Minor change saves $500,000/yr

In a follow-up discussion, this medical device manager elaborated on his response by adding the following details: “This project involved going from packages as singles to groups of five, and then someone suggested we could carton them at that point.

By cartoning them, we were able to remove five people from the line and save $500,000 yearly. We also reduced the carton’s footprint, and along with that changed how it sat on the shelf. The cartons contain five small form/fill/sealed thermoforms with a catheter in them. Before this project, we’d fill a large carton randomly with 50 of them dropped in manually. With cartoning, the individual packs are grouped and nested, neatly standing upright in a tall, narrow carton. It was such a radical change that our marketing people first surveyed our customers, and they preferred the new format. And because the products must hold sterility, it’s also better that the packages don’t rub against each other as in the bulk carton.”

The manager indicated that the project was completed two years ago, but the concept is also used for their new catheters. “It was a minor change, but we save half a million dollars a year,” he added.

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