Osteopore International manufactures implantable devices that regrows bone tissue for the human skeletal system. By combining the science of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine with 3D printing, they produce a microarchitecture that enables the healing process.
Osteopore CEO Mr Goh Khoon Seng (right) together with Chief Technology Officer Mr Jing Lim (left). (Photo by Osteopore International).
Designated as an essential service during the COVID-19 outbreak, they continue to provide implants for patients that require urgent surgeries such as trauma and tumour removal. However, as they sent their products to Malaysia for gamma sterilisation, with the Malaysia’s Movement Control Order (MCO), their logistics was disrupted, with delays from five to 10 days. This affected their products delivery to hospitals locally and overseas. “Having gone through SARS, we did expect disruption in Singapore and some Asian countries. We did not anticipate a global pandemic,” said Mr Goh Khoon Seng, CEO of Osteopore International. This has caused delays in finalising agreements with distributors in the US and the EU.
Safe distancing measures must still be adhered even as an essential service. Therefore, following business continuity guidelines, they implemented split teams operations for the production floor. They also signed up for SkillsFuture course on digital workplace for their staff so that they may learn to utilise data and information effectively for higher productivity. This means increased data visibility and analytics on the production floor, helping the team to respond and troubleshoot problems immediately. The focused efforts to improve the efficiency and efficacy of their 3D printers also resulted in significant improvement of quality and doubled their production output, even though they only had half the workforce.
Osteopore International used to travel to different parts of the world to meet with surgeons to drive product innovation. With border closed in many countries, they were unable to do so. However, every crisis comes with opportunities. The outbreak has compelled many to accept digital platforms such as video- conferencing tools. This helps Osteopore International to easily communicate with stakeholders overseas through digital communications platforms. Without the need of a physical space for meetings, they are able to arrange webinars and engaged surgeons to share their user experience with the global community.
The outbreak has created opportunities for Osteopore International to improve their business resilience. The outbreak may end one day. Even so, they will continue to implement the changes they have made during this pandemic period.