Smith & Nephew runs 24/7 on Brooks Road

By Kevin McKenzie

Smith & Nephew Inc. recently dismantled an office in a Memphis manufacturing plant in Memphis to make way for more computer-controlled machines. Today, 12-hour shifts produce knee implants around the clock, seven days a week.

Demand is strong for the London-based medical device maker’s products in the United States and in faster-growing emerging markets around the globe.

That growth is feeding another high demand — for the machinists, finishers and packagers producing those knee implants in Building H on the low-profile Smith & Nephew campus on Brooks Road.

“Even since the beginning of this year, we’ve probably added 175 people,” said Gene Baker, vice president of Memphis operations for Smith & Nephew. “And we’re not done adding.”

Perhaps surprisingly to some, Baker said the supply of job candidates to choose from is “generally speaking pretty good, better than I expect, I’m encouraged by it, actually.”


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