All-Star Case Studies

Learn from the "Best of the Best" - the Great Game™ All-Stars

2018 Case Study - Anodyne Surgical

Anodyne logo

Location: O'Fallon, MO

2017 Revenues: $5 million

Employees: 60

The Critical Number™: COGS (Labor)

Organization Background

Anodyne Surgical, which was founded in 1981, manufacturers medical devices used for ophthalmology; specifically, they make needles used in cataract surgery.


Find a way to reverse course as cost of goods sold numbers were skyrocketing, earnings were suffering, and debt was increasing. The company also faced pressure in attracting and retaining quality employees in a tight labor market. 


Anodyne kicked off playing the Great Game by implementing the rigor of weekly huddles, scoreboards, and MiniGames in June 2015 with the objective to achieve a 20% improvement in COGS by the end of the year.  The company also introduced a formula to share a portion of the cost savings with the production team. 


Since the inception of GGOB at Anodyne, the team has achieved a 31% reduction in adjusted COGS (labor)—which has helped the company increase its profitability and zero out its short-term debt. Anodyne has also emerged as a recognized leader in the ophthalmic disposable-products industry where it has continued to grow its sales top line even in a hyper-competitive industry.

“We finally gained control of our costs by giving our people line of sight into how they impact The Critical Number,” says president Stacey Berisford. “Now they own it rather than letting someone else worry about it. Our culture change unlocked that improvement.”

The company’s success has also enabled it to increase entry-level starting wages, provide substantial merit raises to its employees while also awarding profit-sharing gains that have increased every year.


“GGOB has brought a unity to Anodyne that wasn’t there before. GGOB shows our employees that EVERYONE contributes and is a part of the big picture. GGOB has given our employees knowledge about how each decision we make can impact “the number.” ~ Kelley Fletcher, Account Executive


MiniGame™ Spotlight

Approximately one third ($60,000) of Anodyne’s gross COGS labor reduction is attributed to the direct and secondary benefits and focus of playing MiniGames. 

“Our MiniGames have enabled our Production Teams to challenge themselves to identify activities within their teams that link clearly and strongly to the Company’s overall Critical Numbers,” says Berisford. “We have observed and experienced that this new self-awareness is the true benefit of the MiniGame concept.  The awareness of how Team members’ activities and the numerous ‘mini-decisions’ they make each day impacts the financial and cultural health of the company is bonding and energizing.”


“What the Great Game of Business has done for my team and me is provide additional incentive to perform better than just accepting a paycheck. GGOB has shown our team what we do makes an impact directly touching company growth, profit and our ability to gain new customers.” ~ Earl Samson, Special Instruments Team Lead


What's Next

One of the key focuses for the Anodyne team in the coming year is to further refine their Critical Number and to find ways to continue to connect associates toward improving it. One way they plan to implement that approach is use MiniGames to improve the team’s QA efforts in spotting defects much earlier in the production process.

Berisford also admits that when her team members started asking questions like, “How will this impact our Critical Number?”, it stimulated her and her leadership team to dig even deeper to make sure all of their activities and decisions could be mapped to improving their business performance. “We learned even more than we thought we already knew about many details of how our organization functions,” she says.


“I appreciate that GGOB reinforces my own personal opinion that we, individually and as a company, never run out of room for improvement. I also appreciate that the GGOB program shows us direct correlation between our risks, efforts, and rewards.” ~ Dani McWhorter, Purchasing & Supply Chain Manager


Click to view a printable version of this case study. 


Get Started With The Great Game of Business

Learn More About Coaching-2


Attend An Event


Access Tools and Resources