2020 was an extremely challenging year for all of us. Despite the outbreak of COVID-19 and the downturn of the global market, we managed to achieve operational excellence and supply the medical device industry according to plan. A strong mindset and joint efforts made it possible.

Offering world-class manufacturing is our top priority

As a global CDMO in the medtech industry, our main priority is to offer world-class manufacturing and serve our customers with high-quality medical devices. Our way of working with operational excellence enables us to shape and build a strong and competitive manufacturing platform for future growth demands. Operational excellence is not a fixed goal. Instead, it is something that is regularly achieved and requires continuous improvements and investments.

Recovering from closedown with speed and flexibility

The outbreak of COVID-19 during Chinese New Year 2020 impacted our production site in China with a temporary closedown for almost one month. Our strategy was to react quickly, work efficiently, and be as flexible as possible. By staying focused on achieving excellent performance, we gradually ramped up production and quickly returned to normal capacity. We ensured continued production on a global level by introducing strict hygiene and safety procedures to increase the safety of employees and reduce the spread of infection.

Great achievements due to great teamwork

Our efforts to develop our business through operational excellence produced good results. After a continued intense focus on specialization, efficiencies, and operational excellence, we increased our operating profit. Despite the downturn of the global market, we achieved our targets for cost-saving and efficiency improvements. These major achievements were based on a strong mindset and great teamwork throughout the entire organization. Cooperation and cohesion are encouraged and highly recognized at our workplace and part of our company culture, which we are very proud of.

Continuous improvements at Elos Medtech

To us, it is crucial that we continuously and systematically develop our production processes. As a global team, we create the conditions for sustainable growth by identifying, evaluating, sharing, and implementing measures that create synergies and improve margins across our organization. Our long-term goals are to cut lead times throughout the flow, maintain the highest quality, and increase both productivity and delivery accuracy. Below follow a few examples of how we have continuously been working to improve our operation and achieve operational excellence in 2020.

1. Reaching targets in medical device manufacturing

We overcame many challenges in 2020 and achieved good performance results given the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. We made a plan with the same definitions, KPIs, and targets for all our production units. Thanks to a series of proactive actions and continuous improvement, we managed to reach both KPI and OEE targets for 2020.

2. Achieving 100% delivery of medical devices

Due to COVID-19 at the beginning of the year, we could not operate within regular working hours. However, our global production team made great efforts to achieve 100% delivery of medical devices by multi-skilled training and efficient arrangement of manpower.

3. Focusing on problem-solving and LEAN manufacturing

During 2020, we worked continuously on improving our production processes. We have continued to apply efficient problem-solving and prevention approaches and improved our methods to increase efficiency and effectiveness. To promote our lean manufacturing culture, we have completed internal training sessions in LEAN management.

4. Increasing efficiency by sharing manufacturing knowledge

Knowledge sharing among skilled employees in our global production team resulted in increased machinery efficiency, reduced waste, and improved equipment effectiveness. Our team has demonstrated its competence by solving issues with their knowledge and skill.

5. Improving scrap rate and productivity

Over the past year, we have worked hard to support manufacturing through continuous improvements. Better process quality, improved scrap rate, and productivity gave excellent results in reduced lead-time, cost, and machine downtime as well as higher delivery performance for our customers.

6. Product line investments to maintain delivery capacity

To meet our customers’ requirements, we invest continuously in existing and new product lines to maintain delivery capacity and quality in case of increased demand. An initiative has also been launched to ensure we can manufacture the same product at more than one site to meet geographic requirements, risk management, and maintain production capacity.

Ready for 2021 with our customers in focus

The mindset of continuous improvements on a daily basis in 2020 has been – and will continue to be – one of our key tasks in 2021 and onwards. Constantly striving to achieve operational excellence is ultimately about creating value for our customers as a CDMO. For the upcoming year, we will continue building a strong quality and customer-focused mindset. We will keep working on continuous improvements, communication, competence development, and teamwork to strengthen our organization.

We have rolled up our sleeves and are ready for the coming year. I am confident we will keep moving towards becoming a world-class manufacturer to create value for our customers.