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Why Lean Management is Crucial in Every Step of the Custom Medical Cart Process

Posted by Brittany Beckmann on February 27, 2017

The custom medical cart market is more competitive now than ever before. Everyone wants to get the upper-hand—the next up and coming thing—excellence and innovation at its peak performance. 

Intent on staying ahead of the game, customer demands have become more detailed and focused on specific niches where advancements in technology dictate the life-cycle of a cart. It's due to the fast pace of technological evolution, redesign and renovations are crucial in the medical cart industry. 

At its core, lean fosters constant improvement; it encourages cross-training flexibility and challenges traditional thought processes by nurturing curiosity and critical thinking. These values are vital to excelling in the custom medical cart market. 

To achieve these values, medical cart manufacturers invest in their employees through cross-training and providing an open office setup that supports team accountability and negates departmentalization. This setup ensures that your project isn't being dumped from person to person; rather, a team of individuals collaborates and nurtures your custom medical cart from concept through production.


The concept stage is chalk full of ideas, and sometimes it's difficult to reduce your brainstorming session to a few concrete possibilities. At HUI, we implement lean principles into this step by holding a concept refinement meeting. Everyone involved in the project must attend this meeting during which an industrial designer sketches and modifies concepts in real time. The concept refinement meeting effectively reduces what would normally be two to three week process to four or five hours. 


Similar to the concept refinement meeting, HUI engineers hold regular meetings with their customers. Instead of completing all the engineering before presenting it a customer, waiting for feedback, revising and then repeating the process over again, we use regular meetings to address specific hurdles and update alterations. This lean setup saves time and money by ensuring issues are resolved in real time. 


Prototyping is a very lean process. Prototype builds put engineering results to the test - both literally and figuratively. At HUI, we build all our prototypes on the same shop floor that will eventually produce the end product. So, in reality, every prototype build not only leads to improvement of the medical cart, but it also helps the production floor learn how to flow the product through the cell during production. 


Lean approaches to production may present in multiple ways. Even while in production, alterations to manufacturing processes can be tweaked for optimal fabrication runs. Through their build to order policy, HUI manages to anticipate custom medical cart changes and limit their inventory, so there's no wasted space. 


These lean values could never be nearly as effective without a work culture that holds every employee accountable. Dismantling the traditional hierarchy of the workplace and forming departments into teams, gives workers a higher standard of accountability and communication. It is the integration of all these values that creates design and lead time solutions for a successful custom medical cart.

At HUI, lean principles and accountability affect every process and decision. Contact us today with your time-sensitive and custom medical cart design conundrums. 


Topics: Medical Cart Development, Lean & Continuous Improvement

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