Cortegra is an ISO 9001 & 13485 registered provider of cGMP compliant packaging and labeling services and brand authentication technology for the pharmaceutical and related industries. Its Fairfield NJ facility houses the latest equipment for anti-diversion and anti-counterfeiting technologies. Cortegra’s recent capital upgrades include new vision systems and equipment with enhanced quality assurance controls.
Healthcare markets in the United States have been under increasing pressure to reduce costs with emphasis being placed on improving service. Providers to the industry are impacted by these changes. To remain competitive suppliers have to reduce prices, which results in their margins decreasing.
Cortegra Group has continually streamlined its operations and worked to reduce its costs. Now the company wanted to implement additional means to improve productivity and lower unit costs to maintain margins and improve its competitiveness.
To accomplish this Cortegra Group reached out to NJMEP to assist with making the operational changes necessary to meet its objectives. Having previously worked with Field Agent Joseph Carotenuto, the company knew they were in excellent hands.
To achieve Cortegra Group’s objective NJMEP would train the company’s plant employees in Lean process improvements with a particular focus on Quick Changeover to improve the run time of their presses and increase productivity. In addition soft skills, project management and cultural training would also be provided.
The lean process and soft skills training would enable employees to obtain the basic skills to focus on streamlining operations, lowering costs and take on additional responsibilities and insure the Lean program would be successful and sustainable.
NJMEP recommended Cortegra apply for a customized job-training grant through the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development and assisted with the application and reporting. The grant would help Cortegra reduce its cost for implementing operational changes—upgrading its workforce by providing them with key skills to improve quality, cost and service levels. Through this training, workers would be cross-trained to handle multiple assignments and think outside of their own work area, providing Cortegra with a more flexible and productive workforce. The employees would also feel more engaged and have additional opportunities for growth within the company.
Funding was approved, training was implemented and within a 12-month period, everyone in the plant, as well as the graphics department and administrative staff, had been trained.
Together, utilizing the Lean methodology, Cortegra Group and NJMEP improved efficiency in the plant and the office. The changes improved plant efficiency by reducing machine set-up time, which reduced unit cost and increased productivity.
Gene Lepellitier, operations manager for Cortegra explained, “We have increased our production and reduced our set up time on small jobs by as much as 60%. This means that we have increased our capacity by 20% and can produce in 4-days what used to take 5-days of production.”
“As a result (of the operational changes) we have also decreased our energy costs by approximately 18% and we project our paper waste to be reduced by 2.5 tons this year,” said Lepellitier. We plan on continuing our work with NJMEP and would like to thank you and your crew for all their efforts!” he added.
Cortegra Group, reporting in its NIST Survey response, indicated that as a direct result of the programs it initiated with NJMEP assistance the company increased sales by $1,800,000, hired 6 new employees as a result of the increase in business and realized a cost savings of $186,000.00.
Congressional District: 11th
State Legislative District: 27th