Rochester Medical Implants

Rochester Medical Implants (RMI) is a contract manufacturer of medical implants for the orthopedic industry. RMI currently employs approximately 20 people, with annual revenue of approximately $2-3 million.

Several issues led RMI to seek out Tooling U-SME. They had general quality issues which needed to be addressed, an unclear baseline for running CNC equipment, and a desire to evaluate their workforce, both current employees and new hires. Prior to Tooling U-SME's involvement with RMI, there was no assessment testing.

RMI employees were enrolled in a variety of Tooling U-SME coursework including: CNC, Lathe, Millwork and Quality.

RMI physically implemented Tooling U-SME content by setting up a specific classroom area with desks and computers. Scheduling was flexible and depended on employee workloads. Employees were encouraged to work only on company time so their work could be monitored and additional resources could be accessed if necessary. This included using company resources to print and copy coursework in order to review it outside of work.

As with most cross-generational work situations, those employees who were less computer literate had more difficulty with the courses in the beginning. But with time, their ability increased and they were able to successfully complete the program.

Additionally, Tooling U-SME allowed RMI to avoid layoffs during a slow point in the business cycle. Rather than let employees go, RMI used Tooling U-SME coursework during the downtime for employee training to build job skills.

Overall employee feedback on Tooling U-SME was positive. Benefits specifically mentioned include:

  • Ease of use
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  • Ability to review work
  • Ability to collaborate

From an administrative point of view, the knowledge and skill levels of employees have improved. Following the training coursework, it became evident to RMI management that employees now knew everything they were required to know to better perform their job functions. They also found that an element of peer pressure led to improved teamwork not only on the work floor, but in studying and personal exchanges as well. This in turn improved overall employee morale.

According to Steve Freshour, the "flexibility of the program" and its being "easy to use [and], for the most part, user friendly" have led to achieving two of the biggest benefits of the program: the increased teamwork and the ability to establish a baseline.

From an administrative standpoint overall feedback is positive, finding these monitoring features the most relevant and helpful:

  • Ability to track student progress and scores.
  • Ability to track students' number of attempts at passing a course and intervene with additional help and resources if necessary.
  • Ability to view group reports and the percentage of those having completed the coursework.

While online training does not provide employees personal interaction with an expert, Tooling U-SME courses have proven to be cost-effective. The overall cost of hiring a training consultant would have been cumbersome, and the many resources provided by Tooling U-SME have produced a more skilled workforce.