Oska- South Dakota Partners – Printed Circuit Board Assembly Services

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Industry: Medical Devices
Services: Electronics Manufacturing, Rework & Repair
Client Since: 2016
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Low-Cost Solutions Reduce Medical Device Warranty Claims by 70 Percent

Oska, a Medical Device Company, credits South Dakota Partners for reducing their medical device warranty claims by 70 percent through the use of low-cost solutions.

In April 2016, Oska, located in California, commercialized and launched its first Pulsed Electromagnetic Field therapy device (PEMF therapy). Unlike devices used in medical settings, this was an affordable, portable pain management device that consumers could use anywhere.

At the product launch, Oska’s device was being manufactured by a company located nearby in California, but within a year, it became apparent that the relationship wasn’t working. Greg Battle, a lead investor in the project who later joined the Oska board, and in 2017 became chairman of the board (COB), saw some issues with the manufacturer that alarmed him. Greg had concerns about the product’s quality, the manufacturing company’s design and engineering capabilities, and intellectual property security.
Finding a New Provider

Along with the CEO at the time, he decided it was time to find a new manufacturing partner. They evaluated three contract manufacturers to find one that met their requirements for a suitable partnership. One of those manufacturers was South Dakota Partners, a contract manufacturer located in Clear Lake, South Dakota. After thoroughly investigating and visiting all three companies, Greg and the CEO decided that South Dakota Partners was the best fit because of their expertise and design capabilities.

One of the downsides for them was the distance. Initially, they wondered if it would be a challenge not having their contract manufacturer nearby to visit frequently, but those concerns were soon put to rest. “We thought it would be a challenge. With the previous company, we could jump in a car and be at their factory in twenty minutes. South Dakota is not exactly the easiest place in the world to get to,” said Greg, who is now the acting CEO and COB. “But those challenges were quickly overcome by South Dakota Partners staff’s willingness to jump in and do whatever was necessary for us.”

Since 2018, there have been two design changes implemented by South Dakota Partners, among others. These have helped us reduce our medical device warranty rate by about 70% year-over-year between 2019-2020.

A True Solutions Provider

Evan Lindsay, product manager, Oska, works closely with South Dakota Partners and speaks with them nearly every day. He echoed Greg’s opinion. “South Dakota Partners has a lot of expertise on board, and their willingness to dig into problems, find solutions, and communicate has always been respected and appreciated. Along the way, there have been some issues that have arisen, and they worked with us to find solutions. That is expected, but the manner in which they are willing to run through the processes has always been direct and efficient.”

South Dakota helped Oska with some early design issues that were proving to be costly. Oska has a very generous return policy. In one instance, consumers were mishandling the device, creating a situation where it would no longer power on.

Jason Stohr, business development and engineer manager, South Dakota Partners, evaluated the issue. “After I spent a lot of time working on the problem, I was able to find a low-cost solution to a very expensive problem.”

“That is a good synopsis — ‘a low-cost solution to an expensive problem.’ ” Jason went through test cases quickly to find a solution. That was implemented about 20 months ago, and since then, we have seen a dramatic decline in those failures,” said Evan. “Since 2018, there have been two design changes implemented by South Dakota Partners, among others. These have helped us reduce our medical device warranty rate by about 70% year-over-year between 2019-2020.”

“There are numerous examples of support,” Greg said. “The underlying thing here is they had a willingness to jump in and find solutions, based on their technology background, based on their experience, and based on their willingness to be a partner, as opposed to just saying, ‘well, there’s the problem. You tell us what to do to fix it.’ It has been very beneficial for us despite the distance from them. Overall, it has been an excellent working relationship.”

According to Greg, they haven’t used all the services that South Dakota Partners offers, and there is potential to expand the relationship in the future to include distribution. Oska’s global distribution network is growing, and they would like to see South Dakota Partners ship products direct to international distributors. It is clear that the relationship between these two companies will be long-term.

“In an interview process, you would ask, ‘would you hire the person again?’ “ said Greg. “Would we pick South Dakota Partners Again? Yes, every time.”

Why Choose South Dakota Partners?

If you are looking for a full-service electronic solution provider, look no further than South Dakota Partners. We will do more for you by implementing risk mitigation strategies to reduce your exposure to financial and other consequences associated with supply chain inefficiencies, late delivery, and poor quality. We manage your costs and lead times through efficient manufacturing processes, by monitoring your supply chain, working only with trusted suppliers, and compressing your supply chain by offering services at every stage from manufacturing through aftermarket repair.

Contact us today to learn more.

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