Solutions that Foster Productivity

July 22, 2019

GMMDC launches training sessions for area medical device companies.

Coordinating a room full of 27 engineers from three major area medical device companies creates a whole new dimension to problem solving. Roy Smith, executive director of the Memphis Medical Device Council, recently partnered with MSQPC, The Quality Center, to offer Root Cause Analysis, a two-day seminar that was taught by three-time author and renowned quality coach, Duke Okes.

“We were fortunate to partner with Duke to offer specialized training in Memphis because he is truly one of the best quality coaches in the country,” Smith said. “Our members reached out to the Council about making available training in Memphis so they can give employees more opportunities to grow and improve while saving money in travel costs. Our goal is to continue offering more of this kind of training close to home.”

During a five-step process, Okes poses familiar manufacturing challenges while encouraging students to take in new perspectives that involve in-depth analyses and a steering away from remedial actions that often result in the same problems repeating themselves.

“Duke is never afraid to ask the obvious because often those kinds of questions help identify problems the quickest and most effectively. Attendees start to experience some major paradigm shifts in their thinking,” Smith said.

Interacting with students at the GMMDC headquarters during the Root Cause Analysis seminar is Donn Fisher, executive director/CEO, MSQPC (standing left) and Duke Okes, quality training facilitator.

“You have to first realize what is preventing you from getting the results you want because often those problems can be hidden,” Smith said. “Formulas taught during this seminar give the consistent kinds of results that will make a difference in the bottom line for our medical device companies.”

Donn Fisher, executive director/CEO, MSQPC, believes Root Cause Analysis serves as a good foundation for new engineers and recent graduates. “It’s a great career builder by learning a systematic way of solving problems,” Fisher said. “Currently, I am working together with the GMMDC to bring Lean Six Sigma training to Memphis in January 2020. This will be the next level of training that provides tools to improve overall business capabilities and that relies more heavily on statistical processes. The medical device companies that get on board with the training have the potential to become much more competitive and efficient.”

For more information about the GMMDC or becoming a member, visit or contact Roy Smith,,  901-490-2578. To submit an application for the Lean Six Sigma training being offer in January 2020, visit or contact Donn Fisher,, 901-543-3551.

About the Greater Memphis Medical Device Council

The mission of the GMMDC is to increase career opportunities and job growth
through the development of a world class educated workforce dedicated to the Memphis area biotech and medical device industries.


MSQPC, The Quality Center, is a partnership between the Greater Memphis Chamber and Southwest Tennessee Community College. Its mission is to champion market excellent for organizations in the Mid-South region by offering Baldrige-based assessments, consulting, quality/productivity enhancements, corporate development and employment development.