New COO Focusing on Present, Looking Toward Future

New COO Focusing on Present, Looking Toward Future

Normally, joining a company to oversee more than half of its worldwide employees is a big challenge. Add a global pandemic to the mix and suddenly that task is amplified tremendously.

John Elwood joined Vyaire Medical as chief operating officer May 25, after 12.5 years at KCI, a wound care company based in San Antonio, TX.

At Vyaire Medical, Elwood's global operations team comprises more than 4,000 of the company's approximately 6,000 employees worldwide. But even more than the number of employees, Elwood's team touches virtually every aspect of Vyaire Medical's business, from supply chain planning, manufacturing, engineering and from shipping to regulatory compliance.

The benefit of overseeing so many moving parts, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak, is that you can streamline communications to ensure everyone is working toward the same goal.

"It's really a broad scope. The beauty of that broad scope is that our global team is all aligned to our vision ‘Product is always available, achieved by best-in-class structure’,  Elwood said. "When I communicate to thousands of people, everyone in my organization can align with that statement. Everyone can easily explain how their role supports that vision.

Elwood said the main focus right now is meeting the unprecedented global demand for Vyaire Medical's full product line. "Our business consists of the ventilators, the consumables that go along with every ventilator and we also have the diagnostics business," he said. "It's tough right now. It's an incredibly busy, yet exciting, time for the entire organization."

And with all the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Elwood said he also has to think about the future. In order to remain successful, Vyaire Medical has to continue to innovate and develop the products to meet the evolving needs of a post-pandemic world.

"We have our three franchises — ventilators, consumables and diagnostics. All three have research and development teams to understand what our customers needs truly are and develop new products to meet those needs," he said.

And when the current crisis subsides, Elwood will then be able to focus on the "normal" aspects of his role. "When we get through COVID and stabilize, when I look at the wide span of global operations, we need to drive continuous improvement across every aspect of our business to turn our vision into reality.”

Elwood added that even with the immense challenges ahead, he's glad to have joined the Vyaire Medical team. "Even in these times of remote working, it has been an easy transition for me. The team has been very warm and welcoming to me."

For more information about Vyaire’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, visit the company’s COVID-19 Response Center.

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