Outsourcing expertise is a common practice for medical device companies – big and small – that don’t have the in-house resources or don’t want to pull existing resources from other key projects. All medtech companies need help: the number of FDA issues warning letters and quality management system violations is on the rise, marketing submissions are getting stricter, and “issues of quality” are most frequently being cited in rejected new device applications. Furthermore, consumer expectation of more complex and custom devices – all at lower costs – is adding significant pressure to companies who must drive down the cost of internal research and development. Finding the right experts is time consuming and often difficult, and good consultants are expensive.
Here are 5 reasons why exploring the use of remote consultants and contingent workers can save your company time, effort and money while increasing productivity:
- A lot of medtech work can be done remotely! The most commonly outsourced medtech work is often in the fields of regulatory, quality and reimbursement – all areas that involve significant research, strategy and documentation and may not require a ton of hands-on activity. For example: during a 510(k) submission project, I may meet with a client face-to-face for a kickoff meeting and not meet in person again until after final submission. Most of the predicate research, strategy development and technical writing can be done offsite- away from office distractions and water cooler talk!
- Technology has enabled a perfect home office: With the advent of multiple modalities of e-communication, constant communication with remote workers is a complete possibility. Have a conference call? Consultants can call in to the office conference call line. Need to do a webinar or huddle? Have your remote consultant call in using Skype or any other thousands of e-meeting software apps. Phone calls and emails are also always available as a backup. In short- keeping communication on task is not very difficult with the emergence of e-communication options.
- Skip the travel expenses and per diems: Consultant and contractor travel expenses add up. Using remote workers removes costs associated with lodging, food, per diem and other transportation, which often represents up to 25% of a contractor’s costs. Remote workers are, well, remote. So aside from a kickoff meeting and some occasional check-in onsite meetings, you can waive the travel costs immediately.
- Increased access to expertise: Placing a geographic limitation on where you can hire talent from is a huge instant burden on finding the right candidate to help you through your product development activities. If you’re in Minnesota, maybe the perfect combination product regulatory expert lives in California and isn’t a huge fan of snowy winters. Remote engagements increase you access to expertise, often by as much as 75%!
- Help – on an as needed basis. Remote consultants are often more willing to take on smaller projects on as needed basis instead of seeking out larger, bigger scope project. This helps medtech companies with resource planning, enabling them to hire help only as needed.
The value proposition for remote consulting agreement is clear: reduce procurement hassles, increase access to expertise and make consulting engagements flexible and cost efficient – all in an “as needed” fashion. Whether you’re a start-up looking for some guidance on your FDA 510(k) submission strategy or a big company VP needing back room support in a notified body audit, remote workers can be found easily and deployed quickly, saving you time and money.