A leading surgical company had made the business decision to close its US manufacturing facility and transfer production to a low-cost geography. The product was a labor-intensive line of single-use devices for monitoring patient vital signs, for a total of 92 SKUs. The customer also targeted quality improvements and cost savings in packaging processes and materials.
The customer chose Viant because it offered:
- A manufacturing facility in a low-cost geography
- Experience with large-scale manufacturing transfers
- A strong continuous-improvement culture
There were several challenges involved in this project:
- Because the customer’s manufacturing facility was closing, there would be no experts to consult if questions arose after the manufacturing transfer
- The employees would be laid off when the customer’s US facility closed, so the interaction required sensitivity and diplomacy
- There was a month gap between the facility’s closing and Viant being ready to go
Viant planned and implemented a strategy to effectively “pull” the transfer from the customer. To expedite the process, they formed two teams that worked in parallel.
A dedicated, cross-functional project team managed the manufacturing transfer, including equipment installation, set-up, and qualification; packaging process; process documentation; materials procurement; and operator training. This team spent more than 4 weeks at the customer’s US manufacturing site, learning the equipment and process to build the devices.
The second team focused on the process of renovating the manufacturing facility. Viant designed and built a 7000 square-foot manufacturing area with a customized cleanroom to meet the customer’s specific needs.
Viant was also able to leverage its packaging expertise to convert from a fill and seal process to a form-fill-seal packaging process, which improved work ow from the cleanroom.
Viant was able to smoothly manage the manufacturing transfer from the US to Costa Rica, while maintaining sensitivity in interactions with the customer’s manufacturing employees.
Transferring manufacturing to a low-cost geography allowed the customer to reduce costs by 18%. Converting to a form-fill-seal packaging process saved additional costs and made for a more efficient workflow, as well as a more robust packaging solution.