Meet Rob Weidenhammer, our new Global Sales & Business Development Manager for our Orthopedics business area. Rob comes from the OEM side of things. Having spent more than 25 years in the orthopedic sales field, he has gained a lot of experience, knowledge, and insights into the orthopedic device market. I had a nice chat with Rob to pick his brain about all things orthopedics and his new position at Elos Medtech.
Hi, Rob! You have an extensive background in orthopedics and have worked across different specialties. Tell us about that?
Yes, I have been in the orthopedic sales field for 27 years selling for DePuy, DJ Ortho, and several other OEMs as the actual “boots on the ground” sales representative. My primary responsibilities have included business development, surgeon/staff education of the products, and making sure everything is there for the procedure. I have a pretty extensive background in the different fields within orthopedics and have worked across multiple specialties – everything from total joint replacement, trauma, spine, and sports medicine, even into biologics – you name it.
What is your experience of working at Elos Medtech so far?
I have only been here at Elos Medtech for a short time. But there is already so much I am learning on a daily basis, and it is very exciting. I love it. I work with a great group of people. Everyone in our company is just so warm, welcoming, smart, and passionate about what they do. It is just really a great company.
It is also a little bit different for me because I come from the OEM side, and this is the manufacturing side. Now I am working for the company that made some of the items that I would previously use in surgery. This means I can contribute with a unique perspective on a lot of these things.
Tell me something you didn’t know about orthopedic medical device manufacturing when working in the surgical space?
Okay, here is an interesting anecdote. As a sales representative in the surgical space, you don’t really think about screws, drill bits, pins, and guide wires. They are ancillary to the implant and cutting guides and more advanced instruments. But when I was working for this company, we had an external fixator system with tensioning wires that you drill into the bone and then attach to the rings.
One of the problems surgeons have is that if the drill tip is not sharp enough, they will just spin on the bone, which creates friction and can cause thermal necrosis, meaning the bone basically burns and may not heal, which can lead to all kinds of complications. So physicians love really sharp stuff as they want to be able to go right through the bone.
And they loved these wires. Every physician who tried them said they were the best. They cut through the bone better than any other wire. Even surgeons that didn’t like the rest of our system wanted to use our wires. That is how much they loved them.
We had, supposedly, the best wires. And I came to know that it was Elos Medtech that made those wires. And now, when I listen to the different engineers at Elos Medtech describing the manufacturing process of our drill tips, it all makes sense why they cut differently and better than any other on the market. At the time, I didn’t think about it. But now, it makes sense.
And what a difference it made in the surgeons’ perspective of the procedure because it was one less thing they had to worry about. It didn’t matter who the patient was – if the patient was a 22-year-old football player who weighed 250 pounds of solid muscle and dense bones – these things were going to go through. It provided a level of comfort to the surgeons.
This was something I didn’t know back then, which would have been neat to describe to a surgeon. But as a representative, we had no idea. We just knew they were sharp.
That is an interesting anecdote, for sure! What are you the most excited about working at Elos Medtech?
To me, it is wonderful to know that we are considered the top dog when it comes to manufacturing screws, drills, and wires – and that all the things we do, we do extraordinarily well. I like working for people who want to be the best at what they do. And it seems like I have found a good home at Elos Medtech for that.
We have a core set of competencies. This is what we do and why we are extremely good at it. We don’t want to manufacture everything in the world in orthopedics. We probably could get very good at it. But there is already a great market out there for the products we are currently making.
If I think back to all the companies that I have represented over the years, just drill bits, pins, wires, screws, and plates alone would be enough to keep us busy and growing for the foreseeable future. Our specialized competencies seem to be the key to our success.
We have a saying in the United States that goes, “A jack of all trades is a master of none.” That is the way I look at it. Let us not try and do everything. Instead, let us focus on and do what we do better than anybody else.
Thank you so much, Rob, for a lovely chat and sharing your experience, knowledge, and insights into the orthopedic field.
Want to learn more about Elos Medtech’s orthopedic offer? Visit our website.