This global leader in blood processing technology looked to pump more output from its existing equipment, people and information technology, and to make its quality processes more productive. Our team established performance standards based on true capacities, enhanced workflows, and improved communication within and between departments. The results? A hearty 25% gain in productivity and $4.5 million in annual savings.
Founded in 1971, our client, a Massachusetts-based company provides innovative products for the blood donation and processing industry and surgical environ-ments in 50-plus countries. Its primary operations involve manufacturing medical devices, systems, and single-use consumables to collect and process blood.
The client sought to increase its production with current resources, achieve continuous improvement and stream-line its quality systems. Company leaders also wanted to open up communication between departmental “silos” and get managers working together to solve complex problems affecting multiple areas. As a result, the client engaged us to improve operations at two of its manufac-turing facilities in the northeastern United States.
A central, underlying problem was that the company was accounting for costs and establishing standards for performance using historical financial standards rather than actual operational capabilities. They were attaining their goals – adjusted periodically – without much effort, so management saw continuous, incremental improvement instead of an organization slowing down.
Supervisors were not actively managing their people or proactively monitoring daily operations. This prevented them from quickly spotting off-schedule conditions and taking timely corrective actions. The equipment builders were given very little direction on what to build and when, which made it harder to keep production cells stocked with components.
The amount of work allocated per operator also varied widely. Two of the high-volume production lines were using too many people, which created excessive buildup of subassemblies. And, it caused needless shortages on other production lines that depended on the same parts.