It has been over a month since we returned from the Medica Trade Fair in Düsseldorf and yet we are still being inundated with requests for more information on our products. Many of these leads are from companies that have expressed an interest in serving as distributor for CapeRay in their country. What are the key questions that need to be answered before a distribution agreement can be signed?
From the potential distributor’s perspective, they ask themselves: “What are we looking for in a company like CapeRay?” First and foremost, they want to have the exclusive distribution rights to a product that is different, one that will give them a competitive edge in their home market. Then, they want to know that CapeRay has all the necessary regulatory approvals in place, both for the company (ISO 13485) and the product (CE Mark and FDA approval). Next, they need the reassurance of good data, preferably gathered in a clinical trial, that demonstrate the benefits of our products. And finally, a distributor seeks confirmation that CapeRay’s products are of the highest quality and that we stand behind them.
From CapeRay’s perspective, we ask ourselves: “What are we looking for in a potential distributor?” First, we wish to establish a long-term relationship with a distributor that is not only committed to our products but also has a good understanding of the market in their own country. In fact, they should be willing to pay for and undertake promotion and marketing of our products. Given the complexity of these products, the distributor should ideally have technically trained staff that can install our PantoScanner systems and also provide vitally important after-sales service. Finally, we need reassurance that the distributor is in a strong financial position and has an established track record in the medical device business, preferably in imaging. In short, reputation matters.
While the Medica Trade Fair facilitates face-to-face meeting between manufacturers like CapeRay and potential distributors, and e-mail correspondence enables the parties to continue the conversation, there is one final due diligence step that is necessary before any agreements can be signed. In 2012, when its PantoScanner system will be ready for sale, CapeRay will visit distributors in their respective countries to consummate the deal.