Straumann announces 200 person layoffMay 15, 2013
following 5.5% drop in 1Q13 global sales
On May 7, Straumann sent an email to its North American customers advising of "recent changes made within our organization." It stated that "As the world's economy struggles, we must find new ways to prepare for the future. After considering many options, Straumann concluded that the need to restructure was necessary to face these challenges."
Straumann's "changes made within organization" were disclosed in an April 29, 2013 Press Release announcing "further restructuring and cost-saving initiatives, including the reduction of approximately 200 jobs." Straumann's sales, share prices and profits have been dropping over the last 4 years as shown in this chart. Terminating 200 employees will bolster its profits in the short-term but will do nothing to help its customers who are also facing the same "struggling world economy" nor will it help them to "prepare for the future." Straumann customers would be well advised to adopt the same attitude about cost savings and "find new ways to prepare for the future". Implant Direct offers that new way with design, packaging and up to 70% cost savings that you will find compelling from watching the 5 minute Reality Check Video.
Implant Direct created a fundamental change in the implant industry in 2006 with the launch of the "Value Segment," positioned between discounters and premium priced products. Over the last 7 years, it has expanded its product portfolio of industry compatible implants with patented design and packaging improvements. This is very evident from watching the Legacy System Video of bone level implants with a 27 year history of clinical success. Legacy implants, with 4 packaging and design options, are based on Dr. Niznick's 1986 development of the first "conical connection" implant, the Screw-Vent, now sold by Zimmer Dental. Implant Direct offers the industry's most intuitive, on-line ordering experience and its 100+ sales and customer service staff in NA earned it Millennium Implant Industry Report's highest ranking in customer satisfaction. As you can see from the chart below, Straumann was ranked #3 but with its continued downsizing of staff, whether it can retain that ranking remains to be seen.
In 2012, Straumann invested almost $300,000,000 to acquire 49% interest in NeoDent, a Brazilian Implant company selling external hex implants with a list price of 140 BLR (approximately $70) and discounts to 85 BRL (approximately $45). The funds for this purchase were generated in part from the income generated by Straumann’s high prices to its North American customers. A recent Morgan Stanley Industry Report entitled Between a Rock and a Hard Place – Disruption is Here explains how Implant Direct's business strategy has cost the premium priced companies market share and profits A recent Industry Report by Bank AM Bellvue questioned the ability of premium priced companies to follow a dual strategy of selling both premium and discount priced products. At a meeting with investors last year, Straumann's CEO (now Chairman of the Board) stated his opinion that low priced implants lacked research and long-term predictability. If Straumann believes that its low cost Brazilian NeoDent products will not deliver predictable results to patients, then it should not be selling them at all. If on the other hand, it now believes they are good quality and will provide predictable results, then it should bring them to the NA and EU markets at the same low prices to help their customers "prepare for the future" as the "world's economy struggles." In fact, both the quality of NeoDent's implants and the credibility of Straumann funded research supporting its claims of faster healing with SLActive, have been questioned in an email exchange between Dr. Gerald Niznick, CEO of Implant Direct and Dr. Dan Buser, past president of the International Team for Implantology. ITI is the organization that receives millions every year from Straumann to provide "research" and education to support sales of its products. Implant Direct uses profits to expand its product line and maintain everyday low prices with the added value of all-in-1 packaging. In contrast to Nobel Biocare, Straumann and Zimmer Dental, all three of which experienced flat NA sales in 1Q13, Implant Direct grew 28%, evidencing increased understanding among dentists that high prices are no guarantee of better products and customer support.
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