have on protecting the product and saving valuable money for your company. For example, it can be crucial to make sure that all parts of the product are easily accessible, in both product and packaging design, to prevent additional challenges in the event of disassembly for repairs.


As a part of a growing medtech business looking to make it big in the US market, importation is probably high on your company’s list of priorities. If not, it should be! Customs can be a huge challenge if not approached appropriately. Of course, you’ll need to factor in a hefty load of rules and regulations to stay compliant. Specifically, you’ll need to pay attention to harmonized system codes, or HS codes. This is a standardized process of classifying traded products — often key in exportation of medical technology. If this isn’t done quickly enough you have to pay storage which can be costly. Beyond that, if you don’t have the proper documentation your products can be sent back to their origin location — a costly mishap. So, think about where and how you send your products, whether they come via ocean or via air, and be sure to work with a good, helpful customs agent whenever possible.


Once your products are released from customs, your supply chain concerns are still far from over. Next, your products will need to be sent to a logistics center with a facility capable of unloading the containers and staff that knows how to properly handle the products. So, consider working with a shipping company that can take on the magnitude you need and has docks that are suitable for your load. They can help you get familiar with the best ways to ship for your business that can significantly reduce operating costs — such as avoiding transportation via air. Plus, working with an experienced partner can allow you to take advantage of their larger volume and receive a big discount. So, be sure to seek out an operations partner or skilled 3PL team that already has these discounted rates. Working with a company like Preferred Depot can actually save you millions in the long run and even the short run too!


When shipping products around the world, there is no doubt you will need an excellent and cost effective storage plan to avoid unnecessary fees. Being strategic about your entire supply chain and operations process, including where and how long you store your products in a warehouse can be a hugely important factor in ensuring your products can be delivered on time, in the best possible quality, and for the most cost effective price. So, as you consider where and how to store your products, be aware of unnecessary fees and the additional shipping costs an inconvenient location might incur.


Disposal is not something that many companies want to think about. Of course, you want your product to always work flawlessly the first time. But inevitably there are some cases in which products are beyond repair and come back to your company for disposal. If you have a global company that has launched in the US, this can create an even bigger unforeseen challenge. There are only a few companies that can do this for you and not having a system to do it correctly can create risks for your company. So, when considering how to create a resilient and low-risk supply chain system, it is important to never forget disposal and consider the benefits of a local agent taking care of your operations management.


With all of the important factors above in mind, it may come as no surprise that having systems in place to protect your business and keep things running smoothly are absolutely essential. In fact, each thing on this list could make or break your business. That is why integrations are so important. Working with specialists who truly understand the global supply chain, especially in the US, and leveraging operations consulting services can help you create functional systems. Ultimately, going about your operations in the right way is perhaps the best way to protect your business. Finding the perfect team to partner with can make all the difference in your success.

At Preferred Depot, our mission is to help medtech companies looking to launch or grow in the US anticipate these and many other operations challenges. We believe that understanding and creating resilient supply chains is crucial for your business and for ensuring your world-changing product gets safely into the hands that need it. With the right team of professionals you can create systems that work flawlessly for your company — even in uncertain or challenging times. Preferred Depot provides a skilled operations partner that can seamlessly integrate and take the burden off of your team so you get back to fostering innovations and boosting sales. To learn more about how we can help your company achieve success in the US market, visit us at


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