Indirect spend optimization at a MedTech company
New structures for procurement of translation services and virtual trade fairs.
Our client is a global healthcare company that manufactures and distributes products for electrotherapy of the heart and blood vessels. We were commissioned to optimize the costs for the procurement of translations as part of a classic co-sourcing project. In addition, we were able to support the company in the area of “virtual trade fairs” when they had to switch from presence to virtual concepts at short notice and for the first time due to the Corona situation.
Translation services: between quality demands and automation potentials
With a volume of €600,000, procurement for translation services was one of the largest cost blocks in Indirect Spend. The department was already very professional here. In medical technology companies, diligence plays a particularly important role in medical translations and the demands are high. For this reason, translations always went through an elaborate quality assurance process involving several translators, at the end of which an internal translator from our customer acted as a reviewer. All translations went through this process, regardless of their relevance, which led to high translation quality but also to inefficiencies.
At the beginning of the project, it was therefore important to cluster the entire cost pool for translation, as medical translations had to be considered with a different level of care than standard translations, e.g. translations of marketing materials, as the project progressed. Based on the two clusters, our consultants designed two independent processes.
In the area of medical translations, we issued a new call for tenders. However, we only invited service providers to tender and negotiate who met our high quality standards and could demonstrate a specialization in medical translations. Through test translations during the tender process, we were able to continue to ensure extremely high quality at improved conditions.
During the tendering process for standard translations, we worked with the customer to find service providers that at least partially automate translations in order to generate significant cost savings in this way. Translations using AI applications can automate the first step in the translation process, reducing costs by up to 50 percent. In addition, the quality of translations improves with each text as the AI system continuously learns. Through a structured testing process and requirements workshops with the providers, we were able to identify the optimal service providers for our customer.
- Consistently high quality and improved conditions for medical translations Up to 50 percent cost savings for standard translations
- Shorter delivery times for standard translations thanks to AI
Concept virtual trade fairs: focus on the client
Trade shows are extremely relevant as a sales channel for medical technology products. On the one hand, this is because they give users, in the case of our customer primarily doctors, the opportunity to examine the product in reality. On the other hand, the personal exchange and the opportunity to clarify detailed questions face to face play an important role.
With the Corona pandemic and the fact that many trade show operators have switched to digital formats, our client was now suddenly faced with the challenge of having to present its quality-critical products in a virtual environment. We supported the company in designing a virtual trade show concept and selecting the appropriate service providers. As the process continued, it quickly became clear that we would need to bring new suppliers on board for this – the trade show builders our client had previously worked with were experts in the field of face-to-face trade shows, but had little digital expertise. We therefore conducted a comprehensive supplier research and identified specialized providers.
The requirement here was to recreate our customer’s trade show booth as virtually as possible – with the possibility of examining the products in detail, experiencing the application possibilities, and engaging in personal exchange.
One difficulty in the tendering process was that the services put out to tender were not comparable with the trade fair services previously purchased and therefore lacked empirical values and benchmarks in terms of quality and costs. The quality and timely creation of the digital exhibition stand initially had the higher priority. However, in order to optimize costs in the long term, we created benchmarks from the tender data and used them to create a pricing list for our customer that included the costs for the possible modules as well as alternatives. In this way, our customer also has planning security about the costs if he wants to use other or additional modules in the future.
In the further course of the project, the concrete concept for the trade fair stand was then developed. Close cooperation between the specialist department (congresses & events), procurement, sales and the service provider was essential. Our consultants accompanied the entire process.
- Interactively designed virtual exhibition stand
- Powerful and innovative new suppliers
- Benchmarks and pricing list