Cross Border Cooperation
Operating 10 facilities across 3 continents, Flambeau is no stranger to global program execution. 70 years in business has brought us closer to the global community, and we now operate and employ hundreds of people across our global organization. In addition to operating within the international business community, Flambeau has customers spanning across the United States and the world.
Globalization and international trade in the medical device industry has never been more prevalent than it is today. In particular, Mexico has become a key international player in the medical device industry. And considering the volume of goods exchanged between Mexico and the United States, the logistics landscape can be challenging to navigate. Whether it’s NAFTA paperwork or stringent Customs requirements, incomplete or non-certified product can be held at the border indefinitely. This creates supply chain issues for us, our customers, and ultimately the patients.
One of Flambeau’s clients, a global medical device company, has been involved in cross-border business between Nogales, Mexico and Phoenix, Arizona USA for over a decade. However, more recently Flambeau has been working in tandem with this client on developmental molding applications and we have freely transferred equipment across the border including tooling, finished goods, fixtures, and processing goods.
In one case, our customer was on a tight timeline for product and equipment to complete a critical production run for market testing. The customer requested that we produce product on a Monday and deliver product and tooling the following Monday, leaving us only five business days to complete the production process and ship.
Our manufacturing team worked diligently over tight timelines to deliver internationally. In order to complete this critical production run we consolidated and focused our resources to accomplish critical tasks including:
• Obtain material, material COC’s, and begin export paperwork
• Manufacture under normal production conditions and provide statistical process control (SPC) data
• Upon completion of manufacturing, the product and equipment needed to be inspected, packaged and labeled.
From and execution standpoint Flambeau’s manufacturing team modified the machine schedule and produced quality parts in an accelerated manner. Our logistics department completed expedited paperwork accurately and completely, attaching all of the necessary NAFTA documents to the shipment record. Finally, the logistics team secured an international shipper and transported the molded components and equipment to the customer.
In the medical device industry, an on-time critical delivery can save lives.
The result of this particular international delivery was threefold. First, Flambeau’s customer was able to continue their market testing and ultimately launch their product commercially. Second, the lives of patients using the product are enhanced and improved as a result of Flambeau’s ability to execute this global program. And finally, Flambeau’s demonstration of global launch capabilities solidifies our reputation as a top-tier supplier to leading medical device corporations in the world.