Global medical device company in Amsterdam
“While it’s possible to develop a worldwide marketing strategy for knee implants,” Kösters explains, “older products like artificial hips need a different approach. They require a local marketing focus, a regional sales network, input from customers in product development and close client relationships.”
“To be successful in this business, it is vital to be able to run both marketing strategies side by side,” Kösters concludes. “And from this location, we are able to combine our scale advantages as a multinational enterprise with a marketing approach that needs to be tailored per market segment.”
The global market for orthopaedic aids for worn and otherwise damaged joints is worth more than $30 billion a year. The ageing of many populations means that the market is set to double. Nevertheless, a mid-sized player like Wright Medical Technologies must pursue a high-profile strategy to retain its current market position (just behind bigger players such as Zimmer, Stryker and J&J). So, five years ago the company embarked on a major strategic reorientation. A private equity house had taken a majority stake in the company and merged it with a former Italian competitor. It was time for a rethink.
The company decided to concentrate production in the US and European R&D in Milan. At the same time, it would centralise its European distribution network. “This industry is capital-intensive, so it’s important for us to keep our inventories as low as possible, without compromising our reliability as a supplier,” says Kösters. Being able to supply clients fast was another consideration in opting for a single hub.
Popular with expats
In choosing that hub, the key requirement was accessibility. The proximity of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, with its excellent flight network, is an advantage for Wright Medical’s customers and for its own logistics operation.
Amsterdam’s popularity with expats was another plus. Wright Medical’s employees come from many different nations. Kösters explains: “All these talented people need to feel at home if you want them to perform well and stay with you.” Not only is Amsterdam ideal in practical terms, he adds, but his 35 international colleagues invariably find it an inspiring place to be.
“So far, our experiences have been very positive,” he concludes. “Our office in the Amsterdam Area provides us with an excellent springboard for strengthening our position in the markets we will be serving from this location in the years ahead.”