MedX Corporation, based in Ocala, FL is a manufacturer of spinal rehabilitation and premium exercise equipment. Under the leadership of Michael Dettmers, who was president and CEO from 2002 to 2008, the company underwent significant expansion. Based upon his extensive manufacturing experience, he implemented a Lean Manufacturing strategy.
Derived from the Toyota Production System conducted their operations, Lean Manufacturing is a system of management that seeks to eliminate processes that lead to waste, and optimize those that increase value. Michael Dettmers applied this strategy in a modified approach that worked best for MedX. It leads to decrease in cycle times and a fourfold increase in production. He motivated workers through team-based incentives, rather than individual incentives.
Teams were self-directed: they elected their own leaders and solved problems within the team. The team itself was responsible for ensuring that it met production goals. By eliminating foremen and supervisors, Michael Dettmers was able to greatly enhance MedX’s production capacity.
He also applied Demand Flow Technology, which uses a mathematical model of product flow. Michael Dettmers introduced DFT at MedX through a learn-by-doing approach. This system helps to identify critical paths and potential bottlenecks, both of which are essential to producing quality products with shorter production cycle periods.