Phil Davies, Hospital Innovations, Hospital Innovations Limited

Q: What made you choose your career in orthopaedics?

A: I began my working life as a sales representative with Johnson & Johnson orthopaedics in 1983. I applied for the role virtually straight out of University, it was a great role and I was hooked on orthopaedics. I remained with J&J for almost 20 years before moving on to other senior roles in orthopaedics.

Why do you find your job rewarding?

One of the pleasures I get in my role is the feedback we get from our customers after we have helped them in providing solutions for their patient needs. Whilst we do not often receive feedback from patients, the surgeons do make us aware of how cases go, and how patients are post surgery. I am also rewarded by the satisfaction and loyalty I see in my staff.

Does the role involve a lot of travelling?
As a company we rely on the support of our suppliers; many of these are based outside the UK and we visit them on a regular basis. We have recently carried out a HTA required audit on one of our tissue suppliers based in the USA. I also travel to potential trading partners in areas such as Spain, Greece, and Switzerland as well as throughout the USA.

Why did Hospital Innovations choose this particular site?
We chose our site as it is a designated Medical Technology Park. It has strong links with the Medi Centre group in Cardiff and gives us access to all number of related services. All the buildings on the park are especially adapted for medical company use. The offices are of a very high quality and it makes for a very enjoyable working environment.

How many employees do you have, both within Europe and the UK?
We employ 30 full time staff; we have a large supply chain department, including customer services, distribution and inventory management. Our field based sales force cover the UK and our in-house export team handle overseas sales.

Do you find it difficult to recruit suitable and qualified staff?
It is incredibly difficult to get well qualified and able staff. We have a number of staff members who have been with us since day one in 2008, we value our staff and we are keen to hold on to them!

What is the most efficient way of advertising your products?
Face to face contact remains the most effective and personable way to do business. Clearly our sales team are the main contact in this area, however, we also try to involve our office staff; whenever we can we encourage them to meet key customers especially when they are invited into our office.

How closely do you work with surgeons or with other medical device companies?
We are involved in a number of clinical programmes and we work closely with both the surgeons and our key suppliers. My management team each have over 20 years in the industry and they are very involved in working with key staff. We do have interaction with other medical device companies and have actually supplied many of them with specialist instrumentation.

Have you been recently introduced to any new developments in musculoskeletal rehabilitation?
We are continually adding new products to our portfolio. We have recently introduced a number of innovative products to our range. BioPoly™ and ACS® are products designed to facilitate the repair of either early or advanced chondral defects; our meniscal allograft matching service has provided numerous grafts for implantation. We have extended our DBM range to include 100% human derived material including human derived carriers rather than synthetic.

How do you go about developing new projects?
We are very lucky in that I, and a number of my colleagues are well known in the industry and we are often approached by companies, or ex colleagues, to look at new products to take into the UK for the first time. We do meet companies at various meetings and explore new ideas. We also react to what our customers are telling us and we look for products that match the requirements of our market.

Do you have any new products on the drawing board?
We are talking to a number of potential suppliers; there is still incredible creativity and expertise in the medical arena. We have recently created a director level role that specifically looks at product development and introduction. It is clear that new products will always be introduced, however, there is also a need to deliver existing technology but at a more competitive price for the customer; we are involved in both these areas.

How is Hospital Innovations looking to expand further in the future?
Since the start of our company in January 2008, we have grown from 2 employees, to 30 staff and a turn over approaching £5m. We are an ambitious and very well run company and I fully expect us to continue to grow for many years to come. We understand the pressures and needs within the UK healthcare market and we are committed to working with our customers to deliver quality, value and outstanding patient care.