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Achieving higher levels of productivity through improved communications

With the help of: Impact Dakota


For over 25 years, Spectrum Aeromed has designed and developed air ambulance medical interiors for hospital programs, multi-mission charters, private operators, and military branches around the world.  The company also customizes VIP emergency medical interior suites for executive aircrafts and heads of states. Highly customized and field-tested, Spectrum Aeromed’s life support equipment provide unparalleled performance and responsiveness for both fixed and rotor wing aircraft. Spectrum Aeromed holds STCs (Supplemental Type Certificates) for over 400 aircraft and is AS9100D, Aerospace Quality Management System certified.  Their mission is to save lives. Their customers are EMS and SPAR operators, major hospitals and healthcare entities, aircraft OEMs, Royal families and heads of states, world government departments (militaries and health ministries), and private/executive VIP charter operators.

The Challenge

Spectrum Aeromed products include a standard line of FAA-certified air ambulance equipment.  Most orders, however, require customization to accommodate medical crew needs or the location in which it will be serving. The company also custom designs and builds-to-order related products. Once the order is placed by the customer, the products are manufactured, tested, and shipped to customers worldwide. To stay competitive and expand its market/customer base, the company realized that the lead time from the receipt of orders to shipping need to be reduced drastically.
The training our team received from Impact Dakota was critical as we sought to build a culture of continuous improvement. Over a two-year period more than 150 small improvements of process and product were suggested by our team members greatly improving the flow of orders. There was no one silver bullet or software program that brought us success. Thank you Impact Dakota for helping make Spectrum Aeromed the best provider of air ambulance equipment in the world!
— Michael Gallagher, VP Director of Production

MEP's Role

Impact Dakota, a NIST MEP affiliate, provided Lean Enterprise training, which included many of the lean building blocks such as production and inventory management, workplace organization, visual systems, and value stream mapping. The training was instrumental in enabling Spectrum Aeromed to develop and implement countermeasures addressing many challenges in reducing order-to-delivery lead time.

A team of representatives from functions in Spectrum Aeromed developed a current state value stream map studying and documenting activities performed in support of processing, manufacturing, and delivery of products. The value stream maps helped team to identify and eliminate the root causes of many delays due to communication in the order-to-delivery lead time.  A new computer system for managing of information flow was put in place that helped to further improve communications and shrinking of lead time.

Created June 2, 2020, Updated July 12, 2021