Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Case study on how Medtronic slashed paper wastage across its supply chain


Here’s how Medtronic slashed 25 tons of paper wastage across its supply chain.

While Bradley Watson, director of field service and operations excellence at Heart Rate Management was used to receiving customer feedback, he was found searching for answers when an Australian doctor asked him if there was a way to reduce packaging waste for a range of pacemakers.

This feedback prompted our Global Operations and Supply Chain team to initiate a pilot program to reduce waste from Attesta™, Azure™ and Astra™ pacemaker bundles. The team recently completed a pilot project with outstanding results:

The project will save 5 tons of plastic and 20 tons of paper from landfill next year, based on the forecasted production of these devices.

Equipment guides help customers and is required for regulatory compliance; they also contribute to waste. Previously pacemaker packaging included a multilingual CD and several sets of paper instructions, along with relevant languages ​​for every country to which it could ship.

Basing itself on a pilot project's findings, Global Operations and Supply Chain have moved most of this guidance online. If a device that is being shipped to a country that requires a paper manual, local distribution centers only add one set of paper instructions. This approach is known as last mile personalization:

Devices remain in standard format for as long as possible and are customized to the needs.
“We have more flexibility to ensure that we support our customers, wherever they are in the world,” said Guillaume Mestrallet, business process improvement manager who led the project. world and any legal claims made. "And we're also doing the right thing for the environment by removing waste from our processes."

The success of the project requires global coordination. The groups tested whether 200 countries accept online instruction. Paper instructions that have been shipped from the production site to the distribution center must meet the required packaging and labeling requirements. And all changes have been made according to our internal quality system, including design and production control.

This experience can serve as a guide for other product lines. And this lays the groundwork for digital transformation in global operations and supply chains.

“I’m excited for the future. For us to be a digital business, we need to learn how to separate some of these final manufacturing configurations,” said Sheila Minske, engineering capital director, who developed the project’s strategy. “This project is a big step in learning how to do that today, before we need to have it all in place for tomorrow.”