Krauth Medical: Redefining European Hospital Supply
Unlike their logistics-driven counterparts in the US, European hospital supply distributors have stressed their role as exclusive sales agents for selected manufacturers. But in Germany, cost pressures are forcing hospitals to look at process as much as product, leading suppliers like Krauth into an array of service-oriented, asset management-based businesses.
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Staying close to the customer has become a cliche--one that most companies begin by adhering to, but which becomes more difficult to maintain as a company grows. Invatec started as a family-run business centered around turning physicians' ideas into new products. The success of Invatec's initial products led to the company's transformation into one selling both cardiology devices and innovative products in the carotid and peripheral markets. Invatec started by building a growing global business outside of the US, and it is seeing early success from its initial US product introductions, where it is challenging the major cardiology companies on their home turf.
Invatec is the product of a father's natural technical skill and love of using technology to solve problems, passed on to his son and daughter. Initially based out of the Venturelli family's home, Invatec started by building custom products for interventional cardiologists in Germany and Italy, and then became an OEM supplier to larger companies. The company initially relied on the Venturellis' (father's and son's) engineering expertise to develop superior technology, while maintaining the responsiveness to physicians' demands that first brought the company to physicians' attention. The goal: to develop a broad-based interventional vascular products business globally under the Invatec name. Already selling products throughout Europe and Asia, the company is biding its time before entering the US market. Invatec's initial product lines include interventional cardiology catheters and balloons, an embolic protection system designed for carotid angioplasty, and a line of interventional peripheral vascular products. The company has also developed a radio frequency ablation system aimed at treating a variety of tumors. To this point, Invatec has largely operated beneath the radar screens of major cardiovascular device companies, which tend to see the company primarily as an OEM supplier. Invatec's efforts to launch a wide range of branded products will bring the company head-to-head with large companies in an already-consolidated market in which superior technology, while essential, is often not enough to carry the day on its own.
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