I often receive healthcare manufacturer questions like this:
“I’ve already shared my product data with GUDID… why is my IDN or GPO customer asking for data too? Can’t my customer just use my GUDID submission?”
The short answer is: “Not entirely.”
Take a moment to consider the IDN’s dilemma. Most IDNs work with thousands of manufacturers and supply counts can surpass one million. These supplies are not just medical devices, but also include disposables, pharma, capital equipment and more. Each of those supplies must move through an IDN’s supply chain: systems such as warehouse management for inventory control, procurement, EHR’s and billing.
An IDN must manage a complex supply chain eco-system, where system interoperability is paramount and hinges on a single source of truth: accurate manufacturer product data.
GUDID is one source for medical device related product data and device manufacturers, who have been impacted by this rule, will have an excellent head-start in harnessing the data requested by their customers. However, what device manufacturers will likely discover is this: IDNs and GPOs will ask for many of the same data points from the UDI rule, and usually some additional data points, in an effort to bring their supply chains into tighter control. The additional data points beyond the UDI rule are likely being requested because they are mission critical at some point in a customer’s supply chain. Manufacturers that receive a data request from a customer are also receiving a unique opportunity to become a trusted partner, connected through supply chain integration, with the organizations that buy products.
Forward-leaning manufacturers will recognize that meeting a customer request for product data is not only strengthening their IDN/GPO relationships, but it’s also building a strong competitive advantage. Easily accessible, clean data provided by the manufacturer opens the clearest path to purchase for an IDN.
In closing, the FDA UDI rule provides an excellent exercise in data organization for those manufacturers who were required to comply. However, a request to share timely accurate product data with your customer is a B2B opportunity that extends beyond regulatory compliance.
To learn about the services available to healthcare manufacturers tasked with satisfying product data request to the FDA, click here to visit the FSEnet+ UDI Solution product page. For a brochure describing our supply chain data services for healthcare companies, click here.
Tasha Wiehe is the Director of Customer Experience, Healthcare at FSEnet+. She has been helping medical device suppliers and healthcare providers implement data synchronization strategies for more than 15 years. Tasha can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.