Winning With Empowerment Employee involvement contributes to rapid productivity gains at surgical-tool maker. ByTraci PurdumStryker Instruments, Kalamazoo, Mich.At a glance
Web Exclusive Best Practices Stryker Instruments, maker of powered surgical instruments. By Traci Purdum Benchmarking contact: Lonny Carpenter, vice president of operations,
[email protected], 616/323-7700, ext. 3215.
Quality Measures Failure Mode, Effects, and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) is a what-if approach to evaluating design weaknesses, which starts at the component level and proceeds through the complete system. Stryker Instruments applies this planning/prioritization and risk-analysis tool to product design, process design, and service-process design. Each potential failure is analyzed to determine the results or effects on the system and to classify each potential failure according to its severity. "This is a 'living document' and the analysis is performed at many stages during the product/process design life cycle to confirm progress and mitigation of potential failure frequency and effects," explains Paul R. Freestone, quality assurance manager. The plant also implements a Fault Tree, similar to FMECA except that the analysis is performed from the top down, beginning with a system-level failure, and tracing it back to its possible causes.
Focus on People To support Stryker Instruments' philosophy that its people are its most valuable asset, the plant follows a four-tier plan to find and nurture employees:
- Certifications include quality standards ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 (the medical device directive).
- Average of 100 annual hours of formal training per employee.
- 99.7% machine availability rate as a percentage of scheduled uptime.
- 99.88% first-pass yield for all finished products.
- In-plant defect rate cut 62.5% over the last five years.
- Focus on talent: Believe in it, recruit it, develop it, and coach it. Individuals have unique talents. Put people in positions that fit their talents and then enable them to use those talents on a frequent basis.
- Set the right expectations: Make sure people understand their role in the organization and how they contribute each and every day to the success of the team. Communication and continuous feedback help keep the focus. Make sure people have the right tools and training to perform their job functions.
- Build relationships: Be a great coach. Open the lines of communication, vertically as well as horizontally. The plant's experience has led it to what it considers an ideal 10:1 employee to supervisor ratio that encourages one-to-one relationships.
- Reward/recognize accomplishments: Send the message that someone notices and cares about individual employee accomplishments. In order for the reward/recognition to be a success, it must be consistent, valued, and timely.