Inside a Distribution Center - (02:35)
Watch and learn the careful steps Medtronic employees take when preparing products to ship from a Medtronic distribution center.
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At the 15,000-square-foot Medtronic warehouse in Jacksonville, Florida, a team of 35 employees spend their days carefully packing and shipping boxes. And every member of the team knows the value of what’s inside those boxes.
Their work is critical to making sure ear, nose, and throat surgery products make it to doctors and hospitals treating patients across the United States and internationally.
On any given day, the warehouse ships approximately 5,000 products — as many as 1,000 packages — with quality checks each step of the way.
The lifesaving and health-improving aspects of our products mean that quality is critical to our patient and physician customers.- Noel Colón, Medtronic senior vice president and chief quality and regulatory affairs officer.
“The lifesaving and health-improving aspects of our products mean that quality is critical to our patient and physician customers,” says Noel Colón, Medtronic senior vice president and chief quality and regulatory affairs officer. “Because of this, we assure quality at each stage in our value chain — product design, clinical trials, manufacturing, and post-market surveillance. Distribution is no exception to this quality commitment.”
Distribution centers are a critical part of our business. Warehouse employees are often the last line of defense before our products reach the doctors, hospitals, and patients who need them. The employees’ eyes may be the last to scan a product for problems before it leaves the warehouse.
“What we do here definitely impacts the patient,” says Distribution Manager Carlos Corley. His team routinely fields last minute requests from doctors who need a device shipped overnight for surgery in the morning. “If we don’t make our cutoff time, there’s a possibility that the doctor may need to delay that surgery, and no one wants that.”
The team’s commitment to quality goes beyond on-time shipping. They make sure products are shipped in the correct amounts, boxes are properly packaged, and inventory is well-managed and replenished as needed.
They also pay close attention to expiration dates. They operate on the principle they call ‘FIFO’ or “first in, first out” to avoid waste and maximize savings.
After recent sinus surgery, Alec Makosch, a Medtronic warehouse shipping/receiving clerk, has a better appreciation of the work he and his distribution center teammates do. His doctors used one of the Medtronic products shipped from the same warehouse he works in every day.
“It was so cool to see the products that we hold and ship out all the time being used to improve my health,” said Makosch. “That surgery had a big impact on my life. I can breathe better now, and I’m so thankful to Medtronic for the opportunity to play a role in helping other patients as well.”
Learn more about our steadfast commitment to product safety and security.
Improving Patient Care Through a Culture of Quality