Operating ten facilities across three continents, Flambeau is no stranger to global program execution. Over seventy years in the thermoplastic processing business has brought us closer to the global community. We operate and employ over a thousand people across our global organization. In addition to operating within the international business community, Flambeau has customers spanning across the world.
The Challenge – A Case Study
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. Considering the volume of goods exchanged between Mexico and the United States, the logistics landscape can be challenging to navigate. Whether it is logistics paperwork or stringent customs requirements, incomplete or non-certified product can be held at the border indefinitely. This creates supply chain issues for Flambeau, our customers, and, ultimately, the patients.
One of Flambeau’s clients is a global medical device company involved in cross-border business between Nogales, Mexico and Phoenix, Arizona USA for over a decade. 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 we produce product on a Monday and deliver the product and tooling the following Monday, leaving us only five business days to complete the production process and ship.
In this tight timeframe, our manufacturing team worked diligently to complete this critical, international production run; we consolidated and focused our resources to accomplish critical tasks, including:
• Obtaining material, material COCs, and generating export paperwork
• Manufacturing under normal production conditions and providing statistical process control (SPC) data
• Product and equipment inspection, packaging and labeling upon completion of manufacturing
From an execution standpoint, Flambeau’s manufacturing team modified the machine schedule and produced quality parts in an accelerated schedule. Our logistics department completed expedited paperwork accurately and completely, attaching all of the necessary customs shipment documentation. Furthermore, the logistics team secured an international shipper and transported the molded components and equipment to the customer in time to meet the deadline.
In the medical device industry, on-time critical delivery can save lives. The result of this particular international delivery was threefold. 1) Flambeau’s customer was able to continue their market testing and ultimately launch their product commercially. 2) The lives of patients using the product were enhanced and improved as a result of Flambeau’s ability to execute this global program. 3) Flambeau’s demonstration of global launch capabilities solidified our reputation as a top-tier supplier with leading medical device corporations around the world.