The United States remains the largest medical device market in the world with a market size of around $110 billion, and it is expected to reach $133 billion by 2016. The U.S. market value represented about 38 percent of the global medical device market in 2012. (Source: SELECT USA, Department of Commerce)
The industry is undergoing a sea change due to changes in the business environment, innovations in technology and the ever-growing demands for cost-effective, high quality medical equipment. These developments are compelling medical device companies to “fine-tune” themselves, and this is creating new challenges for product managers. Today, we will examine what these challenges are and how e-learning can be used to overcome them.
Challenge: Training front line managers (FLMs) effectively
This is arguably the most important challenge faced by product managers of medical device manufacturers. FLMs play a key role in the success of these companies by providing the sales staff the support needed to engage buyers effectively. Studies reveal that sales reps, who are recruited and work under efficient FLMs, do a better job than others.
Most medical device manufacturers promote well-performing sales reps to FLMs. However, these employees often require training on aspects such as deal strategy formulation and pricing mechanisms. Firms understand the importance of training, but can hardly take these staff members off work for equipping them with the needed knowledge and skills.
How e-learning can help
The online medium can be used to train the front line management of medical device organizations in a very effective, convenient and affordable manner. E-learning courses can be accessed anytime, anywhere, on any device, and the online training format helps reduce costs by at least 50%.
A wide variety of instructional techniques can be used to train the FLMs. For instance, bite-sized online learning modules containingscenarios go a long way in equipping these people with the skills needed to make the right pricing decisions.
Challenge: Imparting the knowledge and skills required to analyze big data
A report by Ernst and Young on the medical device industry, published in 2013, highlighted the importance of creating new business models based on data and analytics. The report pointed out that proper analysis of data plays a key role in understanding the needs of users, differentiating the products effectively, demonstrating clinical expertise and avoiding commoditization.
Many medical device companies are using software tools to analyze data in an efficient manner. This makes it imperative for these firms to deliver good training on these computer applications.
How e-learning can help
The online medium can be used as a part of a blended learning approach to train people on data analytics tools. Theoretical concepts about the use of the software can be taught in classrooms or workshops, while e-learning can be used to train staff on the steps involved in using the computer applications.
Online modules containing watch-try-do simulations are ideal to train the workforce on the steps involved in using the software. These simulations can be developed very easily, in a cost-effective manner, using rapid authoring tools such as Adobe Captivate.
E-learning helps medical device companies impart good training to their FLMs, enabling them to sell products more effectively. The online training medium can be used to equip the people of medical device manufacturers with the needed knowledge and skills to utilize analytics software effectively, thereby ensuring their success. Indeed, it helps product managers of medical equipment firms deliver results.