BUILDING A GLOBAL PRESENCE WITH A MULTIFACETED STRATEGY.

Author:Stevens, Michelle
 
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Medtech companies often start with a single product. For Merit Medical Systems, Inc., it was a simple polycarbonate control syringe. More than 30 years later, the company is a leading manufacturer of medical devices used in interventional, diagnostic, and therapeutic procedures, particularly in cardiology, radiology, oncology, critical care, and endoscopy.

Headquartered in South Jordan, Utah, Merit Medical now makes thousands of products, holds more than 1,500 global patents, and employs more than 6,600 people worldwide, with facilities on almost every continent. This expanding global presence can be attributed to its strategic foresight on a number of fronts, and a team of professionals dedicated to building something of lasting value.

INTERNAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

Merit Medical invests heavily in research and development (R&D), a process the company operates in-house. At any given time, multiple facilities worldwide are working together to create or enhance products that meet customer needs.

Maintaining internal R&D has allowed the company to maintain tight control over the products it develops. Through design and process validation, as well as collaboration with many internal and external stakeholders, Merit Medical's R&D team can verify it is delivering a high-quality product that matches the customer's needs. Even after the manufacturing process, the company continues to monitor products and processes, as well as apply user feedback to address customer needs and obtain better outcomes.

This continuous improvement cycle is used for new products, product line extensions and to enhance existing products, which has resulted in double-digit growth in this area within the last year alone. Growth translates into more funds for R&D, with Merit Medical dedicating 7.5-8 percent of every sales dollar to R&D. This symbiotic relationship between research and sales has been a main driving force for continual company growth.

STRATEGIC ACQUISITIONS

Acquisitions of products and companies is another strategy used by Merit Medical to expand the business. Adding products through acquisition quickly enhances the company's product portfolio and boosts its vertical channels. Some recent acquisitions include Brightwater Medical, Inc. (2019); Cianna Medical, Inc. (2018); and DFINE, Inc. (2018).

Merit Medical looks for acquisitions that complement its current areas of focus: cardiology, radiology, oncology, critical care, and endoscopy. For example, motivation behind last year's Cianna Medical acquisition, the largest to date, was the company's commitment to global women's health.

Merit Medical began investing in women's health nearly a decade ago with the acquisition of BioSphere Medical, Inc., and its embolotherapy product Embosphere[R] Microspheres, used to treat hypervascular tumors, such as uterine fibroids. It was this passion to improve the lives of women that led to acquiring Cianna Medical and its SCOUT[R] system, a patient-centric, wire-free radar breast cancer localization...

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