Medical DevicesMedical Device Manufacturer Increases Output and Improves Productivity

DB&A Business Consulting medical devices

A leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of single-use medical technologies, provides products and services worldwide to health care facilities and professionals with an emphasis on innovations that reduce costs in the fields of urology, oncology and specialty surgery.

The Client retained DB&A for a project implementation that focused on management installation and increased productivity in the Operations, Maintenance, Quality, Supply Chain, and Plant Engineering areas. DB&A Staff Associates were onsite in a facility in Glens Falls, New York, for 24 weeks, working one-on-one with managers, supervisors and coordinators.

Staffing and scheduling were some of the greatest barriers to efficiency. Vacations and time off wreaked havoc on certain departments, leading to massive overtime and personnel reallocation, while other departments were consistently overstaffed in anticipation of a “worst-case” production failure that rarely, if ever, occurred.

Supervisors and managers struggled to balance their responsibilities and relate to their staff in an effective manner. In a typical eight-hour day, management spent only 8.5 percent of their time supervising and had 27.5 percent of their time available for activities that would have been more beneficial to production.

Preventative maintenance wasn’t a priority along the production lines, leading to machines that worked well below maximum levels of efficiency and capacity. Factor in the occasional system breakdown, and the Client was burdened with an inconsistent and undependable line that impeded the pursuit of targeted goals.

Bottlenecks moved throughout the production line each day, but coordinators did not anticipate the easily foreseeable problems and there was no plan in place to restore throughput to acceptable levels.

Time utilization: DB&A installed the tools to help team leaders set targets and production goals directed at supporting a full work day. This reduced lost time related to pacing, led to more effective scheduling and ultimately allowed the management team to better identify lost time and provide team leaders with the metrics to help employees succeed at numerous levels.

Expanded skill sets: Managers and employees embraced the concept of cross-training across departments to create a more prepared and diverse workforce. For example, numerous manufacturing employees were receptive to receiving training as welders. With more flexibility in the manufacturing area, scheduling and consistent production were no longer issues, thanks to a more versatile and skilled pool of employees.

Improved efficiency: With a dedicated effort to recalibrate, readjust and realign production lines, efficiency and productivity saw an immediate boost. The biggest improvement was seen on the “checkering machines” where one operator could now run five machines, as opposed to the two operators previously required.

Financial Results

Prior to the start of the project, DB&A guaranteed the Client an Annualized Savings Rate of $3,573,334 and a 2.1:1 Rate of Return Investment. Upon completion of the implementation, the actual Annualized Savings Rate achieved for the project was $4,230,100 — a 2.48:1 Rate of Return on Investment.

“Focus has increased, there is a higher level of accountability, and expectations have been communicated more clearly. There is more structure day-to-day.”

Team Leader

“The management team has had a lot more interaction with peers; they have their fingers closer to the pulse of day-today operations. The MOS tools give us immediate feedback and give us a snapshot of how we are doing day to day, so we can make changes quicker than ever before.”

Manager

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