Lean Tools Reduce Lead Time by 30-45 Days for Spectrum Aeromed
Spectrum Aeromed is a leading designer and manufacturer of customized air medical and ambulance equipment. They work closely with air medical and transport crews to equip all types of fixed and rotor wing aircraft with highly specialized and innovative life support solutions. The company’s clients and partners include: private/VIP and charger operators, EMS and SAR operators, healthcare organizations and hospitals, royal families and heads of state, corporations and executives, government contractors and the military.
Spectrum Aeromed operates in a 15,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility located at Hector International Airport in Fargo, North Dakota.
Long Lead Times
The company’s previous lead time for standard product was 90 to 120 days. This long lead time was a result of employees not having the correct tools or sharing tools, missing components from inventory, assemblers kitting their own assemblies, and inefficient methods of product movement.
Impact Dakota provided Lean Manufacturing training and solutions for all production employees. Shadow boards were created and tools were removed from tool boxes and placed on pegboards or open shelves for clear visibility and easy access. More efficient tools were purchased to make assembly easier. A Kanban system was established in the inventory room to monitor and visually show the status of inventory to support the level of business. Kits for assemblies were collected ahead of time by the inventory control person to save the assembler time. Carts with wheels were purchased to be used for kits and for moving product from one area to another.
Reduction of Lead Time by Over 60%
Spectrum Aeromed’s current lead time has been reduced to 30 to 45 days on standard product. This improved lead time has given Spectrum Aeromed a positive and reputable position in the air medical industry. Recently, 22 crates of life saving helicopter EMS equipment for a $2.5 million project was completed and ready for shipment to Saudi Arabia in 85 days. A short lead time is important for customers to receive their equipment as soon as possible so they can become a viable and profitable company and begin servicing the community for patient transport.
“We would not be doing this without the very valuable support and training that we have received through Impact Dakota. Thank you for your support and assistance; it is a relationship that we truly appreciate. We are proponents of Impact Dakota and new committed disciples of LEAN!”
—Dean Atchison, President and CEO