This summer Gillian and Haley spent several days in Minneapolis. It was a great opportunity for them to meet staff members from Sonic Innovations and to tour their facility. I placed their comments about the trip below:
In December of 1999, I had the opportunity to tour a hearing aid lab to see first hand how a hearing aid comes into existence. The visit gave me a whole new appreciation for the work that goes into creating a hearing aid. Nine years later, I was able to tour Sonic Innovations in Minneapolis with my friend, and co-worker, Haley. Again, I found myself amazed by the level of workmanship that goes into each hearing aid. From start to finish, a hearing aid will pass through nearly two-dozen highly trained hands. Each step of the way, the hearing aid is tracked, and the product is quality checked several times before it even makes it to the final approval stage. Haley and I spent a good part of the day with several of the technicians. We also got to meet the customer service reps we call on a day-to-day basis. Now we have faces to put with the names! Of course, it wasn’t all work. You can’t go all the way to Minneapolis without visiting the Mall of America. So Haley and I spent Saturday morning as tourists in Minneapolis , and Saturday afternoon as shoppers at the Mall. All in all, it was a busy (but fun! And educational!) few days away from the office.
My experience at the Sonic Innovations lab was very fascinating. To my surprise, most of the hearing aid manufacturing process is done by hand. The staff had such amazing skill and coordination they actually made the process look simple, which I know it was not. Every staff member was also very friendly and went out of their way to make me feel welcome. I gained a whole new appreciation for the hearing aid manufacturing process. I knew each hearing aid was custom made but had no idea each hearing aid was custom made by the hands of such skilled craftsmen with very little mechanization involved. I was impressed at the amount of organization and dedication to detail shown in every step of the process. I am thankful for the opportunity to experience the Sonic Innovations lab and greatly appreciated the chance to meet such wonderful people and expand my knowledge of the hearing aid manufacturing process.