Unlimited Tomorrow is a Class I medical device manufacturer based in Rhinebeck, New York and creator of the TrueLimb prosthetic arm. They saw that prosthetic arms currently on the market were inaccessible to patients due to high-costs (between $20,000 to $80,000) and cumbersome due to heavy weight (2.5-4 lbs). Seeking to create a future of unlimited tomorrows, CEO and Founder, Easton LaChappelle leveraged 3D printing to manufacture an ultra lightweight (1-1.5 lbs), personalized, and extremely durable prosthetic limb priced at 30-90% less than typical costs.
Because their product is custom-built for every patient, it also significantly increases the complexity of documentation to ensure traceability and compliance with regulations. To lower operational costs and simplify compliance, Unlimited Tomorrow chose Tulip for its flexibility as a multi-faceted solution to manage documentation using electronic device history records (eDHR), error-proof processes with digital work instructions, and increase data visibility throughout their operations.
Digitizing TrueLimb Assembly with Tulip Work Instructions
Samantha Manetta, Operations Engineer at Unlimited Tomorrow, knew if they were to scale as a company, Unlimited Tomorrow would have to eliminate any unnecessary costs and ensure each prosthetic arm is built perfectly every time.
Her first priority was to error-proof the manufacturing process using Tulip digital work instructions. Because each prosthetic arm is designed for an individual patient, assembly technicians have to accurately pick and assemble parts according to its unique customizations. Any errors could result in the entire arm becoming a sunk cost.
Digital work instructions allow assembly technicians to view order specifications, pull the correct inventory, and track their progress through the assembly process. Interactive checklists and visual aids ensure that every step of the workflow is completed accurately and efficiently. Before Tulip, it typically took 3-5 days to assemble one device. After digitizing the process, they cut that time to 1-2 days.
Automating Data Collection for eDHR
One of the greatest challenges for a scaling company like Unlimited Tomorrow is managing device history records for each prosthetic arm. Before Tulip, this was a paper-based process that added up to 20 pages.
Implementing digital work instruction apps has not only error-proofed their production, but simplified their documentation and compliance processes. Tulip apps capture data during every stage of the production process, automatically creating electronic device history records (eDHR).
Bridging the Gap Between Multiple Systems using Tulip
After implementing digital work instructions, the Unlimited Tomorrow team quickly realized that they could utilize the platform to optimize more than just the assembly process.
“Now looking at some of the tools we’ve created with Tulip, we’ve digitized the entire process, and that allows us to be scalable as a business,” said Easton.
Samantha has also been able to build Tulip apps that connect previously fragmented systems that created data silos and gaps in communication. She mentions struggling between their CRM, ERP, and Google Drive to manage their workflows and documentation, but Tulip has allowed Unlimited Tomorrow to consolidate these systems into a single solution.
Because the TrueLimb product goes through several revision stages to create the perfect fit, it is important for the Unlimited Tomorrow team to be able to track exactly what parts are used at which revision level. Samantha ditched their previous ERP system by creating their own system with apps and Tables in Tulip to manage bills of materials (BOMs) and streamline inventory management in real time.
In addition to replacing their ERP system, Samantha integrated Tulip with their CRM, FreshSales, using Connectors to create a bidirectional data transfer between systems. This connection enables Unlimited Tomorrow to communicate the status of orders with their customers directly from a Tulip app, rather than switching back and forth to their CRM. This change improved their communication and transparency with their customers, leading to higher customer satisfaction.
Enabling Citizen Development
Samantha previously had no technical background or coding experience, but with the no-code app editor, online training materials, and support from the Tulip team whenever she needed it, she has been able to build solutions that fit the critical needs of the Unlimited Tomorrow team.
The Tulip platform enables Unlimited Tomorrow to continuously improve their processes in response to feedback from those closest to their operations and make decisions based on real-time data.
Tulip’s Composable Platform Creates Unlimited Possibilities for Unlimited Tomorrow
Being on the forefront of prosthetic technology, Unlimited Tomorrow likes to “fail fast and move fast” to get their life-changing products to those that need it as quickly as possible while maintaining quality at an affordable price. Unlimited Tomorrow chose Tulip as a platform that is as agile as their operations as they continue to innovate and reach more patients.
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