Cleveland, Ohio – Originally based in New Jersey, and founded by two surgeons from Lennox Hill Hospital in New York City, Nextremity Solutions relocated to Warsaw, Indiana, a little more than three years ago for a range of reasons. Topping the list was the desire to be close to the right partners in the medical device supply chain and in an area that boasts a talented workforce. (See “Northeast Indiana counties succeed in medical device manufacturing.”)
Nextremity is dedicated to products for small bone orthopedic surgery, focusing heavily on the foot and ankle region.
According to Ryan Schlotterback, executive director, product development Nextremity, partnering locally is a huge benefit to the company. “Being able to do product development while working with local vendors gives us the ability to get instant feedback on designs, right from the guys on the shop floor,” Schlotterback states. “We have relationships here and we can take ideas, rapid prototype, get feedback, discuss, and then make changes as needed when it’s local companies with which we work.”
Since Nextremity doesn’t do manufacturing in-house, being near contact manufacturers and material suppliers – for example a local company that produces orthopedic models known as sawbones, which medical devices are attached to for form and fit function – enables faster turnaround to the final product.
Another supporting reason Nextremity is in Warsaw is, according to President and CEO Rod Mayer, the fact that he believes in the phrase from Lee Iacocca, former CEO of Chrysler, that “business, after all, is nothing more than a bunch of human relationships,” and follows that up stating that they know the people, players, and manufacturers here, locally, so it’s the right fit.
In addition, it’s a sector that has plenty of room for growth. According to industry statistics from Mayer, the global orthopedic worldwide market is about a $45 billion opportunity with a worldwide growth rate of around 9% while the foot and ankle sector – standing around $3 billion – is growing around 12% to 15% per year. All the positive indicators a company focused on this area wants to see.
Expanding and growing
Not long after my visit Nextremity officials announced an exclusive global distribution agreement was finalized with Zimmer Biomet for the company’s first four commercialized products that address unmet clinical needs in forefoot elective surgery.
The official release about the agreement also gave details about i3 Strategic Solutions, Nextremity Solutions’ new strategy to deliver value for Nextremity shareholders and for their industry partners. Through the i3 Strategic Solutions strategy, Nextremity will continue to work with surgeons who are thought leaders in their respective fields to develop and commercialize innovative solutions, at present to the foot and ankle market.
“We’re passionate about serving surgeons, patients, and our industry partners. This has led us to the introduction of i3 Strategic Solutions and we couldn’t be more excited about our future,” Schlotterback says. “It’s what we call our ‘micro-commercialization’ model and is what makes our solutions very different – and more effective. i3 Strategic Solutions embodies our vision for Nextremity Solutions and is the right model for our future. We are committed to our micro-commercialization strategy and believe that we have the opportunity to deliver solutions to the market in a way that truly leverages our strengths and the strengths of our industry partners, while creating the greatest level of value for everyone involved.”
It appears that those human relationships Lee Iacocca referred to in business are definitely assets for Nextremity and contributing to its rapid growth in the region.