Originally Published MPMN April 2005
Microelectronics Supplier Earns Award for Excellence
A developer of microelectronics and software solutions for medical OEMs has received an award for achievement. HEI Inc. (Minneapolis; www.heii.com) received the first Supplier Excellence Award from Ethicon Inc. The award recognizes its work as a manufacturer and supplier for the Ethicon Gynecare Thermachoice uterine balloon therapy system and motor drive unit. HEI met Ethicon’s standards four times in 2004.
In February 2003, HEI identified five areas needing improvement in its manufacturing processes. They were quality, regulatory, service and operations, cost leadership, and partnership. The company then began implementing changes via lean manufacturing, a methodology that focuses on improving efficiency and eliminating waste. An internal training program based on customer-demand-based manufacturing was also developed to ensure employees were working toward a common goal of achieving supplier excellence.
Six months after implementing the changes, the company reported a 23% increase in productivity, and a 57% improvement in response to customers. “Accomplishing our business goal of improving our manufacturing process was a great feat for HEI and our hardworking employees. Being the first to earn the Supplier Excellence Award from an industry leader is a major milestone for our company,” says CEO Mack Traynor.
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