Capacity building to support growth of the Medical Devices Sector: Phase II – Applying Lean Six Sigma in various processes in the Medical Devices Sector (A certified training programme)


1.   Introduction

The medical devices industry in Mauritius has today evolved into a well-developed industry that produces a wide range of highly sophisticated products. It is one of the most high-tech advanced industries in Mauritius and one of the major challenges for this sector is to keep up with the constant robust innovation happening in this industry and ultimately have a competent workforce.


2.   About the Lean Six Sigma project

The Lean Six Sigma project is an initiative of the Mauritius Export Association (MEXA) being implemented in collaboration with the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) under the Sectoral Skills Development Scheme (SSDS).


The Lean Six Sigma programme has been identified as one of the most important tools of the medical devices sector. Given that the sector is dynamic and requires constant innovation, there is a need to upskill and maintain competent and trained personnel, who can operate high-tech equipment, while also considering that the life cycle of the medical device does not exceed three years. The sector is also subject to extensive regulatory requirements which makes it vital to have a competent pool of human resources who perform efficiently with accuracy and less errors. Manufacturers in this sector tend to operate on made to order models, and hence production of small batches and very specific products. This requires more flexibility in operations and handling processes.


The need for this particular training programme was captured in networking sessions and sectoral meetings with Industry representatives held by MEXA. The programme has been customised to the needs of the Medical Device Sector of Mauritius and will be carried out by a Masters Black Belt consultant from the firm ‘EQUABLE’, who has a wide experience in such type of projects in this field.


The main objectives of this project are to:

  • ensure the application of lean six sigma, a vital tool, in all processes in organisations of the Medical Devices sector;
  • understand the importance and implementation of Lean Six Sigma tool customised to the particular sector;
  • upgrade the skills of the existing employees so that they can put into practice system improvement tools in the medical devices industry to keep in line with standards and requirements and to minimise errors;
  • help the employees grow within the organisation, retain them, and give them an opportunity to have a career path in the medical devices sector; and
  • strengthen the culture of Operational Excellence (OpEx) and innovation.


The project comprises a theoretical component; online and onsite coaching; instructor-led workshops leading to certifications at green and yellow belt levels; a public dissemination to transfer knowledge led by the consultant; and also, a train the trainer component whereby representatives of relevant institutions will be able to gain from the programme.


Organisations are confronted daily with rising costs and increasing competition. With knowledge gained from Lean Six Sigma training, the medical device industry can face these challenges more efficiently by having the right skills needed to improve their business strategies.


The desired outcomes of the project will be to:

  • help employees to develop skills as well as upgrade their competences given that the sector is dynamic and needs constant innovation;
  • Minimise errors and achieve better accuracy in design, manufacture and calibration;
  • enhance employee involvement and participation in the organisation goals; and
  • develop a comprehensive set of skills which will allow both the employees and organisation to function effectively as Lean Six Sigma specialists.


A total of 42 participants will benefit from this training programme at technical and executive grades from Natec Medical, Xtruline, Umbrella and Abiolabs, hence covering almost 50% of the total number of enterprises in this sector.


The consultant will kickstart a series of face to face theoretical sessions. The project is expected to end in about 10 months. The consultant will be onsite twice during the project delivery and will follow up through an extensive coaching programme all through the duration of the project.


To ensure sharing of expertise and sustainability of skills development in such areas, a representative from the National Productivity and Competitiveness Council (NPCC) has been invited to participate in this training.


MEXA will also ensure that Champions (green and yellow belts) will share their knowledge to a larger audience in the Manufacturing sector after the completion of the training programme. Moreso, such programmes will be replicated in other sub-sectors in the future.


The HRDC is contributing 80% of the total cost as well as providing technical input in the implementation phase. MEXA, the Industry Association is contributing the remaining 20% as per the principle established under the SSDS.



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