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Springfield, MO

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A Conversation With … Greg Meier

General Manager of Mercy Resource Optimization and Innovation LLC’s Custom Pack Solutions

Posted online

According to Mercy ROI officials, the Custom Pack Solutions division has grown 400 percent in volume the last five years – leading to the new manufacturing plant in Republic. How will this move enable more growth?
Right now, we wouldn’t be able to handle that much more from the warehouse standpoint. What we are looking at is basically quadrupling in the next five years. With the manufacturing facility and additional resources that we are bringing on – marketing and customer support – we will be able to continue to grow significantly.

CPS creates 760 varieties of medical toolkits and produces an average of 630,000 total kits annually. Will you be adding to that count?
Right now, what we manufacture are custom packs. We are going to go beyond custom packs to what we call standard packs, which are manufactured in a mass quantity standpoint. That will allow us to reach out into different types of markets. The custom pack is very common with acute care in hospitals. But standard packs are used more in nonacute situations, like ambulatory surgery centers.

We may be able to grow in the number of unique items. Roughly every time we grow 25 percent in the custom area, we probably have about 20 percent growth in unique packs. We will probably end up with 25-50 standard packs in the process and then growth in the custom side. We are talking with channel partners that represent multiple facilities to use them.

Are you increasing in number of employees, as well?
Right now, we have a little over 70 employees working in CPS. As we grow, we can probably double that in the course of the next four years or so operating here. This facility has a fair amount of automation. With the growth, we are going to be able to add employees along with that, but also take advantage of the efficiencies automation allows us.

Have you considering using virtual reality for training?
From a training standpoint, we haven’t gone down that path yet. We are thinking of that as a way to market our facility and products, also.

What are some of the key features of the new plant?
We manufacture all our packs here. We are able to maintain U.S. jobs by doing that and the fact that, by being located here, inventory management is a lot easier than trying to manufacture something overseas that could take 6-8 weeks to be shipped.

Second thing is our manufacturing. Traditionally, the custom pack production line is something that is very manually intensive. We have a production line. We have individuals that will be doing the same thing or similar thing related to a pack, but we will be able to move through a lot more quickly in production. If you are doing a thing quite frequently, you actually will be a lot better in your production.

We have brought automation in the process and are using bar coding. In the picking process in the warehouse, they are going to be picking only a select set of items and putting that in the bin, and that will allow it to be faster. But we are also having scales and quality checks. If there are supposed to be 25 of something in this bin, it’s going to weigh it and be kicked out if it doesn’t weigh the proper amount.

Greg Meier can be reached at roi@roiscs.com.

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