Case Study

Revolutionising growth: A case study of a medical device Co’s journey from local leader to global powerhouse

Pharmaceutical Industry, Lean Transformation


As leading, privately-owned producer of medical devices, equipment and consumables in the dental sector. the company had grown successfully by maintaining an R&D pipeline of new products and setting up a global network of distributors, turning over some €70m per annum. Yet despite a leading position in the home market, international sales still accounted for less than 50% of turnover.

Distributors were typically smaller, privately-owned companies with limited capabilities.  Management of distributors was traditional, focusing on technical support, periodic promotions, customer service and a ‘push’ strategy.


The key to success of this programme was getting the independent distributors on board, helping them to identify and address opportunities in the market and fundamentally change how the company supported them.  An iterative, three-stage approach was chosen as the best way of engaging with distributors and internal sales and marketing staff:

  • Full Potential Analysis: a 360˚ review of key markets to assess the level of potential, key market factors, growth drivers and challenge both internal and distributor operating models.  On this basis, targets were developed and a tailored implementation approach was designed.
  • Proof of Concept: opinion leaders were chosen in 2 key markets with whom to develop target operating models which, once implemented, would deliver a step-change in performance.

In parallel, the distributor management model, driven by the internal Sales & Marketing team, was fundamentally reengineered in conjunction with key members of staff who were assigned to the programme.

Results were tracked against targets set for each market and learnings were taken to fine-tune the new target operating model.

  • Roll-Out: the target operating model was presented at the annual distributor conference, sending a compelling message as opinion leaders were able to demonstrate concrete results and sales managers were able to present how new ways of supporting distributors would help to identify and deliver substantive revenue growth.


Productivity Increase
  • International revenues grew by over 100% over a 3 year period, replacing the domestic market at the most important revenue source.
  • The Sales & Marketing function was transformed by becoming more proactive and providing support and coaching to distributors on how to identify and capitalise on growth opportunities.
  • Improved segmentation enabled new product opportunities to be identified and fed through to R&D, further improving market performance.

The ability of The Bridge to help us transform both performance and culture has been the key to our success.

Phil Moorhouse, Managing Director

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