Cork Medical: Caring for Patients Around the World
The Indy Partnership is offering a new round of export acceleration grants— up to $5,000 in matching funds — to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) headquartered in the nine-county Indianapolis region. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, December 5, 2018.
Cork Medical: going global
Cork Medical Products is a prime example of how local companies have leveraged GoGlobal Grant funds to grow their international sales. The company’s innovative spirit helped it expand from a distributor of durable medical equipment (DME) to a national leader in the manufacturing, distribution and repair of negative pressure wound therapy products. Now, Cork Medical has gone global – exporting to Mexico and looking to expand its reach into other international markets.
Expanding to meet patients’ needs
Cork Medical was founded in 2007 as a DME company. It purchased and distributed mattresses and wheelchair cushions for wound therapy first throughout the Midwest, and then nationally. In 2012, Cork Medical began distributing a product specifically for negative pressure wound therapy. Negative pressure wound therapy seals the wound, and a special pump applies gentle negative pressure, helping the wound heal faster. The product was successful, but patients reported that it was not easy for home use. This led Cork Medical to design and gain FDA approval to manufacture, sell and repair its own custom negative pressure wound therapy products in 2014.
In addition to the wound therapy pump, dressing and accessories, Cork Medical designs, manufactures and distributes its own custom-designed gel overlays, wheelchair cushions and mattresses.
Succeeding against international competitors
Since negative pressure wound therapy is a niche industry, Cork Medical’s competition comes from large, international companies, explained Tom Morgan, who served as Cork Medical’s international director. The company’s competitive advantage boils down to two things: pump design and customer service.
As Cork Medical marketed their products to potential distributors around the U.S., they began receiving calls from doctors and medical device companies located in other countries who were seeking better treatment options in wound care. The global interest allowed them to pursue and put forth resources that may not have been otherwise available.
To expand the company’s global presence, Cork Medical worked the U.S. Department of Commerce and its Gold Key Service to connect with the U.S. Embassy in Mexico. They met with medical device distributors in Mexico.
GoGlobal grant funds enabled Cork Medical to apply for regulatory registration and approval to pursue exports in Mexico. The company also used funds to attend the European Wound Management Association trade show to meet with European distributors.
As a result of grant-funded activities, Cork Medical has been doing business with two distributors in Mexico since January 2018. The grant support helped the company to translate product literature for Mexican distributors, advancing the ability to share product capabilities with wound care specialists and help improve recovery outcomes internationally. Cork Medical predicts they will continue to grow both domestically and internationally, working with distributors around the globe.
Increased exporting opportunities
“There aren’t many players in our industry space, so Cork Medical often receives calls from other countries seeking our products,” said Morgan. “The GoGlobal funds have enabled us to better address these requests.”
By working with the Indy Partnership to create contacts and partnerships, Morgan said Cork Medical is learning about many other things that can help them be more efficient and profitable as a company.
“The Indy Partnership and U.S. Department of Commerce together provide a wonderful infrastructure of support for small businesses. The Indy Partnership has connected me with several businesses in non-competing areas for information sharing, as well as other academic and financial resources. I encourage Indianapolis-region businesses to take advantage of these resources,” said Morgan.
To learn more about the Indy Partnership and its resources, or to apply for a GoGlobal Grant, visit: http://indychamber.com/economic-development/global-indy/goglobal-grant/