Merit Medical Tijuana Receives Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence

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The Shingo Institute, part of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University, announced Merit Medical Tijuana as the recipient of the globally distinguished Shingo Prize, an award that recognizes organizations demonstrating an exceptional culture that fosters continuous improvement and Business Excellence.

“It’s truly an honor, and I feel very fortunate to have the team in Tijuana,” says Ron Frost, Chief Operating Officer at Merit Medical. “The Shingo Prize brought advantages to the company I never anticipated. What fuels me now is to achieve the same type of culture and level of engagement between employees and management seen in Tijuana across all Merit facilities.”

To be considered for the Shingo Prize, Merit Tijuana underwent a thorough assessment of its facility’s culture and operations based on a rigorous set of principles developed by the Shingo Institute. Trained examiners and accomplished business professionals evaluated areas of enterprise excellence, such as respect for employees, quality at the source, and creating value for the customer.

“When we opened up the facility, we had that in mind that we wanted to apply for the Shingo [Prize] . . . to compare ourselves against the best around the world,” says Carlos Santos, Managing Director of Latin America Operations. “When we designed our structure, the way we employ people, the way we train, all our manufacturing processes, were all designed to be able to comply with the Shingo [principles].”

Merit Medical Tijuana, one of Merit’s many manufacturing facilities worldwide, is located in the “Frontera Industrial Park” and employs more than 800 individuals. A team known for its dedication and hard work, Merit Medical Tijuana has earned several internationally recognized certifications, including ISO 13485, CTPAT, and BSI. Valued at every level, employees receive excellent benefits, such as a free transportation service to and from work, professional development opportunities, and a 100% subsidized lunch provided by an award-winning cafeteria service.

“The culture Merit has embedded, in terms of looking always for the employee, looking always for having the best . . . right now to [receive the] Shingo, it’s really how we formalize the culture that Merit already has,” says Ricardo Alvarez, Operations Director of Merit Medical Tijuana. “For us it’s just the way to look for perfection.”

“Continuous improvement is really not a destiny,” Mr. Santos adds. “It’s not getting the award, and you’re there. Continuous improvement is forever.”

Merit team members will receive the Shingo Prize April 30, 2019, during the Awards Gala at the 31st Shingo Conference in Cincinnati, OH, USA. To learn more about this great honor, read the full Shingo Institute press release.

The Shingo Prize is an illustration of Merit’s overall commitment to Business Excellence. To explore how we deliver quality, service, supply, and value throughout the entire customer experience, click here.

Merit Smart Shipping™ Program Reduces Packaging Waste

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Several Merit products are available to ship through Merit Smart Shipping™, a program designed and tested to ship products in their own packaging, eliminating the need for additional packaging materials. This green initiative has saved 72 tons of corrugated box material per year, a number that continues to grow as more products are added to this program.

“Merit Smart Shipping places products into packaging that does not require any additional handling or over-packaging at the point of shipment,” says Matt Wold, Director of Packaging Engineering at Merit Medical. “Having to use additional boxes, bubble wrap, or paper dunnage to our finished goods before they ship is wasteful, time-consuming, and expensive.

”The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that containers and packaging make up a major portion of municipal solid waste, with corrugated boxes being the largest single product category of waste.1 Even after considering additional statistics, such as amount recycled, 1.9 million tons of corrugated boxes ended up in landfills in 2015.1

To reduce the amount of packaging that products require to ship, our management and packaging engineering teams came together with our shipping department at Merit Medical’s global headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, to design something smarter: Merit Smart Shipping.

“We began developing and qualifying the Merit Smart Shipping program in 2015,” Mr. Wold explains. “A packaging engineer first develops a design for the new Merit Smart Shipping box then conducts a formal simulated shipping study to qualify it.

”The first product changed to Merit Smart Shipping was the MAK™ Mini Access Kit. Originally, the product was packaged using an E-Flute carton that required extra over-packaging as well as a larger over-shipper box that involved a significant amount of paper dunnage to keep the carton from moving.

“Merit Smart Shipping boxes take the place of the over-packaging box, and paper dunnage isn’t required,” Mr. Wold says. “The products are placed into these boxes during production and then shipped to customers without having to handle the boxing again.”Since that first MAK product in 2015, many other products and product families (including the entire MAK product family) have been qualified to use Merit Smart Shipping boxes, such as Resolve®, Impress®, Performa®, Merit Maestro®, SwiftNINJA®, and FirstChoice™.

According to Mr. Wold, this shift saves 72 tons of corrugated box material per year, resulting in a win-win for both Merit and its customers.

“Customers have to place fewer boxes and less packaging material into the hospital waste system,” Mr. Wold says. “And Merit uses less corrugated material each year. This not only saves time and money, it also reduces our carbon footprint.

”Merit Smart Shipping™ will continue as part of our global Merit Environmental Sustainability effort.

REFERENCES

  1. United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2015). Facts and figures about materials, waste and recycling. (Containers and packaging: Product-specific data). Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/facts-and-figures-about-materials-waste-and-recycling/containers-and-packaging-product-specific-data#PaperandPaperboardC&P

Introducing the Merit RadialFLO™ Arterial Catheter—the Next Wave in Caring for Critically Ill Patients

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Merit is proud to introduce the RadialFLO™ Arterial Catheter, a first-step device in setting up a pressure monitoring and closed blood sampling system. Engineered for peripheral access to the arterial system, the RadialFLO’s advanced features enable clinicians to gather hemodynamic data, helping to improve patient care. With the addition of the RadialFLO, Merit is now able to offer critical care clinicians a complete solution for hemodynamic pressure monitoring.

To simplify radial arterial access, the RadialFLO is built with a notched needle that provides instant blood return to confirm access. The needle is also silicone coated for smooth insertion. Once access is achieved, the Integral FloSwitch® controls blood flow to allow the clinician to connect the pressure monitoring system, minimizing unwanted blood exposure.

The RadialFLO plays a synergistic role within the Merit critical care line of products, providing a complete solution for setting up a patient-centric monitoring system. Clinicians begin the process by leveraging Merit’s broad array of packs and accessories to prepare the patient for radial access. Once access is achieved with the RadialFlo Arterial Catheter, Merit’s Safedraw® Closed Arterial Blood Sampling System seamlessly connects to the catheter to form the pressure monitoring system. Lastly, Merit’s Pressure Infusor Bag operates atop the IV pole to infuse saline to maintain signal integrity and line patency.

Merit also offers critical care educational opportunities to improve patient and clinician safety. Throughout the year, Think Safety and Infection Prevention™ live and recorded webinars and educational events are held to help healthcare professionals learn the techniques, tools, and methods that can improve patient outcomes as well as prevent costly medical errors and hospital-associated infection. Critical care nurses, perioperative nurses, and infection control and safety committee members are welcome to attend.

Learn more about the RadialFLO Arterial Catheter and all the ways Merit continually supports the needs of critical care clinicians with products and education across the patient care continuum.

Charing Cross 2019

Charing Cross 2019

Explore Innovative new products and Hands-on Learning with Merit Medical

Venous Therapy:

ClariVein® Infusion Catheter

• Hands-on Opportunity: Experience operation of the ClariVein while learning about its many patient and operator advantages

Dialysis Access:

Surfacer® Inside Out® Access Catheter System

• Hands-on Opportunity: Try out the unique Surfacer System and learn how it can reliably provide central venous access in patients with occluded veins

HeRO Graft and Super HeRO

• Learn which additional grafts can now be used with the HeRO Adapter.

• Hands-on Opportunity: See the differences and feel the improved pushability of the new Venous Outflow Component.

• See how the Merit Prelude Short Sheath, with its’ excellent tip transition and  large bore stopcock, is ideally suited for fistula and graft management.

Vascular Access and Navigation:

• Try out the Merit Amplatz InQwire and feel how its’ smooth tapered transition from the shaft to the flexible tip allows atraumatic negotiation of the most difficult anatomy

• See the full range of Merit’s Mini Access Kits designed to reduce tissue trauma and bleeding

Balloons and Inflation Devices:

• Try out the new Merit basixTAU Inflation Device that reduces the rotational force needed during inflations and minimizes the chance for hand fatigue.

• Introducing the new family of Advocate PTA Catheters, including 014”, 018”, and 035”

• Take the opportunity at the Merit booth to get hands-on experience inflating the Q50+ Stent Graft Balloon with the widest range of inflation diameters for AAA.

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Merit ofrece puestos en español para operadores de producción – Merit Offers Spanish-Speaking Production Operator Positions

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Merit ofrece puestos en español para operadores de producción.

Merit Medical es una empresa diversa, que contrata a personas que están determinadas a crear algo especial a través del trabajo duro, la creación de equipos, la innovación, el empoderamiento y el compromiso. Para lograrlo, Merit ofrece puestos de operador de producción de habla hispana y oportunidades de empleo en expansión para personas que no hablan inglés en su sede mundial en Salt Lake City, Utah. Además de estas posiciones, Merit ha introducido formas de integrar mejor a los empleados de habla hispana en la empresa.

“La comunidad hispana es nuestra segunda población más alta aquí en Utah”, explica Diego Perez, supervisor de producción de Merit Medical. “La empresa también está creciendo rápidamente. Con el fin de mantener la competitividad, estamos innovando. Cambiamos dos líneas de producción a líneas específicas en español. Y Ha sido un gran éxito.”

Merit actualmente está contratando personal de habla hispana para puestos de operador de producción. Visite la página de oportunidades de carrera de Merit y explore todas las vacantes de empleo.

Merit ha tomado medidas para cerrar la brecha lingüística inglés-español dentro de la empresa. “Traducimos todo al español para estas líneas de producción, incluyendo los documentos, procedimientos y capacitación necesarios”, continúa el Sr. Perez. “Nos tomamos el tiempo para hacer las cosas bien. No queremos que los empleados se sientan que no tienen las herramientas adecuadas.”

Esta acción por sí sola ha ayudado a garantizar que las personas de habla hispana que cumplen con los requisitos de trabajo no se excluyen simplemente debido a una barrera lingüística. Para integrar aún más al personal, Merit también ha introducido clases de inglés para los empleados. Estas clases apoyan la comunicación del equipo y brindan a los empleados la oportunidad de crecer dentro de la empresa si deciden hacerlo.

“La gente dice que Merit Medical es una gran compañía con grandes beneficios, y tratan muy bien a sus empleados”, explica Andrea rico, un operador de producción de habla hispana recientemente contratado por Merit Medical. “En el corto tiempo que he estado aquí, he llegado a darme cuenta de que es verdad.”

A su vez, los empleados actuales de Merit acogen la afluencia de nuevos talentos. “Ha sido una gran experiencia para ellos y para nosotros también”, dice ISAI Mendoza, líder de equipo de Merit Medical. “Nos ayudan mucho en el logro de nuestras metas y crecer como empresa.”

Aprenda más acerca de la cultura de la compañía acogedora y diversa de Merit viendo el video, explorando nuestra página de visiones y valores, y descubriendo las muchas ubicaciones de Merit que existen en todo el mundo.

Merit Offers Spanish-Speaking Production Operator Positions

Merit Medical is a diverse company, one that hires people who are determined to create something special through hard work, team building, innovation, empowerment, and commitment. To accomplish this, Merit offers Spanish-speaking production operator positions and expanding employment opportunities for non-English speakers at its worldwide headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah. In addition to these positions, Merit has introduced ways to better integrate Spanish-speaking employees into the company.

“The Spanish community is our second highest population here in Utah,” explains Diego Perez, a cleanroom supervisor at Merit Medical. “Merit is also growing rapidly. In order to stay competitive, we are innovating. We switched over two assembly lines to Spanish-specific lines. It has been a great success.”

Merit is currently hiring Spanish-speaking individuals for production operator positions. Visit the Merit Career Opportunities page and explore all job openings.

To help acclimate these new employees, Merit has taken steps to bridge the English-Spanish language gap within the company. “We translated everything into Spanish for these assembly lines, including necessary documents, procedures, and training,” Mr. Perez continues. “We took the time to do things right. We didn’t want employees feeling like they didn’t have the right tools.”

This action alone has helped to ensure Spanish-speaking individuals who meet job requirements aren’t excluded simply because of a language barrier. To further integrate Spanish-speaking individuals, Merit has also introduced English language classes for employees. These classes support team communication and provide employees with the opportunity to move up in the company if they choose to do so.

“People say Merit Medical is a really great company with great benefits, and they treat their employees very well,” explains Andrea Rico, a Spanish-speaking production operator recently hired by Merit Medical. “In the short time I have been here, I have come to realize it is true.”

In turn, current Merit employees welcome the influx of new talent. “It’s been a great experience for them and for us, too,” says Isai Mendoza, a team leader at Merit Medical. “They help us a lot in achieving our goals and helping us grow as a company.”

Learn more about Merit’s welcoming and diverse company culture by watching the video, exploring our Visions and Values page, and discovering the many Merit locations that exist around the globe.

East Coast Customers Can Now Expect Improved Distribution

East coast customers can now expect improved distribution from Merit Medical

Our Customers Asked. We Listened. Improved Distribution.

It’s with great enthusiasm that we announce improved distribution to U.S. customers located east of the Mississippi. By transitioning to larger warehouse space and an automated picking and shipping system, we’re now able to reduce shipment times along the East Coast by approximately 60%.

Expanding Our Space

Merit Medical’s Richmond warehouse has been increased from 33,000 square feet to 76,000 square feet, making it our largest distribution facility globally. This expansion increases our order capacity by nearly 200% per day, allowing us to improve distribution of the products our customers need.

Automated Picking and Shipping

A new automated system consists of computer-assisted voice picking, wire-guided aisles, efficient flow racks for high volume SKUs, computer-optimized pick sequencing, and a print-and-apply system for attaching packing slips and shipping labels. This print-and-apply system reduces the time spent to manually process a package by about 93%.

Shipping Consolidation

In addition to Merit products reaching our customers more quickly, all of these improvements also translate into more streamlined shipping. The new automated system includes a computer-assisted, put-to-light wall feature. This economical approach to sorting orders guides operators to consolidate smaller boxes, further optimizing the shipping process.

Understand. Innovate. Deliver.

At Merit Medical, we always strive to understand, innovate, and deliver. This includes not only in the manufacturing of our products but also how we distribute them. By listening to our customers and understanding their needs, we’re able to evolve as a company, better meet those needs, and improve the lives of people, families, and communities throughout the world.  Learn more about Merit’s commitment to delivering excellence across all aspects of our business.