2021 Market Trends Podcast Series: Healthcare

February 5, 2021 • Posted in Podcasts

Welcome to M. Holland’s 2021 Market Trends Podcast Series! At the end of every year, M. Holland’s market managers take time to reflect on the previous 12 months and anticipate the year to come. What drove their market segments? What can the industry expect to see in the coming months? Typically, we share these insights and predictions in a blog, but this year we decided that a podcast format is more fitting. Listen over the next few weeks as these market managers give us an insider’s look at the plastics industry.

This episode is all about healthcare. Last year, we predicted that 2020 would be a big year for medical plastics innovation, and we didn’t know what an understatement that would become. Josh Blackmore, our Global Healthcare Market Manager, joins us to discuss what a hallmark year 2020 was for healthcare and what we can expect looking forward.

Play the podcast below.

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Host:

Welcome to M. Holland’s 2021 Market Trends Podcast Series. At the end of every year, M. Holland’s market managers take time to reflect on the previous 12 months and anticipate the year to come. What drove their market segments? What can the industry expect to see in the coming months?

Typically, we share these insights and predictions in a blog, but this year we decided that a podcast format is more fitting. Listen over the next few weeks as these market managers give us an insider’s look at the plastics industry.

This episode is all about healthcare. Last year, we predicted that 2020 would be a big year for medical plastics innovation, and we didn’t know what an understatement that would become. Josh Blackmore, our Global Healthcare Market Manager, joins us to discuss what a hallmark year 2020 was for healthcare and what we can expect looking forward.

Josh Blackmore:

I’m the Global Healthcare Manager for M. Holland. I’ve been doing the medical industry now for over 20 years, and I’ve been on every single continent, working with medical OEMs and developing new business and sit in on countless different, new product introduction sessions. And what I do specifically for M. Holland is I author the five-year strategy. I recruit, teach, train our salesforce and my team, the professionals, the healthcare professionals that work for me.

And essentially, we make sure that the M. Holland Healthcare business is very serious business, professional, and that we are understanding what people need to operate within this industry with all the regulations. And that we take a look downfield three to five years, looking at trends, not just in application trends, but who’s growing, who’s buying whom, and what are the acquisitions, so that we can begin anticipating where we need people, what kind of products we’re going to need for the new types of applications and how we’ll stock and store those.

Host:

As you reflect on healthcare in 2020, what stands out to you most as a key learning point?

Josh Blackmore:

The supply chain security issue rises to the number one issue that I work with customers on right now. And supply chain security means so much more than having a hurricane prevention or stocking plan. We’re talking about supply chains that were so rigid and focused on optimizing costs that when there was a wrinkle thrown at them, and I admit the pandemic was more than a wrinkle, but it really disrupted everything.

Flexible supply chains, however, they include the ability to make the product near the local market, not just the low-cost producer. Resilient supply chains are sourcing materials that are made in the country of manufacturing, but are looking at them to be globally popular, to reduce the risk of discontinuation or increasing the chance of having them continuing to be made in a tight market. And then high execution in supply chain management has the ability to plan three months, six months, maybe even nine months out. And it may include looking at an M. Holland for duplicate stop stocking locations.

We’ve got over 40 different warehouses here in the United States, but looking at where we’re putting materials is important, not to just have them in one spot. And then if anything else was highlighted within that, it’s that material selection is a super critical skill to manage the pandemic, natural disasters, market supply tightness, foreign supply, open shipping shortages, ocean shipping shortages, just all the different variables that walk into your supply chain and your supply chain risk. Many of them can be handled up front by material selection and improving your skills in that area. It’s part of the reason why we put together the material selector guide. It’s a medical material selector guide, and it helps people take into consideration some of these variables.

Host:

Is there a materials application that really won the year for you?

Josh Blackmore:

Well, it’s hard for me to pick one that wins the year, but if I were to pick some categories, I would say that some of the most dynamic changes that happened were point-of-care testing devices. It was this rush to be able to get testing that’s quick, reliable and at the point of care, meaning at the airport, at the doctor’s office, at wherever. And so, this point-of-care testing to tell whether or not you have the COVID-19 virus was super key. We scrambled through many, many different applications, application supports from gathering the sample, processing the sample, and testing the sample. I would say that this one application really stole the show for me because of how much need there was out there and how much we can impact the market by being able to supply into things like this.

Host:

Now, Josh, we’ve talked about 2020, but let’s look at the year ahead. What are you most excited to see from a healthcare industry perspective?

Josh Blackmore:

The one thing I’m looking forward to seeing is our return of optimism. If we go back in time and look at the Black Plague, it was bad. So many people died. And the second wave of the Black Plague, particularly in Europe, was worse than the first. But the part that people don’t talk about is that there was a great Renaissance period that followed this. I’m looking for the Renaissance period here in 2021 and 2022, when we get through the pandemic and to see exactly all these different segments that we work on that got accelerated by the pandemic push.

It just got, I mean, people just accepted them, because there was such a need, being sequestered. And so, I’m looking forward to a time where we have not just optimism, but we have less of a pandemic push and that the opportunities that rose up and became more accepted during 2020, because of the pandemic, start growing and being invested and being explored on their own.

Some of those areas would include artificial intelligence on almost anything. It could be just a phone call to remind you that you have an appointment, or something that will check duplicate medications to make sure they don’t have a conflict. But when we start applying this to robotic surgery or robotic triage to protect our frontline workers, and we look at point-of-care testing, not just for COVID-19, but we’re talking about heart ailments, cancer ailments and other types of testing, where having that right at the doctor’s office will reduce cost of care, improve speed to diagnosis, improve speed to treat.

And then the entire look, I’m hoping people really, really took heart about these supply chain interruptions and that we are building flexibility into the supply chains of the future. And we’re currently working on things, where we’re bringing in things that were sourced in a low-cost producer nation, are now being sourced in America. And that means better sales for U.S. OEMs or better sales for outside, or foreign, companies who are working inside the United States with their products. So, in summary, I’m just looking forward to that optimism and engagement without being forced into it by the pandemic.

Host:

Thanks, Josh, for all of those great insights. And thank you for listening to this episode of our Market Trends Podcast Series. Continue to tune in and learn what 2020 meant and what 2021 will bring from markets including Healthcare, 3D Printing, Wire & Cable, Electrical & Electronics, Flexible Packaging, Rotational Molding, Color & Compounding, Automotive and Sustainability. All episodes can be found on the News & Insights page on the M. Holland website. We’ll see you next time.

Featuring:

Josh Blackmore

Global Healthcare Manager

Josh Blackmore M. Holland Plastic Resin Distributor

Josh Blackmore serves as the Global Healthcare Manager for M. Holland. In this role, he is responsible for implementing a strategic global plan to establish M. Holland as a leader in the healthcare segment, developing the medical sales team and managing the global project pipeline. He focuses on expanding targeted services for healthcare clients by providing guidance on how medical grade plastics meet device needs and comply with regulatory testing. Josh came to M. Holland from RTP Company where he was the global healthcare manager for more than 13 years. He has also held positions at GE and The Dow Chemical Company. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in medical technology from Michigan State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.

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