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Aligning performance with capacity helps medical device maker operate at full potential

Medical Device Maker

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. The Powers Company established performance standards based on true capacities, enhanced workflows, and improved communication within and between departments. The results? A hearty 25 percent gain in productivity and $4.5 million in annual savings.

Founded in 1971, this Massachusetts-based company provides innovative products for the blood donation/processing industry and surgical environments in 50-plus countries. Its primary operations involve manufacturing medical devices, systems and single-use consumables for the collection and processing of blood. The client sought to increase its production with current resources, achieve continuous improvement and streamline 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. The client engaged us to improve operations at their Braintree, Mass. and Pittsburgh, Pa. manufacturing facilities.

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Problems

  • Using historical financial standards rather than actual operational capabilities to determine costs and standards for performance.
  • Supervisors not actively managing their staff
  • Ineffective reporting process in place

Objectives

Needed to increase its production with current resources, achieve continuous improvement and streamline its quality systems and improve communication between departments and get managers working together to solve complex problems affecting multiple areas.

Strategies

  • Establish performance measures based on realistic versus historic standards
  • Implement structured process to maximize performance
  • Institute daily schedule control with hourly production targets
  • Add performance- and equipment-tracking features
  • Streamline processing of incoming and discrepant parts
  • Institute workshops to develop supervisors’ management skills

Results

25%

Average increase of output on high-volume production lines

21%

Decrease in time spent on double input of parts-inspection data

15%

Average decrease in the number of workers required to build one product

9 to 1 minute

cut in computer search time for processing discrepant parts

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