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Purdue MEP Helps Manufacturer Become an Employer of Choice


Ambu, founded in 1937, and King Systems, founded in 1977, have proven track records of high quality and innovation within anesthesia and airway management industry. With shared values that strive to improve healthcare, they united two first-class companies with long-standing relationships with more than 28,000 hospitals worldwide. Today, this global organization consists of 125,000 square feet of building space and employs over 500 people that offer a wide range of products and solutions within anesthesia and airway management.

The Challenge

Pre-Covid Ambu was doing well with employee retention and holding strong with on-time deliveries. However, as the nation grappled with the pandemic, they saw a large spike in turnover which eventually started affecting their efficiency rates and overall output. With employee retention numbers tumbling, Ambu immediately began to plan how to mitigate the situation.

I am pleased to see these positive results especially when I think about where we have been as a company. We now have a frontline leadership team who knows how to deal with different issues and how to approach employees better than before. We at Ambu are happy to know that not only our executive leadership team is very skilled but also our front-line leaders also have the tools and skills they need to complete day-to-day operations with great success.

— Yusuf San, Training Manager

MEP's Role

One solution Ambu focused on was growing leadership skills for their frontline leaders, many of whom were promoted during the pandemic. Due to their work experience, they were missing bits and pieces of effective communication and management skills. Enlisting Purdue MEP, part of the MEP National Network™, for help, Ambu provided Leadership Skills for Success for Frontline Leaders for a total of 18 employees. The nine-session series focuses on everything from effective communication and listening to team building to productive conflict resolution and problem-solving, and more.

After completing the training series, Ambu has seen a positive impact on employee happiness, retention, and turnover. The newly trained frontline leaders immediately put into practice the lessons they learned and now have a different perspective on their leadership role. Building on the learned effective communication techniques, staff have also implemented a system to help collect ideas for improvement and implement those that are attainable. Ambu’s turnover dropped significantly despite COVID-19 and is now around 5.5% where it was around 20-25% before these improvements. Prior to the training, Ambu’s efficiency and on-time deliveries were struggling due to turnover and continuous training of new hires. Now Ambu is a preferred employer with a waiting list of people who want to work for them, and production is back to operating at optimal levels.

Created October 27, 2022