I’m part of our Düsseldorf team and focus on the recruitment of marketing and sales professionals across pharma and medtech in Germany and Central Europe.
I recently attended Expolife, one of the most popular international B2B trade fairs for medical products within the field of orthopaedics and rehabilitation. After taking place virtually due to Covid in 2021, the face-to-face comeback was hosted from 16 to 18 March 2023.
The latest innovations and technological advancements
Along with nearly 10,000 other trade visitors, I observed the latest innovations and technological advancements plus the impressive variety of products that were presented by the 214 exhibitors in four completely booked exhibition halls.
I was immediately struck by a powerful euphoria through the interactively designed booths that invited dialogues between exhibitors and visitors. Through many exciting conversations, I was able to take a look behind the scenes and gain an insight into the influences currently driving the industry.
Current developments at the direct point of sale have been a repeating subject in discussion with businesses who are hiring.
Here are my highlights from this year’s exhibition:
- Compared to many other industries, the traditional distribution channel of medical supply stores remained the strongest marketplace for orthopaedic and rehabilitation products. It’s an important and trusted information source for potential customers before they purchase products. There is often a lack of qualified personnel available to work at the point of sale within medical supply stores, which the industry is hoping to change
- Innovations, products and technologies that facilitate the customer service process and ensure time savings are very relevant for the development of medical supply stores. Digitalisation is crucial to relieve personnel and guarantee focus on providing advice and consultancy to the customers. “Smart Stores” provide strong solutions for this. Especially at the point of sale, screen-based customer consultancy enables personnel to provide a stronger interaction with the customer. It also gives the customer neutral information about products without needing further explanation
- Automated 3D scan and print processes will enhance the customer experience and can accelerate the supply of patients with individualised orthopaedic and rehabilitation products
Potential for online marketplaces
Although medical supply stores remain the strongest distribution channel for the industry, I see a strong potential for online marketplaces in the future – similarly to the pharmaceutical industry where DocMorris or Shopapotheke are already established players in the market.
Amazon is an emerging competitor for medical supply stores when it comes to non-prescription products. But I believe the market for prescription products offers great opportunities for online medical supply stores.
The right digital strategy
Considering trends and developments within the market, the provider of orthopaedic and rehabilitation products need to ensure that they have their digital strategy in place.
As a recruitment specialist for marketing and sales, I predict this will create a strong hiring need for people with a focus on digital topics. Specialists in ecommerce and online marketplaces can become crucial to meet challenges within this market.
What are your thoughts about developments within the industry? Please feel free to complete the form below to discuss your career or hiring needs.