Florida MEP Provides Competitive Edge

December 21, 2009

Ormond Beach, Fla. – In today’s increasingly global marketplace, oceans instead of state lines separate Florida businesses from their competitors.  More competition coupled with ever-evolving technologies has compelled American manufacturers to find ways to create efficiencies and improve productivity without compromising the quality of their products.  In Florida, manufacturers of all sizes have turned to the Florida Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Florida MEP) to help gain a competitive edge.  Companies like Ormond Beach-based Command Medical Products (www.commandmedical.com), a contract medical device manufacturing company, have sought the assistance of Florida MEP to identify opportunities to cut costs and increase production.

Looking to improve their operations, Command Medical Products participated in an open workshop hosted by Florida MEP last year that covered Value Stream Mapping, a technique used to analyze the flow of materials and information needed to create a product.  After a follow-up visit with Command Medical Products, Florida MEP was able to determine the company was eligible for U.S. Department of Defense funding for an additional lean manufacturing workshop, two-day Value Stream Mapping event and four-day kaizen.  The kaizen, which was conducted in June, resulted in a projected labor cost savings of more than $50,000.

“The company was introduced to Lean a couple of years ago and had made sustainable improvements, but this kaizen reignited the workforce.  The team was trained in recognizing ways to work more efficiently and remove non-value added activities; they were responsible for identifying the cost savings,” said Florida MEP Project Manager, Paula Heiret.

“Command Medical Products’ management team has adopted Lean as part of its operational strategy.  Continuous improvement has gained momentum again and is quickly becoming a way of life at Command Medical,” said James Carnall, Vice President, Operations of Command Medical Products.

“Our success as a company depends on our ability to constantly re-evaluate the way we conduct business,” said David T. Slick, Sr., President and CEO of Command Medical -Products. “Since partnering with Florida MEP, we have had the opportunity to participate in educational trainings that have improved and streamlined our work flow process at little-to-no cost to the company. Florida MEP is able to leverage public resources to help small, Florida-based companies succeed in these challenging economic times.”

The success of this experience has led Command Medical Products to extend their partnership with Florida MEP and sign on for additional training next year.  Looking forward, the continued partnership will include additional four-day kaizen events and employee mentoring days.  Command Medical -Products personnel will receive one-on-one manufacturing improvement coaching. Projected results from the services Florida MEP will provide include:

  • $200,000 in cost savings over the next 12 months;
  • $50,000 in investment of plant or equipment over the next 12 months; and
  • $10,000 in investments of other areas of the business over the next 12 months.

“Command Medical Products now has the tools it needs to extend its market reach and increase its competitiveness,” said Gene Lussier, Board Chair of Florida MEP. “By implementing these strategies they will not only realize savings, but will also be able to invest dollars that will ultimately help them grow their business.  In today’s financial climate and given the need to maintain a diverse economy, it is important that we continue to invest in Florida’s manufacturing industry and help companies like Command Medical services maintain their edge in the ever-changing global market.”

The Florida MEP is an affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) under the U.S. Department of Commerce.  For more information on Florida MEP, visit www.floridamep.org.

###

Florida Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) is a non-profit service available to every manufacturer in the state to help them compete more effectively in the global marketplace. In the past five years Florida MEP clients reported $719.8 million in increased and retained sales, 2,318 jobs created and 4,608 jobs retained as a direct result of guidance received by the program. The nationwide system of MEP centers is linked through the U.S. Department of Commerce – National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), with the common goal to strengthen the global competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers.