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Getting their Edge: Relius Medical LLC Sharpens Staff with Manufacturer’s Edge Assistance
Relius Medical LLC is a turnaround success story. Relius commenced operations in late 2014 with considerable size and strength following the purchase of previously held assets of another company. Relius retained many employees from the company, especially those who had already shown “their edge” and were working effectively. Those people included “some of the best machinists in the state who learned their craft the old school way,” said Ryan Whitmore, Relius Production Manager. Ryan is one of the aforementioned machinists and, today, he is the leading force behind the ongoing development of new interns. Relius then quickly worked to sharpen and improve their staff by working with and receiving training from local Colorado community constituents including Manufacturer’s Edge, Pikes Peak Community College, Pikes Peak Workforce Center, and Mount Carmel Veterans Service Center. Many beneficial results have come from those training efforts, including the fact that one of Relius’s machinists serves as an adjunct professor at a local institution of higher education and is excited to pass down his “old school knowledge” coupled with updated skills and methodology.
Relius Medical is a woman-owned business, certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, specializing in contract manufacturing of orthopedic medical devices. Relius customers have shown their commitment to a diverse-owned business partner. Notable customers include large OEMs like Johnson & Johnson who have shown their supplier diversity goals with their Relius business. In all product areas, Relius provides expert engineering services and support in product design for manufacturability and process development activities.
The current Relius workforce stands at around 150 people and occupies an 89,000-square foot facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado, perched near the base of Pikes Peak with room for expansion. Relius runs a 3-shift, 24-hour, operation in order to flexibly and efficiently accommodate customers’ needs and requirements.
Relius views Manufacturer’s Edge as a critical partner for their most advanced consulting and training needs. Manufacturer’s Edge (ME) assistance, for example, greatly contributed to obtaining their ISO Certification. ME consultation on quality systems, procedures, standards, and practices also helped Relius establish themselves under the new company name, which enhanced their turnaround effort and helped them acquire new product lines and customers. Relius also partnered with ME in order to further improve efficiencies, reduce overhead and increase their throughput. Without this laser focus and commitment to excellence, many other organizations would have lost key customers during the transition. Relius, on the other hand, acquired numerous new customers, expanded their existing customer base, and can now project significant growth for the future.
Relius Medical LLC’s current performance and growth projections indicate they are performing and producing at an extremely high level. Eric Knutson CFO and Human Resources manager has a keen focus on hiring employees with a can-do attitude and has found new hires from all walks of life. Faced with a remarkably low unemployment rate and shortage of qualified workers, Knutson had to think differently about his hiring practices. As a result, he has found great success embracing an apprenticeship model by hiring interns from Pikes Peak Community College, the State of Colorado’s Innovative Industry Intern programs as well as military Veteran Interns from Mount Carmel. The majority of these interns have chosen to stay on and continue working with Relius and benefit greatly from increased levels of responsibility and an ever-expanding skillset. The interns have been central to a strategic staff development process to find people who will fit into and incubate the Relius Medical culture for high quality medical products.
As a result of their partnership with Manufacturer’s Edge, Relius Medical LLC has improved quality systems, procedures, communication, organization, work flow, manufacturing processes and the overall culture and commitment level amongst the management and employees – even through a period of immense transition. Relius Medical LLC sees great things coming down the pike for them and views Manufacturer’s Edge as a key partner who will help them manage their growth into the future.
The training provided by Manufacturer’s Edge helped Relius build a solid foundation of Lean knowledge among our employees. This has allowed for significant process improvement, which has in-turn paved the way for a bright future of on-going continual improvement. Not only are we proud of the progress made at Relius, our employees have gained tremendous knowledge that we hope will benefit the manufacturing community as a whole. Shaun Francel RELIUS | GENERAL MANAGER