Coloplast shutters Ga. plant, consolidates

Friday, January 31, 2003

ATLANTA - Although Coloplast is shutting down its breast form manufacturing plant in Marietta, Ga., and consolidating operations in an existing plant in Raubling, Germany, the only noticeable difference for its customers, says the company, will be the name on the box.

“We’ll still warehouse and distribute here,”said Coloplast Marketing Manager Sara Zywicki. “But instead of shifting product from down the street, we’ll be getting it from Germany.”

The consolidation doesn’t end with operations. The largest supplier of breast forms to the U.S. market is also revamping its product portfolio, jettisoning more obsolete products while adding new lines that trade on changed expectations in the breast form marketplace.

One year ago, Coloplast launched its best-selling breast form ever, the Prema, an asymmetric lightweight silicone breast form that conforms to the shape of the breast wall. This year, Coloplast is launching the Tresia, which, like the Prema, also molds to the chest wall but features a triangular shape that fits better anatomically.

Unlike the Prema, the Tresia is symmetrical. That means providers don’t have to carry a left form and a right form.

“Some retailers only want to carry symmetrics so they don’t tie up all that money in inventory,” said Zywicki.

The portfolio consolidation has also resulted in more prominence for a new kind of prosthesis for those who’ve undergone breast conserving surgery. Where the old technology was incorporated into a shell that went over the entire breast, the new technology is split into a top and bottom piece. HME