Oftentimes, medical device manufacturers spend so much time attempting to comply with the complex regulations of their target markets that they fail to direct enough attention toward picking the right distributor for their product. Once a distributor is chosen, switching to another is not exactly an easy task, and is almost always a quite costly one.

For manufacturers, partnering with the right distributor is of extreme importance. After all, no matter how good or how innovative a device is – it cannot sell itself. Manufacturers need a reliable distributor in their target market that will oversee their operations and meet the company’s sales goals in that country.

Below you will find our tips for how manufacturers should approach picking the most suitable medical device distributor for their products and goals.

General Approach

Choosing a distributor is not a simple task. Even when choosing among the most reputable distributors in your target market, there is a myriad of factors to consider. Is your device a simple one or a complex one? Is it an innovative technology or an already-existing device? How often will your device require service or maintenance? What sales channels are your potential distributors connected to? Will those channels optimize sales for your product? These are some of the questions manufacturers should ask themselves before entering a partnership with a distributor.

One of the most common mistakes manufacturers make is taking the market research phase too lightly and settling for a distributor too quickly. While the internet is a powerful tool that can be used to assess the market and find potential distribution partners, relying on the internet alone is not a sufficient means for determining which distributor is the best for your company and your product. Face-to-face discussions with distributors where you are able to ask questions about their operations and understand their potential sales strategy for your medical device are extremely important.


Proper communication is one of the most important aspects of every business relationship.  Good distributors are communicative and quick to respond. The same goes for good manufacturers. In order to establish a partnership based on trust, both sides must respect each other and work toward a common goal. Proper communication is key to making this happen.

Considering Smaller Distributors

If a manufacturer is interested in marketing a product in only one country or within a small region, that manufacturer should consider using a small distributor to carry out sales operations in that area. Smaller distributors have smaller workloads and, therefore, often tend to be more focused on the needs of each of their clients. Also, because of their dedication to the region within which they are operating, they may have a stronger network in that area than bigger distributors do. Furthermore, smaller distributors tend to have more extensive and specialized knowledge about the industry in their region. This knowledge is often superior to that of larger,  more established distribution companies that operate on an international scale.

How far should a distributor be willing to go for a manufacturer?

It is definitely appreciated when distributors take extra measures to satisfy their clients. If a distributor expresses the willingness to be available after business hours or offers technical training and/or inventory management, that is a sign of a dedicated distributor. Manufacturers should also be prepared to go the extra mile for their distributors so that the partnership can be  as fruitful as possible. 

Establishing More Control when Partnering with a Distributor

If you are currently seeking a distributor to help with the sale of your medical device, RegDesk can help you pinpoint the potential risks of entering a foreign market so that you can make more informed decisions when partnering with a distribution company. Avoid surprises with timelines and registration costs, increase your negotiating power, and start selling your product faster with RegDesk.

If you’d like to learn more about how RegDesk can support your device company throughout this process, contact us today. From January 28 to January 30, we will be attending Arab Health in Dubai. If your team will be there, schedule an in-person meeting with us and we’ll come to your company’s booth.