Finding potential local distributors
Successful commercialization of your medical product in a particular market depends a lot upon the type of medical product distributor you choose as a partner. Once you have determined which medical product markets best match your business development goals and registered your product according to national regulatory requirements, selecting a distributor that best complements your sales and marketing strategy is crucial.
We can assist you with the research and assessment of local distributors in Colombia based on the foreign manufacturer's specific requirements. Our services include review of the manufacturer’s selection criteria and business development goals, research of local distributors available in Colombia, leveraging on our extensive network, development of a clear plan of action to present to potential distributors on first approach, identifying their strengths and weaknesses, development of distributors profiles, compilation of evidence of their track record with products and companies similar to your, assessing pre-selected distributors, and selection of final distributor.
Finding the best medical distribution partners is in many ways just as important as obtaining regulatory registration for your medical product. In order to find and screen potential distribution partners for your chosen medical products markets, you should first have a clear idea of your business development strategy.
Once this strategy has been defined and provided to us, the following key considerations will be utilized:
Who the manufacturer's current competitors in the chosen medical product markets are
Where the manufacturer’s competitors are concentrated
How the manufacturer’s product compares to those of its competitors in terms of quality and cost
Reimbursement as a possible issue in chosen markets
How well-served the chosen markets already is by products similar to the manufacturer's
- What the future growth trajectories for the manufacturer’s chosen markets are
Assessing local distributors
When evaluating potential distribution partners we will be addressing the following areas for the manufacturer’s product and market:
Characteristics of the medical product
How many regions/cities the manufacturer would like to target
- Type of medical product; if it’s either a new and unique product, or a high-volume, low-margin product, among other considerations.
Evaluating and qualifying potential distributors
Defining working details with selected distributor(s)
We, as a key part of the distributor selection process, will be assisting the manufacturer to create a distributor profile in order to evaluate and qualify potential distribution partners in the chosen medical market(s). This profile should incorporate details of the manufacturer’s medical product as well as the manufacturer’s overall business requirements. We will, subsequently, match those requirements to distributors best suited to assist the client in its sales efforts.
The distributor profile should include information about its medical product such as how simple or complex it is, whether the medical product uses novel or advanced technology, among others. The distributor profile should also contain the manufacturer's business goals as well as identify the medical product markets in which the manufacturer plans to sell its medical product.
By using the manufacturer’s profile, we will create a prescreened list of potential medical product distribution partners. This list may vary from five to 40 distributors depending on the regional or national scope of the manufacturer’s business development strategy. Once the list of distributors we produce has been evaluated by the manufacturer, we will then go through the process of qualifying the listed distributors to identify the best potential partners for the manufacturer’s business. Our qualifying process entails contacting each distributor on the list and providing them with the manufacturers’s product’s technical and pricing information as well as product samples if necessary. In addition, we will interview interested distributors on behalf of the manufacturer for details on how they would launch the product in their markets.
We will provide the pre screened database to the manufacturer for its evaluation and pre-selection of candidates from the list.
Once we have received feedback from the manufacturer regarding the pre screened database of distributors, it will proceed to coordinate more in-depth conversations with manufacturer’s initial chosen distributors.
We will now, analyze additional factors about the pre selected distributors, such as:
Confidence of the distributor about the manufacturer’s company, product, and chances for success
Recognised associations the distributors are linked to
The number of employees the distributors have (in particular sales staff)
Inquire with retailers, customers and other exporters about the reputation of distributors
Ensure distributors are not representing other product lines too similar to yours – avoiding
conflicts of interest and competing products
Ensure the distributors have an understanding of competitive products
Network of representatives and/or contacts
How many years’ experience they have in the market sector
Knowledge of the local market
Willingness to give you the benefit of its local market knowledge
Distribution terms, pricing, payments preferences, etc.
Following our qualification process, the list of potential medical distribution partners will be considerably smaller—only those firms best matching the requirements set forth in the manufacturer’s distributor profile will remain. At this point, we can facilitate conference calls or face-to-face interviews with the manufacturer and these distributors in order for the manufacturer to make a final determination.
Once the local distributor(s) has been selected, the next step is drawing up workable terms to be included on the legal agreement with the new distributor partner. Some of the issues that we will consider include: exclusivity, sales regions to be served, cancellation terms, among others.