About the interviewee
Julie Landis, DPT President and Chief Operating Officer is a board certified physical therapist in the states of VA and MD, with expertise in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and ergonomics. With eighteen years in the health care arena Dr. Landis has worked in the areas of ergonomics, clinical sports medicine and orthopedics. As President & CEO of Ergo Concepts, LLC, Dr. Landis has been involved in all aspects of project management and corporate development. Ergo Concepts, LLC has provided ergonomic consulting services for over thirteen years nationwide. Beyond her professional education, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA (DPT), Arcadia University, Philadelphia, PA (MSPT) and James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA (BS), Dr. Landis has participated in ergonomic training through Ergo Web, Park City, Utah, and Roy Matheson & Associates, Keene, NH. With thousands of hours of hands-on ergonomic experience, she received her designation as a certified ergonomic evaluation specialist (CEES) through Roy Matheson & Associates.
Tell me about your firm (number of employees, location, type of companies you work with, etc.).
Ergo Concepts, LLC is an ergonomics consulting firm based in the Washington, D.C. and San Francisco Bay areas. We are a 100% women owned small business providing services to both government and commercial clients. For government clients we are listed on the GSA schedules (contract #GS-29F-0025R). We have full time and 1099 contractors, for a total of about 40 employees across the US and one now in Mexico! We work with any size organization to solve ergonomic challenges in general office, lab and industrial environments. We can help with issues involving one single employees logging issues of discomfort to organizations wanting to roll out large scale ergonomics initiatives for thousands of employees. Our primary services are ergonomic assessments of workspaces (one on one with injured workers or preventative for non-injured staff), trainings (Lunch and Learn & Train the Trainer), general walk through assessments and consulting and Comfort Zone/ergonomic software education.
Tell us about what it means to you to “put customers first”?
In the world of ergonomics we are usually meeting an immediate need because an employee is experiencing discomfort; there may be a physician note or a claim. Most often employers are genuinely motivated to provide an employee with the best working environment and keeping employees healthy. Putting the customer first is a commitment we strive for in all we do, starting with getting to the client site as soon as possible, providing timely service and quality work. Our ergonomists take the time to listen and act as “ergo coaches,” realizing that the client and end user customer are active participants in a successful ergonomic outcome. This is only possible with quality ergonomists at the helm. We have a highly talented staff of health care professionals as well as a cadre of expert health and safety professionals each bringing their ergonomic expertise and experience to our clients from their respective fields.
What mistake do businesses make when it comes to taking care of customers?
Some businesses believe that to continue working with clients you must foster dependence in customers. If you can teach organizations to be self-sustaining and do things a “different” and possibly better way, they should be better off, healthier in our case. The field of ergonomics emphasizes, “ergonomics is good economics.” To invest in ergonomics reduces absenteeism, reduces health care costs, improves productivity and morale. Studies are now suggesting that individuals who position changing and move, a primary tenant of ergonomics, are actually living longer lives! From a business standpoint investing in ergonomics makes sense. Employers lose billions of dollars annually to rising health care premiums, claims costs, absenteeism/presenteeism, employee discomfort, inefficient workstation configurations and more. The total cost of ergonomics-related injuries is estimated at $30.9 billion in the 2008 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index. By addressing ergonomics employers help their workers and help themselves.
What is your firm doing to demonstrate your beliefs in this principle?
According to the American Federation of Government Employees every 18 seconds, a worker gets a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) such as a sprain, strain or back injury. Ergo Concepts has built an array of ergonomic services focused on educating workers so that managers and employees are equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to make a lasting change in the way they conceptualize, organize, and perform their work. Ergonomics is the science of designing the job and workplace to suit the capabilities of workers. Ergonomics means “fitting the task/work/workstation to the worker.” Whether you are working to reduce a single case of back discomfort or carpal tunnel, sweeping a group of people following a move or renovation or interested in a large scale companywide initiative our team of professionals will work with you to solve your issues, large or small. If it’s important to you, it’s important to us.