Orchid Orthopedic Solutions

Using Mendix to automate Medical Device contract manufacturing processes and set up integrations with existing data sources.

Orchid Orthopedic Solutions

Orchid Orthopedic Solutions is a global medical device contract manufacturer with its Headquarters in Michigan (USA). Orchid designs and manufactures medical devices for orthopedic procedures. The manufacturing company serves the orthopedic and medical device industry including established Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), emerging companies and surgeon entrepreneurs. Orchid Orthopedic Solutions has 13 operating facilities worldwide. TimeSeries is the Siemens Mendix services and reseller partner for Orchid.

Challenges

Orchid Orthopedic Solutions has grown organically as well as through acquisitions. Generally when organizations establish their growth through acquisitions, there are a lot of disjointed processes and systems. This was the case at Orchid as well and most of their systems were paper based. There were different challenges at the time:,

  • Having paper based processes meant there were no ‘one-Orchid’ processes: each site did the same process in a different way.
  • There was no global view of the data associated with processes.
  • The processes were time-consuming due to having to summarize the data manually with Excel and other methods.

Orchid is not a software company and is not striving to be one

As a digitizing innovative (sub-contracting) manufacturing company in the Medical Device industry, Orchid does not want to build software solutions. Instead, they would like to buy an off-the-shelf software solution that can help with automating their processes. However, the risk of buying an off-the-shelf solution when there is no automated process in place yet, the chances that you are going to automate the process and correctly implement it in the new software solution are pretty low. Therefore, Orchid’s strategy is to first build applications to start to automate the processes and go from there.

“With Mendix, everything is in place. You don’t have to worry about the database, network, cloud, security… With an enterprise low-code platform, the advantage is not just the lack of having code, but it is the infrastructure that is already in place. Enabling you to start right away without all the upfront costs.”

-Jeff Phillips
Director of IT at Orchid Orthopedic Solutions

Numerous applications means numerous technologies to support

At Orchid, and at many other organizations, when applications are being developed, it depends on the person building the application what technology is being used. For the IT department, this results in having to support tons of different technologies. When choosing a single platform for application development, IT only has to deliver support in one technology and it will decrease the complexity of the application landscape.

Choosing an application development platform

Orchid chose the low-code platform Mendix as their single app development platform. Their philosophy for choosing Mendix is to provide a method to automate and capture data for processes as a transition to eventually using off-the-shelf software. Mendix helps them to define a one-Orchid process, capture data very quickly and build requirements when moving to an off-the-shelf package. 

Automating internal processes

Orchid has used Mendix to automate a lot of their internal processes and set up integrations with their already existing data. Applications include:

Project Management: managing high level project information

Mendix data integrates with Orchid’s data warehouse for corporate-wide reporting of statuses, resourcing issues, etc. The application is being used by 180 users across 12 sites and by being able to track project statuses, Orchid achieved significant savings by tracking these projects. 

Measure Management: defining metadata of KPIs

Mendix data integrates with Orchid’s data warehouse for corporate-wide KPI reporting. The application is being used by 65 users across 12 sites. The Power BI report, with data driven from the Mendix application, is now a central discussion topic at the Board of Directors meeting.

Certification of Conformation generation: generating certificates

A highly complex app that uses data from Orchid’s ERP combined with data captured in five other Mendix apps, which capture specifications, identifying what specifications apply to what products, test results, etc., to produce a certificate of conformance. The certificates can now be generated using only a shipper number.

Vendor agreement Management: tracking clauses in agreements

An application with functionality to upload the official version of the file and to set up one or more reminders in the future that notifies key personnel via email of pending dates. The application is being used by 20 users across all Orchid sites.