He describes himself as a “big perspective” person who keeps himself busy with family, music, taekwondo, golf, and lobster fishing. More than anything, 15 years in the medical device industry with a focus on quality and project management, and a special interest in production, has taken Anders Björklund to the position as Director of Quality & Regulatory at Elos Medtech. In this blog post, you will get to know Anders a bit closer and why he and Elos Medtech were a perfect match.
Hi, Anders! You are the new Director of Quality & Regulatory at Elos Medtech. Please describe your role and main responsibility?
I see my role as Director of Quality & Regulatory at Elos Medtech as a support function to the local Quality Assurance managers at Elos Medtech’s production sites. I manage and monitor the overall company strategies, guidelines, and key performance indicators. I work according to the “One Elos Medtech” approach, making sure we use the strength we have in our different production sites in the best way possible.
You have more than 15 years of experience in the medical device industry. What is your background story?
In 2001, I graduated with a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Chalmers University of Technology. I started working as a project coordinator with product development in the automotive industry. Eventually, I became involved in quality and project management through a variety of internal projects.
After three years in the automotive industry, I began my career in the medical device industry and became part of former Astra Tech (now Dentsply Sirona) where I worked with quality assurance. My job included maintaining the management system as well as being part of the product development for both dental and surgical applications. During my time at Astra Tech, I had my first contact with Elos Medtech through a supplier visit.
My next job was as a customer project manager at Nolato Medical. I functioned as the link between the key account managers and production to ensure we delivered according to the customers’ specifications. All customers operated in the life science industry, which led me to my next job.
In 2009, I joined Semcon as a consultant in life science with various assignments for a large number of companies in the medical device industry. During my time at Semcon, I took on the role of group manager and area manager with responsibility for more than 40 consultants. I also became the “go-to guy” when it came to requests from medtech customers.
How come you started working at Elos Medtech?
After more than 10 years at Semcon, I decided it was time to do something else. I looked into a few options and went to a couple of interviews but without finding the perfect match. At that time, I also changed settings in LinkedIn to “open for new possibilities”, which resulted in a phone call from Elos Medtech.
The combination of a mid-size company with a strong medical device focus and the ambition to grow, and a role with a focus on the overall picture rather than details with international presence and business development as part of the job description, made Elos Medtech a perfect match.
During the recruitment process, I got the question: “We wonder if there even is such a thing as a quality-oriented person with a strong interest in sales and business?”. And my answer was: “Yes, of course. Me!”. And so, in January 2019, I joined Elos Medtech.
That does sound like the perfect match! What is the most fun versus the most challenging part of your job?
The most fun part of my job is that my role allows me to have a global perspective while at the same time remain close to production and operations. I enjoy having such a variety in my responsibilities.
The most challenging part of my job is to understand the different challenges each production site faces. We have production sites in Scandinavia, China, and the US and they all differ in terms of culture, products, and production techniques.
Regardless of production site, high quality is a top priority for Elos Medtech. But what does it actually mean? And why is it so important?
High quality is a combination of many things. Providing safe and reliable medical devices is of course key. One day, you might be the one needing the product. Satisfied customers is another aspect. Each customer has their own definition of quality. To stay relevant, we need to meet all of those. A healthy business is a third aspect. Caring for our employees and their quality of life is really important to us at Elos Medtech.
The regulatory landscape seems to be constantly changing. How should Elos Medtech navigate to meet new requirements and expectations?
We should continue to have close cooperation with customers, authorities, and notified bodies. We should also continue to take part in networks, seminars, and training courses.
There is a lot happening in the industry right now. For example, there is a common effort to manage the shift from MDD to MDR. Production techniques and products are becoming increasingly digitized and automated while simplicity and user experience are on every manufacturer’s agenda. Elos Medtech should continue to be the frontrunner in the areas where we are strong and can influence the industry in a positive way.
Thank you for your time, Anders. We are very happy to have you onboard! One last thing: How do you spend your free time?
I enjoy spending time with my family. I also keep myself busy with music, taekwondo, golf, and lobster fishing.