Proposing a Framework for Developing Supply Chains of Medical Devices


  • Kun Liao1 (Central Washington University, USA)
  • Xiaodong Deng1 (Oakland University, Rochester, MI 48309-4493, USA)
  • Yan (Grace) Wang1 (Starbucks Corporation, USA)
  • Ozden Bayazit1 (Central Washington University, USA)

To help develop supply chains for a medical device, this study proposed a framework based on literature review and the unique characteristics of medical devices. The framework first evaluates the structure of the medical device, the suppliers of raw materials or components, and the emerging technologies and manufacturing processes to be used to build the device. It then assesses the quality regulations and standards for the device and the manufacturing processes, the location of the suppliers, and the operation and maintenance of the device along the supply chain. This framework was applied to a case where supply chains were developed through Porter’s cluster mapping technique for two medical devices: an ultrasound machine and a prosthetic ankle. The preliminary results suggested that the features of the medical devices influenced the choice of their supply chains. In particular, a research-oriented device with customized components should have a localized supply chain (e.g., within Washington State in this case) while the consumer-oriented device with standardized components could have a national or even a global supply chain. Future research directions are suggested.

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