Stryker is a leading medical technology company that provides innovative orthopedic implants and medical and surgical equipment to healthcare providers in more than 120 countries. Stryker attributes its growth to its innovative, high-quality products, which simplify surgical techniques, and improve hospital efficiencies.
Stryker credits their success in part to the company’s culture of constant improvement. Because data analysis is critical to its improvement efforts, employees need a solid understanding of statistics. To make sure employees have that knowledge, the company trusts Quality Trainer, an e-learning course that teaches quality statistics and how to analyze data with Minitab Statistical Software.
"Quality Trainer makes it easy to ensure that engineers are trained in the statistical methods that are important for quality," says Ed Kelley, an advanced quality engineer at the company.
Because their statistical abilities contribute directly to Stryker’s success, the company made statistical training mandatory for all new engineers. Outside trainers visited a few times each year to conduct basic training. These sessions were successful, but engineers who were new to the company and missed the training often needed to wait months before the next session was offered.
Kelley, who coordinated these training sessions for the company, wanted to offer basic statistical training on a more immediate basis. He also wanted to make Stryker’s statistical training easier to manage because much of it had to be done manually, with sign-up lists and extra management to ensure there were enough participants to make an outside trainer cost-effective.
When Kelley tried Quality Trainer, he saw it would make a great training tool for Stryker’s quality engineers, and soon the company added Quality Trainer to its existing Minitab license. Today, Quality Trainer is a compulsory part of Stryker’s statistics training and incoming engineers now can begin their training right away, without needing to wait for group training. "I really appreciate how Quality Trainer helps us proactively deploy training to our people, so that they can do their best work," Kelley says.
Quality Trainer helps Stryker’s quality engineers hone their statistical abilities—and keep them sharp.
Quality Trainer also makes the coordination of training much easier. Instead of manually tracking each employee’s progress, Kelley can monitor their success by logging into his Quality Trainer coordinator account.
Quality Trainer has become an essential tool to help Stryker’s quality engineers sharpen their statistical abilities. This is particularly critical as protocols for good manufacturing techniques and product designs face stricter enforcement in the medical devices industry.
"Quality Trainer helps our engineers understand statistics better, and that helps Stryker ensure that we are always meeting or exceeding regulatory requirements," Kelley says.
Because Quality Trainer is available through the Web, employees can learn at their own speed, any time they’re online. The online course also saves time by letting Kelley and other experienced quality engineers refer newer employees back to Quality Trainer if they need to review a basic statistical concept. Afterwards, these employees can return with specific follow-up questions about the best way to apply that concept to Stryker’s processes.
"Overall, Quality Trainer has helped us clear up confusion and get tasks started and completed faster," says Kelley.