5 Keys to Minimizing Your Risks When Outsourcing Medical Molding

woman in white lab coat in front of microscopeManufacturing is a people business. Over 70 years at Hoffer Plastics, it’s one of the most important lessons we’ve learned. Nowhere is that truer than in custom medical molding, where the health and safety of people – more specifically, patients – is on the line.

Medical product manufacturers are rightly concerned about minimizing risks wherever possible, particularly in their supply chains. Whether launching a new product or scaling volume of an existing one, you have to be sure you can count on every medical molding outsource partner to uphold your high standards for quality and reliability.

How do you do that? From our experience working with medical OEMs for decades, here are what we believe are the keys to minimizing your risks while working with a custom molder.

1. Financial Stability

Are your suppliers on solid ground? Is an ownership change – and all the disruption that comes with it – on the horizon? Will your partner need to shutter its doors?

Financial issues can make or break your supply chain relationships. In uncertain times, it can be hard to know for sure where your suppliers stand. But know this: Hoffer Plastics has shown resilience in the face of challenges time and again. And today, we’re in a 100% debt-free position.

This strength not only builds confidence for our customers and employees. It also empowers us to continue innovating for the future in the ways that matter most to you.

In fact, we re-invest 10-15% back into the business per year in new equipment to advance customer needs. These investments include everything from new injection molding machines to new automation technologies to micro molding technologies to serve our customers with high-quality, high-precision plastic parts.

2. Verified Quality

Ensuring your custom molders have the right quality processes is crucial, but conducting multiple supplier audits is an arduous task.

Instead, seek out suppliers that meet the stringent certification of MedAccred – an industry-managed oversight program that verifies strict adherence to standards and processes that enable safe, consistent, high-quality production of medically oriented parts.

Hoffer Plastics undergoes an annual MedAccred audit and review to ensure that our processes and practices are always on point and up to date. It’s worth the effort to bring you greater peace of mind about protecting patient safety.

But that’s only the beginning of our commitment to quality. We’re serious when we say there’s “Part of us in every piece” – we put our heart and soul into your project. That means deploying multiple quality teams throughout our plant, adhering to strict quality processes and guidelines to ensure every step is documented.

There’s no such thing as “good enough” when it comes to patient safety and your reputation. We’re proud of the ways we go above and beyond to minimize your risks.

3. Technical Expertise

Production capacity is a prerequisite to ensure lasting success. To overcome the varied and evolving challenges of medical molding takes greater sophistication.

Whether you are manufacturing test kits, in-home diagnostic equipment, surgical equipment or any other medical-related product, your plastic parts need to perform exactly as-designed when being used in hospitals, doctor’s offices, at home and beyond.

From design engineering to micro molding to post-molding sterilization, your program may call for advanced expertise from one or multiple partners. Seeking a custom molder that offers more than just molding in-house can help you minimize risk by bringing together a cross-functional team of engineering and manufacturing experts to plan for and support your program from start to finish.

With more than three billion parts shipped annually, Hoffer Plastics offers a proven record of precision and efficiency from start to finish – including design for manufacturability (DFM), tool design and maintenance, injection molding, assembly, and more – minimizing risks through technical excellence.

4. Innovation

Closely related to the technical expertise of a medical molder is the value of an innovative mindset. In a market where challenges are always evolving, driving toward new solutions that enhance product design and functionality is essential.

What can your supplier do to enhance product design for safer, easier use? Or improve materials and processes to reduce costs? Or find more sustainable solutions for your part to lessen your environmental footprint?

At Hoffer Plastics, we’re proud of our record of game-changing product innovations in collaboration with medical component OEMs. We brought our own flexible packaging expertise and innovation to the table in working closely with their team to incorporate our Trust-T-Lok leak-proof spout into EnteraLocTM – an innovative, 510(K) FDA-approved enteral device for safe, convenient nutrition delivery. The product earned a 2022 Highest Achievement Award from the Flexible Packaging Association.

5. Continuous Improvement, Communication & Beyond

Your business doesn’t stand still. Especially in the medical products industry where speed-to-market is the name of the game. You’re always looking for ways to do what you do better. So should your suppliers.

At Hoffer Plastics, quality leadership drives continuous improvement across our organization – in key areas including engineering, tooling and sustainability.

But the most important improvements are the ones we make to help you improve. Dedicated customer account teams enable us to know your business intimately. This approach fosters ongoing, open communication. Together, we drive process innovations and move products from ideation to development to market faster.

Ultimately, it comes back to our belief that people matter. Employees from up and down our company prioritize building personal connections that foster trust, loyalty and even confidence. Every day, that commitment goes a long way to minimizing your risks.