Heather Beresford is Vice President of Aftermarket Services (AMS) at Plexus. In her role, Heather provides leadership to the global AMS team, ensuring product life extension and uptime to support long-term product success for Plexus customers.
Q: What trends are you seeing in aftermarket services for life sciences companies?
A: Companies are trying to be more competitive by adopting a service-centered strategy. Their brand image is at stake, and successfully implementing that strategy requires either a substantial investment in in-house services or a trusted external partner.
Most often, partnering with an external expert will have less financial impact on the company’s bottom line. Finding the right aftermarket partner is not only a financial decision — a company’s reputation rests on the partner’s ability to get products back to their end customers quickly, with the highest quality. There’s also a need for expertise in understanding the regulatory landscape, which is becoming more complicated every day.
Plexus can address these concerns in several ways. For example, we offer aftermarket services that guarantee replacement products in a specific, critical timeframe, some within 24 hours. In addition, we will service products regardless of who manufactured them — whether we manufactured the product, or it was manufactured by our customer or one of our competitors.
Because engineering is in our DNA, we’re more than just product fixers — we can help redesign and upgrade the product to solve problems for the future.
Q: What aftermarket services does Plexus provide?
A: Plexus provides a full spectrum of support once a product is in the market. While we have extensive technical and regulatory expertise for healthcare and life sciences companies, some of the most popular services fall into four categories:
- We can repair products at any of our global service centers
- We can manage the field complaint-handling process for any reported issue
- We can manage service parts
- We can perform failure analysis to investigate product design or performance issues, as well as offer mitigation and redesign expertise for future product success
In addition to all of this, we’re committed to being a responsible global citizen — and we recognize that sustainability is an increasingly important part of our customers’ product strategies, as well as a point of pride for our team members.
We support our customers’ sustainability goals with our aftermarket services in two ways. First, when products in the market need service or reach end of life, we’re able to recover components for reuse or proper recycling to limit sending waste to the landfill. Second — and this speaks to the value of our full-lifecycle solutions — we can work with our customers early in the product design cycle to account for aftermarket repair and sustainability from the very beginning of product conceptualization.
We’re helping design products that keep sustainability in mind at the earliest stages of development, by making them simple to service, replace or recycle as products mature through their planned lifecycle.
Q: What do life sciences companies need most in an aftermarket services provider?
A: Uptime is a must for healthcare and life sciences solutions providers — a hospital infusion pump, a home dialysis system or a clinical laboratory diagnostic system can’t be out of service for long. When a product isn’t available because it’s being serviced, customers lose revenue. More importantly, patients risk having a critical diagnosis, timely course of treatment or potentially life-saving procedure delayed. Plexus helps companies maximize uptime in different ways, including guaranteed replacement times, or offering loaner and exchange products while products are being serviced.
Cost is another top concern. Our services use a predictable cost model that can scale as a company’s operations grow. Our aftermarket service programs are designed with the flexible needs of customers and patients in mind.