Key success factors for Ottobock include:
- Innovative technology for people
- The highest quality standards
- Direct contact with customers around the world
- Human resources development and professional education
Technology for People
Outstanding products from Ottobock have set the bar as solutions for people with limited mobility time and time again, improving their quality of life. As the first fully microprocessor-controlled leg prosthesis system in the world, the C-Leg® helps transfemoral amputees achieve maximum safety and mobility. The DynamicArm® is the leading product in the field of myoelectric arm prosthetics controlled by electric muscle signals. One of the most fascinating current research and development projects involves the first mind-controlled arm prosthesis. Ottobock introduced the prototype in Vienna in 2007. Nerve tracts that controlled the natural arm prior to amputation are used to transmit signals from the brain to the prosthesis, allowing it to be controlled directly and intuitively. No prosthesis has ever come so close to duplicating natural functions. In November 2009, Ottobock presented a further development of the mind-controlled arm prosthesis enabling its user to feel with the artificial hand.
The Ottobock product range is based on the goal of restoring patient mobility and protecting the functions they have retained. It includes prosthetic and orthotic solutions, a broad range of manual and power wheelchairs and the field of neurostimulation. 2007 marked the introduction of the ActiGait® neuroimplant, offering a novel therapy alternative for stroke patients suffering from weak foot dorsiflexion. With the development of neuroimplants and products for functional electrostimulation, Ottobock is creating a new market segment offering particularly high growth potential worldwide.
The highest quality standards
Modern medical aids allow handicapped people to lead much more active lives than just ten or 20 years ago. Strict quality control standards are essential due to reliability and safety requirements combined with the amount of strain placed on the products. Before a new Ottobock prosthetic foot is brought to market, it is tested in special gait simulators where it has to take around three million steps. This is the equivalent of walking from Lisbon to Warsaw.
In terms of quality, user safety is the key. Mechatronic leg prosthesis systems such as the C-Leg® and C-Leg®compact minimise the risk of falling. Modern orthoses improve the success rate of treatments such as surgery by providing protection against excessive strain without unduly inhibiting mobility. With suggestions based on everyday life and a wealth of practical experience, users make a significant contribution to the product development process. Beyond a subjective perception, complex gait laboratory tests are used to provide scientific proof regarding the quality of new medical aids.
Other quality characteristics include the use of premium materials – such as titanium and carbon, commonly used in the aviation industry – and an appealing design. While functional benefits are essential, an attractive appearance is also crucial for product acceptance by the user and his or her social environment. Ottobock regularly enters popular cross-sector design competitions; numerous awards speak in favour of its product designs.
Global presence and proximity to customers
The network of sales and service locations in more than 49 countries is the foundation for making use of the strong brand image of Ottobock worldwide while simultaneously ensuring proximity to customers. They have access to a large selection of services ranging from Service Fabrication, which supplies specialist dealers with custom-made prefabricated products, to the planning and equipping of orthopaedic workshops. Ottobock also offers support with regard to financing.
Investments in state-of-the-art logistics centres in Duderstadt and Königsee, which commenced operation in 2004 and 2006 respectively, ensure short delivery times and immediate availability of all components required for assembly. The main production sites are Duderstadt, Königsee, Vienna, Beijing, and Salt Lake City. As a global brand, Ottobock exports to all the countries in the world.
Human resource development
Close cooperation with universities, colleges, and other educational institutions effectively communicates the features that make Ottobock attractive for qualified new employees. Diploma theses and internships provide practical experience and insights for students while they obtain their academic qualifications. Young employees also have the opportunity to study business administration in conjunction with their employment. Professor Hans Georg Näder, President and CEO, also passes on his knowledge to students at the Private Hochschule Göttingen which appointed him as honorary professor in 2005. In October 2009, he was appointed honorary professor by the Capital University in Beijing.
The Otto Bock Academy is responsible for continuing education provided to employees. Seminars focus on technical aspects and foreign languages in order to prepare employees for international assignments in the world of Ottobock. The company actively supports employees in their efforts to gain experience abroad. Fitness and healthy nutrition seminars complete the internal human resource program.
The Otto Bock Academy offers a comprehensive selection of training and continuing education courses for external customers who want to enhance the qualifications of their personnel. These programmes include product-specific certification seminars that are mandatory in order to complete high-tech patient fittings. The expertise and experience of Ottobock prosthetists is highlighted by the Paralympics, a key part of the company's international sponsoring concept. Ottobock started supporting the Paralympics at the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul, and has continuously developed the concept ever since. For the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi, the organisation committee once again charged Ottobock with the technical service for athletes from around the world.