Methodology

Why we Invested Over $300K in Continuous Improvement this Year

By Christian

From the very beginning, CLEIO has embraced an approach that facilitates the efficient execution of projects, even those requiring significant expertise and collaboration among multiple teams. This approach has strengthened our reputation, propelling us to become one of the leaders in medical and high-tech product development in North America.

However, as CLEIO has grown over the past three years, things have changed significantly. With nearly 100 employees spread across our offices in Trois-Rivières, Montréal, Laval, as well as in the United States, we also had to adapt to the new reality of remote work and its challenge.
Moreover, our projects have become increasingly larger and complex, leading to several challenges:
Consequently, we faced a triple challenge:

In our quest to bring additional benefits to our customers, we embraced an additional challenge: helping them design medical devices that truly meet their market needs.

Throughout this process, our primary objective has been to establish common processes and uniformity across the entire company. This ensures that our customers feel they are working with one cohesive entity rather than disparate teams.

Some initiatives that are already showing promising results

To meet these challenges and enhance our efficiency and agility amid expansion, we invested over $300,000 in continuous improvement. At the end of 2022, this investment was allocated to developing a process to identify our priorities to support our growth and implementing strategic initiatives to address them.

Over 30 individuals from all levels of the company have participated (and continue to participate) in developing and deploying these initiatives.
As of now, four initiatives have been completed and are already bringing great results, while around a dozen others are in various stages of development.
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Creation of the Project Management Office (PMO)

For smaller projects, our technical experts handle project management effectively. However, larger ones require specialized management, which is a full-time job. So we prefer to entrust their management to specialists. That’s why we set up a Project Management Office (PMO).

The PMO is combining both in-house and externally recruited managers with fresh experiences and ideas. Their primary focus is to oversee teams involved in more complex mandates. Thanks to the PMO, we have successfully executed multimillion-dollar projects, involving up to 30 employees.

The PMO goes beyond project oversight; it also implements standardized practices throughout the company and develops tools to enhance efficiency and consistency.

With a team of experts in the industry, we ensure that the best decisions are made at every stage of every project.

Roles and responsibilities review

Project success, especially in the highly standardized medical device design industry, relies on the effective collaboration of numerous individuals. To ensure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities in each project and that no aspect is overlooked, we conducted an exhaustive review of responsibilities within our IDEAL product development process.

This resulted in the categorization of responsibilities into seven main groups, each corresponding to a well-defined role. This way, everyone at CLEIO can clearly see what is expected of them.
Furthermore, this initiative led to the establishment of a systems engineering team within our organization to provide better technical expertise to our customers.

Better human resources capacity management

To swiftly initiate projects when customers approach us, we need to ensure access to the right experts at the right time throughout the project stages. After all, the environments in which our customers operate are highly competitive, and no one wants to put a project on ice for months on end.

So, we redefined our resource allocation tool to suit the new reality and we introduced key performance indicators (KPIs) for each employee, providing better insights into capacities and occupancy rates of experts.

Through this process, the sales team gained insights into current and future workloads of individuals with required expertise, while the operations team can now anticipate required skills and expertise in advance. Consequently, we transformed our resource allocation tool into a comprehensive human resources capacity management process.

Revamped innovation strategy offerings

Beyond product design and engineering support, our expertise allows us to contribute to the development of medical devices with genuine impact. Thus, we integrated innovation strategy into our service offering and committed to push our expertise in this area forward as part of our continuous improvement process.

To spread innovation strategy throughout the company, we conducted various internal presentations, talks, and consultations to ensure that everyone at CLEIO recognized its value for us and for customers. As a result, our business development team can demonstrate to potential customers how innovation strategy is a crucial investment that distinguishes successful products from average ones.

This strategic initiative has already delivered measurable benefits to some customers, helping them avoid costly mistakes and better reach their target users.

Pursuing the journey of continuous improvement

Through the implementation of these strategic initiatives, we have not only improved our organizational efficiency but also established tools for continuous improvement in the long run. Today, our team remains committed to reassessing proposed initiatives in line with the company’s needs and priorities.
Our journey of continuous improvement continues, fueled by our dedication to excellence.

Author & collaborators

Written by
Christian

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