When you’re a company the size of Stryker Corporation, and when you seem to be losing share in one of the world’s major territories, folk start asking questions. Like Why? Now the company has laid itself a little bare by acknowledging its EU troubles, although reported comments from senior management sound as much like aspirations as they do firm plans.
A piece has appeared on MassDevice, covering Stryker’s OUS woes, starting with the bald facts which are that the company derives only 37% of its total sales revenue from international markets, which doesn’t compare well with it’s peers’ 58%. Even worse, the company is reportedly losing share to its rivals.
So what’s the situation and how does the company plan to change things? Well, they’ve probably done the right thing by acknowledging that this is not a problem brought on only by recessionary Europe and its financial woes, because if that was the case it would be the same for everyone. Having said which, if Stryker isn’t making sufficiently compelling offerings in these straitened times, meaning offerings which are sympathetic with the highly cost-focused needs of its potential customers, then it won’t win share.
With the advantage of distance, and with the full acceptance that Stryker ought to know its business better than we observers, all we can do is ask whether the company is doing the right things. Clearly focusing on gaining share in emerging markets (which represent a paltry 6% of Stryker’s total sales total at the moment) is an essential component of its future revenue streams. But closer to home, in Europe, it’s surely a simpler matter of having the right offerings of product, price, distribution etc, the right organisational structure, focused and targeted efforts, and, driving all of this, the right leadership.
Time will tell if all those boxes are being ticked. Right now Stryker is making some of the right noises by acknowledging its issues and sending out some corporate puff about its hundred years of Stryker management experience which is being brought to bear on the problem. It all comes down to two things. Closeness to the customer and leadership of planning and implementation, without both of which any company will scratch its head for a while, wondering where’s it’s all going wrong, before issuing more positive noises about changes of this that and the next thing.
Thanks to MassDevice for their observations.