Taking the Lead: Innovative Growth & Sustained Success
priMED’s origin story follows the familiar contours of most entrepreneurial success tales: the dream, the risk, the small home-based operations, and the weary satisfaction of significant hard work leading to first gradual and then sustained growth.
The specifics of this case: priMED was founded in 1995 by entrepreneurs Guy Plamondon, Chris Thompson, and John Veres. Initially, they started as a sourcing company, providing private label solutions to a distributor, or a branded solution to a system buying in lower order quantities. Their product line was relatively simple. They stuck to basic wound care, producing gauze and small bandages.
Business was good, but it was limited. They had little-to-no contact with end-users, a diminished value chain, and a complete dependency upon the distributors they sold to. That changed when they began to transform the business, shifting the focus away from distributors and directly onto the customers, the end users of the product themselves.
This transition to self-manufacturing took place over the next several years, and in the spring of 2007, when manufacturing regulations in China reformed to allow foreign investors to establish wholly owned enterprises, they broke ground on their first fully owned factory. A crucial step, this allowed priMED to transition away from merely being a sourcing “middleman,” to becoming a company in full control of its product and destiny.
Highlighting the importance of self-manufacturing, David Welsh explains, “Self-manufacturing adds an enormous amount of value to our company. It allows us to integrate right across the whole spectrum of the business…We truly own our factories and have 100% control over them.”
Fully owning their own factories in China has proved to be a beneficial decision, one that aids priMED’s rigorous commitment to quality and creates additional time and cost efficiencies as well. It has also allowed them to be agile and proactive in their approach to innovation. With full control of the supply chain and manufacturing process, they are able to embody an experimental ethos, constantly testing out new ideas or modifying old ones. This has greatly improved their product performance over time, cementing their reputation as industry leaders.