Interview with DENSO Manufacturing Michigan Inc. President Andris Staltmanis
Twenty-first century manufacturing is more automated than ever, yet the industry has never seen a stronger dependence on its people. Michigan is enjoying the lowest unemployment rate in 15 years, making competition for top talent tougher than ever. Savvy employers are looking for new ways to attract workers including high wages, opportunities to work with cutting edge technology, pathways for career advancement, and above all a commitment to the health and wellness of its team.
“Our company’s long-term vision is to protect lives, preserve the planet and prepare a bright future for the next generation. That begins with the health of our talented workforce and our most important asset — our people,” says Andris Staltmanis, president of DENSO Manufacturing Michigan Inc. “This is why we opened the DENSO Family Health Center, a convenient and affordable health care option accessible to every employee and their family.”
A multi-year project, the Battle Creek-based Health Center opened its doors in January and is already being met with high praise from DENSO employees and the surrounding community. The Health Center offers easy access to care and encourages active patient participation in health care delivery.
“DENSO is proud to lead in this trend to provide a more comprehensive approach to health care,” Staltmanis said during the Health Center’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. “Having a family health center on site will make it easy for our employees to stay proactive with their health and help manage chronic conditions if needed through quick access to primary care.”
Associates can save money with a reduced fee structure and save time by staying on site. The health center is staffed with a primary care physician, nurse practitioner, pharmacist, physical therapist, nurse and other medical professionals. DENSO employees and eligible family members have access to key services including primary care, physicals, chronic condition management, lab work, immunizations and physical therapy.
“DENSO is Battle Creek’s largest employer and with that comes a responsibility to the community and the people who come to work here each day,” acknowledges Staltmanis. “We want our employees to have what they need to be successful — competitive wages, uniforms, safety equipment, fitness center, an onsite credit union branch, a full-service cafeteria — the Health Center is the latest in a long line of unique employee perks.”
Use of the Health Center is completely voluntary, yet even those who choose not to make it their primary source of care have found it beneficial. New employees to the area may need to wait up to 60 days to get established as a new patient with a local primary care physician — the availability of Health Center services eases that burden. During the Center’s first month it achieved a 97 percent utilization rate, far exceeding DENSO’s goal of 66 percent and proof that the Center was a welcome addition.
“I encourage every manufacturer to discover what ways they can provide a better working environment for their team, and that starts by opening lines of communication across the whole company,” says Staltmanis. “The conversations we had here at DENSO led us to plan for the creation of the Health Center and they continue to provide us with exciting new ways to thank current employees for their service and attract new workers to join the DENSO family. When you take the time to listen, it can truly be a win for everyone.”
This article appeared in the April 2017 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.