June 8, 2018

Best Practice site visit to ICBE Boston Scientific

Best practice site visits are an opportunity for ICBE member companies to share knowledge and best practice across all business functions.

Located in a host company they operate on come, see, hear and tell basis with sectorial peers and counterparts. They are also a great forum for companies to demonstrate excellence in a variety of processes and business functions from lean, HR, L&D to innovation.

In January 2018 a group of 25 people representing 6 companies were hosted by Boston Scientific in Cork, where through a series of presentations, networking, site tours and one on ones were guided through how Boston Scientific constantly improves and lessons learned from its Shingo journey.

Sean Gayer, vice-president of operations, who has headed Boston Scientific for 4 years, introduced the morning event with a 15 minutes talk on Boston Scientific Cork’s Shingo prize journey and the impact it had on all their staff.

Colin Kenneally, Barbara O’Gorman and Sinead O’Neill then gave an overview of the scale of Boston Scientific facility in Cork. Boston Scientific is located 10 minutes from Cork City, in a Business and Technology Park and is spread across a site of 30 acres with a 195,000 square foot facility. The site has an annual output of 6.2 million units, works a two-shift operation over a five-day week and has a workforce of 860 employees of whom 570 are product builders. The Cork facility is also a “zero landfill” site with active segregation of waste for recycling with the balance of the waste goes to a facility for energy generation.

A facility of this scale and with ambitions to grow further needs robust focus across people, technology and process, much of which was achieved through the Shingo programme.

Boston Scientific was awarded The Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence 2016, with only 2 companies globally that year received this recognition. Irish Graduates have also named Boston Scientific as one of the Top 10 Graduate Employers in 2016 in the Grad Ireland Awards and the company has also achieved Accredited Employer Status awarded by Engineers Ireland.

The knowledge sharing presentation and discussions were then followed by a site tour to see the values and strategies in action.
These were evident with the large corridor spaces displaying Boston’s Values on the wall with all staff member photos, achievements, HR support and training and many of their products displayed.

The group was also brought to the HR Finance and Facilities department where members of staff members explained the processes, procedures and lessons learnt in constantly improving.

The site visit finished with a lunch and question and answers with Sean and his team.
Over the course of one morning the ICBE members were given first hand, pragmatic insights into how creating a world class facility and creating a culture of constant improvement and positivity.

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