There has been amazing cooperation by companies with global supply chains to come together and produce surplus PPE and ventilators for domestic and international markets. Communicating effectively across multi-lingual global supply chains is more important than ever for company partnerships supplying pandemic-response equipment. Among the companies rising to the occasion are international brands like HP-Principe de Asturias Hospital (Spain), Tesla (partnering with Medtronic and Foxconn), GE Healthcare-Ford, and Ventec-General Motors.
The GE Healthcare-Ford partnership includes innovative uses of existing technology, like a seat cooling blower from an F150 being utilized for a ventilator filtration system. One of Ford’s Advanced Manufacturing sites is 3D printing disposable respirator masks and medical face shields. HP is leveraging its identity as a tech multinational company with enormous geographic presence to cooperatively develop solutions in regional locations, such as in the Principe de Asturias Hospital, transcending linguistic and geographic barriers to both meet local needs in Spain, and also those of a global market. They are 3D printing a respiratory circuit to improve oxygenation for patients with COVID-19. While producing this product for a local market in Northern Spain, requests for the product from around the world are causing HP to scale up production.
Another example is the remarkable partnership between Ventec Life Systems and General Motors, led by GM CEO Mary Barra and Ventec Life Systems CEO Chris Kiple, to produce ventilators to service a nearly $500 Million order from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Ventec-General Motors partnership uses both companies’ highly developed international supply chains to source parts and to create a new manufacturing process. Leading to the hiring of 1,000 skilled workers and the re-opening of an Indiana plant, this initiative has gone beyond the creation of ventilators.
One of their shipments of ventilators arrived in Chicago and directly created a real impact on Weiss Hospital, relieving doctors, medical professionals and patients, which in turn led to saved lives.
The initiative is not without its challenges, though, as the need to source 700 parts for the Ventec VOCSN ventilator is on a mission-critical timeline. Though largely sourced in the US, 20% of Ventec VOCSN parts are sourced internationally. Prior to the initiation of manufacturing last month, there was a hold-up in re-opening a factory in India, causing GM to send people abroad overnight in order to work with business people and the Government of India to open the factory. Ventec’s Chris Kiple has described the process as ‘incredibly challenging.’
Challenging as it may be, GM is still managing to donate its resources at-cost to fill an order of 30,000 ventilators for the US government, with an anticipated increase for more orders. There are queries as to whether these FDA-approved devices could be sold internationally. Certainly, this is an inspirational use of two global supply chains working in tandem that provides hope to international business of all sizes who are concerned about survival in this trying business climate, and those who wish to integrate their international supply chains for an adaptive response in the time of a crisis.
Not only is it crucial to have streamlined, transparent communication across cultural and linguistic lines to facilitate emergency manufacturing, it is equally important to ensure that each step in the supply chain is in touch, wherever in the world it may be. There can be crucial challenges in bringing regionally developed products to both local and global markets, but with effective multi-lingual communication, this success is possible. Read more here how CSOFT Health Sciences enables companies to work effectively across languages in their research and development, regulatory submissions, manufacturing and distribution/marketing processes.
Question to the reader: Such creative responses to health and business needs inspires us. What can we do to be more useful by thinking out-of-the-box?
- Dr. Hope
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CSOFT International is a leading provider of cross-border communications for enterprises seeking growth in global markets. Our expertise in localization, documentation, and branding encompasses a full range of end-to-end content and consulting services that we deliver in over 250 languages. With a focus in health sciences and smart technology, we work closely with our clients to deliver precision solutions to the challenges of engaging markets, consumers, and regulatory environments worldwide.
Dr. Hope is a fictitious CSOFT Health Sciences contributor who provides insightful, factual, and relevant explanations. Sometimes historical, other times philosophical, and generally related to the scientific interest and well-being of society, Dr. Hope provides commentary, inspiration and hope to readers thinking about health in the big-picture. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.