Swiss nursing home supplier Kuhn und Bieri AG wanted to expand their business in the incontinence market. To succeed in that very competitive market, they had to team up with a supplier who could guarantee a complete line of top quality absorbent incontinence products as well as cooperate with them to reach their business goal. It decided to collaborate with Santex and distribute their Egosan line.
Urinary incontinence is a common problem thought to affect millions of people worldwide. Even though it’s not limited to elder people, the risk of incontinence increases with age.
Population is aging in Switzerland too: 18% of the overall Swiss population was aged 65 and above in 2016.
In regards of urinary incontinence, a very important aspect it’s its incidence in nursing home population, especially in people older than 65 years. It’s a problem that affects residents and caregiver alike, as it regards quality of life issues, level of service, as well as time and cost management. One crucial aspect of incontinence management system is the range and quality of incontinence devices.
Even more so in Swizerland, “where requirements”, says Maya Reinmann, production manager for sterile materials and consumables at Kuhn und Bieri AG, “are extremely high, in particular in terms of absorbing performance”.
Kuhn und Bieri is a real specialist in Switzerland for nursing homes and home-care, especially with regards to medical supplies and consumables.
Getting to the top in the Swiss market
Maya has been dealing with the many aspects of incontinence for more than 25 years: first as a nurse, now as a product manager and specialist in incontinence for Kuhn und Bieri.
About 5 years ago, Maya’s department was looking for a way to boost their business, find new customers and move up into the top 5 companies in the incontinence sector for the Swiss market.
It was a very ambitious goal: “the Swiss market is very competitive: also in terms of prices, since insurance companies only pay a maximum amount.” explains Maya. To meet the company’s business goals and increase their presence in the incontinence institutional market, it was necessary to “find a supplier that offered a complete line of absorbent incontinence products that cover all incontinence severity levels.”
That was the key point to the strategy to enter the consolidated Swiss incontinence market. Without that, their strategy “would have been doomed to failure for competitive reasons.”
What Maya and her team were looking for, was a supplier with the right mix of premium quality products, manufactured within 1000 kilometers, and experience in the distribution channels in other European markets, especially Nordic countries. “Alternatives were available, but they did not meet the above criteria in all aspects.”
What Maya’s team took into account in the evaluation of possible business partner was their ability to “guarantee products and services that would not disadvantage us compared to the existing competitors, thus ensuring a successful expansion of our incontinence sales in Switzerland.”
A successful partnership with Santex
People at Kuhn und Bieri have a wide knowledge of the Swiss market but they are also regular visitors of international Health Care exhibitions. It was during one of these occasions that they came across Santex and their Egosan Line of incontinence products.
“The company Santex impressed us with a good price-performance ratio and for the fact that they offers its customers individual solutions”. In fact, Santex manufactured a type pd shaped-pads conceived especially for Switzerland.
Since their partnership started, Kuhn and Bieri “has been able to compete in the increasingly tough environment which is no longer so marked by continuous innovations on the product side thus giving us the opportunity to concentrate more on complementary services.”