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Jabil partnership democratizes skin treatments

Margie Manning

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Photo credit: Candelamedical.com

A collaboration between Jabil and Candela, a medical device firm, is expected to lead to better treatments for people with severe burns and skin cancers.

Candela, a fast-growing company headquartered in Wayland, Massachusetts, struck a deal with Jabil Healthcare to manufacture its energy-based laser devices. Jabil (NYSE: JBL), the largest company based in St. Petersburg, now is making Candela’s products at Jabil Healthcare’s Baja facility in Tijuana, Mexico.

David Panneton, Jabil Healthcare

The partnership allowed Candela to save money and improve manufacturing efficiency, said David Panneton, vice president of diagnostics for Jabil Healthcare. It also helped make Candela’s skin treatments more broadly available.

“Companies like Candela move these [treatments] from a specialized high-cost hospital environment to a more accessible setting, such as a clinic at a community-based level. So in working with them, we’re learning how to take these complicated technologies and make them simpler and more widely available,” Panneton said.

Some of Candela’s treatments are focused on aesthetics and cosmetics. Others are for burn victims or people with skins cancers or various skin disorders.

“We’ve been able to democratize skin treatments and make them more broadly available,” Panneton said.

Consolidation

Candela has developed laser devices to treat a variety of conditions, ranging from hair removal and wrinkle reduction to traumatic scarring involving wounded warriors and burn victims. The company has more than 700 patents and more than 50,000 medical devices deployed worldwide.

Candela was manufacturing the devices on its own at its plant in Massachusetts, as well as a third-party manufacturer’s plant in Israel and at a newly acquired company in Denmark.

But Candela didn’t have the capacity or capabilities from a manufacturing and supply chain standpoint to achieve its long-term growth goals, Todd Van Horn, the company’s chief operating officer, said in a case study released by Jabil.

Candela issued an RFP for a manufacturing partner.

“When they came to us they were looking for someone to consolidate their global operation. They were manufacturing a product in a high-growth market, which was of interest to us, and it was an opportunity for Jabil to leverage our global manufacturing footprint and our global supply chain footprint,” Panneton said. ‘We were able to take a look at their manufacturing and supply chain that was spread over multiple sites and develop a solution to hep them save money and be more efficient. Additionally, we were able to bring in our design and engineering services to help them accelerate their innovation.”

One of Jabil’s first steps was to consolidate manufacturing operations at its Baja site, a three-building, healthcare-regulated facility where Jabil Healthcare makes products for multiple customers.

Jabil etablished a dedicated team, called a Workcell, to collaborate with Candela. As part of the Workcell model, Jabil held a five-day “kaizen” workshop, said Michelle Saro, director of marketing for healthcare and additive manufacturing at Jabil.

“We embedded a kaizen approach for continuous improvement within the Workcell model. The customer came to the table with challenges in quality and the teams collaborated in design and engineering and developed process improvements in that Workcell model. They felt the Jabil team was an extension of their own team, and that kaizen model allowed them to do that collaboration,” she said.

Lessons learned

Within 18 months, Jabil had production lines in place for 11 Candela products.

In addition to manufacturing the devices, Jabil’s supply chain management team found vendors who could ensure a consistent and economical supply of core components for the Candela products.

The result is double-digit business growth at Candela, a news release said. Candela hopes to have $1 billion in sales in the near future.

Jabil already is working on a supply chain and design process for new laser systems in Candela’s pipeline, Panneton said.

Jabil’s experience with Candela will help Jabil going forward, he said.

“The aesthetics or skin care industry was relatively new for us. People don’t realize skin is the largest organ in your body. We learned a lot about how to work with laser-based system. A lot of these technologies use lasers for skin treatment so it allow us to improve our expertise in working with lasers,” Panneton said.

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