The American Institute of Toxicology (AIT) is a national healthcare company headquartered in Indianapolis and founded 25 years ago as a forensic toxicology laboratory. AIT is ISO-certified and today provides custom toxicology testing services in addition to core laboratory testing capabilities, which include medication monitoring, forensic toxicology drug testing, clinical testing and prescription drug testing services.
AIT Laboratories added 180 employees in 2009, nearly 100 employees in 2010 and is in the midst of a $74 million expansion on the northwest side of Indianapolis. With that exceptional growth, the 20-year-old company saw the need to implement Training Within Industry (TWI) principles focused on continuous improvement and workforce training. The goal for AIT: To boost efficiency, reduce errors, and equip team supervisors with skills to be stronger leaders and motivators.
Purdue's Technical Assistance Program/Manufacturing Extension Partnership (TAP/MEP) trained more than 20 members of AIT's laboratory management staff, specifically on TWI's Job Instruction and Job Relations principles.
The results have been significant and immediate:
- In the Specimen Processing Department, which handles hundreds of samples daily, the number of the most severe, or Level 3, incidences dropped 40 percent. One employee, who was responsible for most of those cases, has had zero errors since Job Instruction training.
- In the Extractions Department, the number of additional competency batches — those tests that are repeated because of an initial failure — has fallen 57 percent, amounting to about $4,000 in savings. The number of sample failures dropped 58 percent between the first and third quarters of 2010, creating about $23,000 in operational savings.
- Five AIT employees who were struggling with their performance are now in good standing because of more clearly defined expectations from supervisors.
"The Purdue partnership was necessary for us to take AIT to the next level. For me, this entire process has been life changing... This Purdue partnership has been a success story for AIT — and for me personally.“
— Libby Smith, Specimen Processing Manager, AIT LaboratoriesDownload PDF