Frost & Sullivan confers the 2007 European Growth Strategy Leadership of the Year Award in the surgical drapes and gowns market upon Paul Hartmann AG in recognition of the company’s unique strategic approach to gain substantial growth in the market.
“Through reorganisation of its growth strategy, Hartmann has focused more intensely on its core medical competencies, including disposable operating theatre products,” notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Sabita Ramachandran. “It has demonstrated the ability to grow in a maturing market and is expected to emerge as a leading brand in Europe, with its focus on growth expansion.”
Paul Hartmann AG is primarily engaged in the production of medical and hygiene products, which are used in hospitals, clinics and in first aid. Their product portfolio encompasses wound management, therapeutic bandages, first aid, operating theatre products, incontinence hygiene, patient care products, medical skin care and diagnostics.
In the second half of 2004, the Hartmann Group implemented a comprehensive restructuring programme. This restructuring took place in light of the economic environment the company faced in Europe, particularly in Germany which was its largest market.
The reforms to the healthcare system in Germany had major ramifications for several companies including Hartmann. “Heavy competition, price pressure and tough regulatory measures were some of the obstacles that led it to realign its business,” explains Ramachandran. “Accordingly, resources were reallocated to bring them in line with Hartmann’s core competencies and focused on restructuring as well as revaluing its overall portfolio.”
The programme FOCUS, therefore stresses on a clearly structured portfolio weighted towards medical products and customers who expect professional system solutions. As a result of this programme, Hartmann invests in those fields where it has proven core competence, which includes wound management, incontinence hygiene and risk prevention in the operating theatre. The company’s focus has thus shifted from consumer markets to medical markets.
“An important focal point of FOCUS is to provide holistic solutions to Hartmann customers, which are mainly professional users,” remarks Ramachandran. “This is done by optimising the organisation for this very purpose as well as delegating responsibility to each individual market and region.”
The company has also developed customer-oriented consulting concepts, which are aligned by the Solution Management System to the overall strategy. Another customer-oriented solution is Hartmann Delivery Service for acute care hospitals (HLS), that provides delivery service for operating theatre products.
“The supplies are delivered by Hartmann trained staff, on time and procedure-specific, to the sterile goods storage sections of the operating theatres,” states Ramachandran. “Time-consuming delivery and disposal tasks are thus handled by the Hartmann Delivery Service, in addition to inventory control and automatic re-ordering.”
Another customer-oriented solution is the merging of the marketing and development sections at Hartmann at the organisational level. This has been done to guarantee an even stronger customer focus and support the company’s efforts to optimise time-to-market.
The Frost & Sullivan Award for Growth Strategy Leadership is presented each year to the company that has demonstrated an exceptional growth strategy within the industry.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.
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