Medical sales and aftersales
This medical devices supplier and aftermarket provider had started their Lean journey through the application of specific lean tools. Progressing their Lean journey, the leadership were keen to align their improvement activity to their strategy and embrace process improvement. In the private medical sector, hospitals and surgeries get paid for each test they complete, so any downtime is lost revenue.
We identified a key process which could act as a pilot for process improvement – the aftersales maintenance and repair service for blood pressure monitors. It is a great test as it is a forward indicator of ill health, so is often incentivised by health services as a preventive measure. Improving this process would be attractive to the customer and potentially increase maintenance sales and service in this area.
With a cross functional team, we mapped out the process by following a typical unit through the process. The team identified the lead time at 16 days – anytime off line means that the ability of the GP/clinic to conduct tests may be restricted or may have to wait for the unit to get repaired. The actual touch time varied between a minute and an hour. The rest of the time was spent waiting for approvals or on administration tasks.
The future state process was designed to take 6 days, a massive reduction of over 70%! When the team implemented the future state, they managed a further reduction to 4 days. Increased sales were predicted due to the quicker turnaround and through the planned replacement of user serviceable parts on the monitor.