Creation Technologies Gains Fourth AS9100 Certified Manufacturing Facility

Electronics designer & manufacturer illustrates commitment to contract manufacturing of Defense and Aerospace products.

Creation Technologies, a leading electronics manufacturing services provider today announced that its electronics manufacturing facility in Vancouver, B.C. Canada has obtained AS9100 Certification.  The news comes on the heels of the company’s recent certifications of their manufacturing facilities in San Jose, California, Dallas, Texas and Mississauga, Ontario.

“We are extremely proud of this accomplishment,” said Mark Krzyczkowski, VP and General Manager.  “The AS9100 certification is the standard to which aerospace and defense suppliers are measured.  This accomplishment is proof of our continuous improvement efforts and assurances made by our team to deliver the highest quality standards and a continued commitment to manufacturing excellence.”

The aerospace and defense industry is highly regulated and demands the highest level of quality standards for the development and manufacture of products.  This AS9100 Quality Management System (QMS) standard is widely adopted to promote continuous product and process improvement in the aerospace and defense industry.

“This is another milestone in our effort to serve those market segments that we feel are integral to the growth of our business,” said Joe Garcia, Vice President of Business Development.  “This achievement is a testament to the hard work and effort that has gone into building a world class quality system and something which we take great pride in obtaining.  We look forward to continued growth of our current and potential new customers in the Military, Defense and Security markets.

About Creation Technologies

Creation Technologies is an Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) provider focused on building premier customer relationships with companies in the Instrumentation & Industrial, Medical, Wireless & Communications, Security & Environment, Defense, Multimedia & Computers and Transportation markets.

Creation provides start-to-finish manufacturing and supply chain solutions—from design and new product development to final integration, product distribution and after-market services—to its customers across North America and worldwide.

Creation’s financial strength, employee ownership philosophy and commitment to ongoing investment in its technical capabilities have created a highly stable partner for original equipment manufacturers.

The company of approximately 3,000 people operates 10 Manufacturing Facilities, 2 Design Centers and 2 Rapid Prototyping Centers with locations in British Columbia, California, Colorado, Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ontario, Mexico and China.

Creation shares knowledge and resources with We Share Solar to provide engineering education for students

When Diana Ferrari, Director of Central Engineering at Creation Technologies learned about a We Share Solar suitcase building event at St Agnes of Assisi, where her daughter Julia attends school she came away with more than the excitement of seeing her daughter with a multimeter and wiring diagrams. We Share Solar organization teaches children practical engineering skills to build solar suitcases that are then delivered as lighting solutions for schools in energy poor regions of the world.

Diana was already thinking about how to help this program as part of Creation’s Making a Difference initiative. She shared photos and her thoughts with fellow team members and there was an immediate interest with ideas being bounced around as to what we could do to help.

To get the ball rolling Diana reached out to Co-Director and Co-Founder Gigi Goldman at We Share Solar to ask if Creation Technologies could sponsor some suitcase building events. Once Gigi learned more about the company and capabilities she mentioned they were struggling to find ways to cost reduce the suitcase so that they could expand their program’s reach. “When I explained to her my role in Value Add Value Engineering (VAVE-cost reducing customer designs and working with commodity management to leverage Creation spend to source material), I think she almost fell out of her chair!” Diana stated.  We realized in that conversation that we had a perfect fit! Creation’s passion for Making a Difference, our ability to add value engineering resources and leverage our supply chain to cost down the product.

The VAVE engineers at the Creation Milwaukee Business Unit have connected with Hal Aronson, Founder and Director of Technology and Education at We Share Solar and are brainstorming different avenues for cost reduction in the unit.  In addition, our commodity managers and Vice President of Commodity Management, Steve McEuen have sourced and quoted the material and found a 50+% cost savings. In the future we are looking to partner with suppliers to help supply material at cost.  Joe Garcia, VP West Region Business Development and Mark Evans, VP and General Manager in San Jose have met with team members at We Share Solar and are looking to take over contract manufacturing (CM) services from their current CM out of the Creation San Jose Business Unit.

Hal Aronson remarked, “We Share Solar inspires students to work with technology to serve humanity through building solar electric systems.  We have spent the past 4 years developing our programs and proving the concept. To date we have trained 100 + teachers who have engaged 4,000 American and Canadian students deploying several hundred solar electric systems which have lit up the schools for over 35,000 students from energy poor countries and refugee camps. People love the program both for its service to humanity and for the way in which it engages and empowers students. The limiting factor in enabling greater numbers of schools to participate in our programs is the cost of the solar suitcase kits.   Creation Technologies is generously working with We Share Solar to dramatically lower our hardware costs; this will help us clear the major hurdle to growing our programs and impact. It has been a complete pleasure to work with the Creation Technologies’ VAVE team.  We went through the process thoroughly and at a good pace.  When I put forward a date by which we needed to start shipping kits to schools the team approached it with a “can do” attitude.  This will open up great opportunities to grow and sustain our reach.  This is the beginning of a beautiful partnership”

Gigi Goldman adds, “Our mission at We Share Solar is to inspire the next generation of change-makers.  In learning to build a Solar Suitcase and then sharing it with their counterparts who live in places of energy scarcity such as rural Kenya and Uganda, young people experience making a positive impact in the world through their own work.  We are especially excited about how this opens up the world of engineering and STEM to young women who see the purpose in the work and are excited to help others.   Hal Aronson and I co-created We Share Solar 4 years ago and have become more inspired by it every year as organizations like Creation Technologies embrace it and join us to make it even better and more accessible to communities they care about.  Together we are doing more than just telling the next generation to try to make the world a better place, we are giving them the tools to actually do it…from promoting sustainable green energy education to reaching across the globe with open hands, a generous heart and clean energy.  Everybody wins.”

Learn more at: https://www.wesharesolar.org/

The Right Move: Celebrating a Culture of Professional Development and Success

On a recent Friday afternoon, Creation’s Vancouver business unit (BU) became the site of a full on Mexican fiesta. Sure, there weren’t any margaritas, but there was a piñata and a four-man mariachi band.

In an hour filled with singing, dancing and clapping, they celebrated the promotion of one of our own. Ana Cantu, a 12-year Creation vet, was recently named Vice President of Supply Chain after spending the past five years as the GM of the Vancouver BU.

“We are a family here,” said Ana. “Our relationships are strong and we love to support each other.”

Celebrating the successes of team members has long been a part of our culture. At Creation, it is common for people to develop their skills, grow in their positions, and move into different roles – whether that is within their own department or a lateral move.

Being able to understand multiple areas of our business and the EMS industry enables our people to be strong assets to our customers.

Across our business units, you will see examples of people expanding their skill sets and making a move. We have recently seen a Customer-Focused Team Leader (CFTL) transition into a specialized Business Development role. On the flip side, we have also seen a former Finance Leader move into a CFTL position.

Donna Dasgupta of the Toronto BU was one of those people who sought out experience in a completely different department as she transitioned from CFT Support to People & Culture Administrator.

“I’ve never been at a company where employees came first and promotions and career development programs were such a priority,” said Donna. “Going into my new team with such a supportive atmosphere made the transition very enjoyable for me.”

Some people started their careers at Creation learning the ropes of the organization before transitioning into their dream role. That was the case for Haresh Shah, who was recently promoted from Production Associate to Test Engineering Support in Toronto.

“I feel so thankful that Creation gave me the opportunity to grow as a professional and person,” said Haresh. “I’ve always wanted to work in Test Engineering and now I have this great opportunity to do what I love.”

“The team was so happy for me, congratulated me and offered me any support I needed during the transition,” said Haresh. “I am very happy working in this type of environment!”

These are examples of our company developing our talent and bench strength to meet our customers’ needs. Part of the strength of Creation is the experience and versatility of our people.   The other part is the ongoing support the team gives each other.

 

The Key to Longevity in the EMS Industry is Consistency

In sports they call it the “three-peat”.

It is a term when a team wins three consecutive championships. The New York Yankees, Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers are some of the elite teams that have accomplished this feat. Currently were watching to see if Team Canada can pull off their third consecutive gold medal at the world hockey championships.

Recently, Creation Technologies won the ‘Highest Overall Customer Rating’ in Circuits Assembly’s Service Excellence Awards for the third year in a row!

This award is based solely on feedback directly from OEM customers to electronics industry analyst, Circuits Assembly, and is an incredible achievement.

Creation ranks first overall amongst all EMS providers in the $500M+ category across all 5 categories of:

  • Responsiveness
  • Value for Price
  • Dependability
  • Quality
  • Technology

And while we are far from being compared to a sports dynasty, it demonstrates that we are achieving what we strive every day to deliver: consistent service to our customers.

Consistency is one of the key reasons why we have been successful for over 25 years. Our customers know our value offering and recognize that we put their needs first.

Being dependable is an art that comes with experience. These are some of the ways that we have been able to maintain consistency with our partners.

 

Our People

I get to be part of the best team in the world.

I am certain that a lot of CEOs say this, but I truly mean it. Creation is the most customer-focused company I have ever been a part of.

We have over 3,000 talented people, who have expertise, drive and heart. Every day in every business unit, they work together to solve problems, overcome challenges, and get things done.

This is a trait that cannot be taught. We choose people who have that innate desire to serve our customers and embrace our company’s core values.

 

Our Responsiveness

The hallmark of our customer service model is our ability to react.

The needs of our customers have always dictated how our business operates. With our various experts and multiple years of experience, we are able to take a customer’s problem and quickly find an efficient and effective solution.

One of the main differentiators we have over our competition is our customer-focused team (CFT) model. For every customer, we have a dedicated team that ensures projects are completed on time and at the highest quality. When customers have questions, we make it a priority to find them answers in a timely manner.

 

Our Quality

At the end of the day, you won’t last very long with your customers or this industry for that matter if you don’t consistently build quality products.

To optimize performance and eliminate product failures, we leverage our engineering expertise, invest in best-in-class machines, and design a cost-effective test stand solution.

Delivering quality products is also achieved through being proactive. Our team identifies software or hardware issues early on in the process, so that products work properly in the field.

Winning our third Service Excellence Award in a row is proof of our Continuous Improvement efforts, and the amazing collaboration between so many people – our Creation team, our customers’ teams, and our suppliers’ teams – to deliver “service excellence” to our customers that clearly differentiates Creation in the EMS industry.

So cheers to another great year as we attempt to complete a “four peat”.

How a VAVE Risk Mitigation Strategy Improves the Bottom Line

A VAVE analysis is considered a game changer to OEMs because of its potential for major cost reductions.

VAVE is not about a quick fix to cut expenses. Good EMS providers can leverage VAVE to improve product quality and lower lifecycle risk. This focus on risk mitigation will translate into long-term savings and greater revenue opportunities for OEMs.

Here are the ways VAVE teams are achieving this.

Entering the Market with Confidence

Being first to market is important, but it is ineffective if you are not priced appropriately. An OEM may have a great product but will fail in the market because of its high unit cost.

If a VAVE analysis is performed during the prototype phase, you will get expert opinions from your EMS partner on pricing strategies. Early supplier and engineering engagement, before the design is finalized, will ensure there is feedback and approval from all stakeholders.

Putting that upfront investment in VAVE will drive the unit cost down and allow you to enter the market at the right price point. You have an opportunity to capture a competitive market share and maximize revenue potential.

Extending your Life Cycle

A thorough EMS partner will put a large emphasis on quality and risk management when conducting a VAVE analysis. They will make sure that the product and all of its components will last the entire product lifecycle. This is usually done during the risk analysis phase, where your partner evaluates your bill of materials (BOM) and identifies areas of improvement to reduce risk within the product lifecycle.

Making sure that the product BOM has longevity will avoid redesign costs in the midst of the products life.

Part of their task is to get as many approved sources in the design as possible (more on that later) so that if one or two sources become obsolete in a few years, you still have a supply chain that won’t cause you shortages.

Experts in the Supply Chain

Mitigating risk is all about being able to foresee barriers and having a contingency plan to address them without missing a beat. OEMs that aren’t prepared will not be able to react quickly if a major quality issue arises.

Almost 93% of critical shortages where delivery is effected is attributed to OEMs single sourcing their components. That means there are other supply chain options available that haven’t been vetted or approved. When your customer wants an extra 10,000 units, a single sourced component on your BOM can cause you to lose revenue if the supply chain can’t react in time.

We often see in startups or smaller companies, a design engineer is simply not looking for multiple component sources under the pressures of a launch schedule. If they are looking, they may not have the supply chain relationships to identify the lowest cost options.

A capable EMS partner can help you design a sustainable supply chain. They can lessen your risk during a VAVE analysis by identifying and qualifying a second or third source for components, so if there are quality issues, you have the flexibility to adapt.

The BOM might start off with 80-90% single sources, but can drop to 20% single sourced after a successful VAVE analysis. This will not only improve the products longevity, but will eliminate unnecessary long-term costs.

 

 

Women in Tech: Vancouver Leaders Aim to Change Perception and Stats

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Behind every successful company is a team of successful leaders. These are people who not only bring new ideas that help further the company, but also inspire those around them to be the best versions of themselves.

More and more of these leaders are women. There are several prominent women CEOs for Fortune 500 companies: Mary Barra (General Motors), Ursula M. Burns (Xerox), Safra A. Catz (Oracle) – just to name a few. However, despite all the progress, there is still a lack of women leaders in the tech industry.

A recent Reuters study revealed that 30 percent of technology executives polled stated that there were no women in leadership positions at their companies. In Canada, women only make up 24 percent of the tech positions.

Addressing these stats has been a priority in the Vancouver, BC area, where several prominent tech companies like Creation Technologies and Hootsuite are based. Organizations like SheTalks bring together women from technology to share success stories and inspire others to follow their lead.

At the SheTalks Tech event last November, leaders in the local tech space challenged the audience to strive for greatness as well as offered insightful words of wisdom.

 

“Is where you are at today going to take you to where you want to go?” – Jeannette Patell, Government Affairs and Policy Leader (Energy), GE

“Leadership belongs to those who takes it.” – Kimberly Wysseier, Recruitment Consultant, Annex Consulting Group

“Don’t think about the glass ceiling” – Joyce Hung, HR Director, Global Relay

“How you show up for work is far more important than hard work” – Anamika Mukherjee, Air and Energy Efficiency Specialist, Cenovus

“New adventure and experiences will trump your fear” – Shachi Kurl, Senior Vice President, Angus Reid

“Don’t sell ourselves short and don’t overlook” – Dr. Lyn Anglin, Chief Scientific Officer, Imperial Metals Corporation of Vancouver

 “Having a strong and loving support group by your side to help you when you are down will get you far in life” – Ana Cantu, General Manager, Creation Technologies Vancouver

 

Ana Cantu, the general manager for Creation Technologies’ Vancouver location, was one of the women invited to deliver an 8-minute speech.

“When I was asked to speak I thought, ‘What I’m I going to talk about?’” said Ana. “And then I started getting excited just with the idea that I could share my life experiences and impact women.”

Ana has been beating the odds ever since she first set foot in Canada over 10 years ago. In her talk, Ana reminisced about moving to Canada from Mexico, leaving her strong family, culture and support group to start a new life with her husband and young child.

However, starting a new life in Canada came with growing pains. Despite the challenges, including a divorce, Ana was able to build a flourishing and fulfilling career at Creation Technologies, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2016.

Ana wants her experiences to inspire other women in tech to find their passion and challenge themselves. In her speech, she shared three crucial questions each woman should ask themselves.

 

What is your DRIVE?

Ana: “For me the core values that my parents instilled in me, hard work, performance, wanting to be better.”

What is the HELIUM of your balloon?

Ana: “In my case, the helium that fills my balloon is a sense of belonging and being part of a community. I want to add value to people’s lives.”

Who is in your TRIBE, who is your support group?

Ana: “I have found that in Canada people highly value their independence – which is good. However, I can tell you from experience that if you have a loving and supportive group of people around you, you will get far in life. I know having a support group helped tremendously for me.”

 

While Ana is one of the success stories for women in tech, the stats still say that the industry has a long way to go.

“I think most women mentioned that they struggle with self-confidence,” Ana said. “So it’s pretty important that we share with other women that this is something that happens, we all go through it but it should never be something that will discourage you from achieving something great.”

Are Innovation and Collaboration Inherently Linked?

Creation Technologies President and CEO at MEDTECH 2015

How are solution providers like Creation Technologies innovating to drive long-term growth and success as companies, and as business leaders in manufacturing and the high-tech sector? Collaboration plays a defining role.

Bhawnesh Mathur, Creation’s President and CEO, recently shared his thoughts on collaboration throughout the business ecosystem on the Manufacturing Innovation panel on the Strategy & Development Track at MEDTECH 2015 in Buffalo, New York:

“The world has discovered that you don’t have to have a lot of patents [to be successful]. We say that patents are a measure of how innovative we are, or that our country is, but that isn’t necessarily the case.

I think what we’ve learned in the last several years is that collaboration between, i) academia and businesses, and ii) businesses working together and sharing resources and costs, creates technology that makes the country more innovative, and helps the country become more growth-oriented.

With the deployment of NNMI – the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation where companies and academia are working together – that [organizations] are working together because I think they believe that we can develop technology better, faster, that way. I think they believe we’ll create more jobs in North America that way, they believe there is a faster route to innovation that way. It’s a model that doesn’t [provide a particular company with] a lot of patents.

I think what’s happened to the world over the last several years is that, while I absolutely agree with [others on the panel] that you have to protect customers’ intellectual property, and trade secrets and capture [critical information] in your QMS (Quality Management System), that this fear that we’ve got to have thousands or millions of patents to be “good” is something that runs contrary to collaboration and working together to [create] a more robust economy.”

Now us marketing folk are always thinking about our value proposition and how we can drive customer success. At Creation, though, it’s literally everyone across the company who thinks about our enterprise value as more than just a measure of growing revenue and improving profitability. As more than just a function of winning business.

I’m proud, and lucky, to have a CEO, a leadership team, and a company culture dedicated to building strategic partnerships through collaboration, candor and shared objectives. A team that sees collaboration as intrinsically tied to innovation and long-term success. As the responsibility of a corporation in the economic ecosystem.


To the MEDTECH conference attendees, Bhawnesh posed the question:

“Do we want to share with each other, or patent what we know? It’s an interesting dilemma. My observation is that [the global mindset] is changing more toward working together and delivering more success.”

Our motto of Working Together to Build the Future is core to the value we believe Creation Technologies provides as an EMS partner. What role do strategic relationships and collaboration play in your organization’s plans for growth and long-range contribution as a business leader?

 
Watch the video:
 

 

Innovation, Influence and Impact: An Interview with MedTech’s Jessica Crawford

I had an opportunity to catch up with Jessica Crawford, President of New York-based MedTech, heading into the week of MEDTECH 2015. Jessica and I discussed today’s most significant opportunities and business challenges for bioscience and medical technology OEMs.

 

MedTech's Jessica Crawford Interview with Creation Technologies

Janelle Urchenko: Tell us more about the origins of MedTech. I understand it grew from the idea of transforming Upstate New York into a knowledge-based economy.

Jessica Crawford: MedTech was founded in 2004 by four New York State bioscience and medical technology (Bio/Med) companies – Bristol-Myers Squibb, ConMed Corporation, Sensis Corporation (acquired by Saab in 2011), and Welch Allyn.

MedTech was formed at the urging of then New York Senator Hilary Clinton in response to an economic development plan recommending closer collaboration among medical products and services firms to help grow the region’s knowledge-based economy. The idea was that by acting together we would have greater success, benefitting industry as well as the entire region with more knowledge-based jobs, which are higher paying with greater economic impact.

Our mission is really an economic development one – forming an epicenter of Bio/Med activity by developing the relationships, tools and programs that enable New York State companies to bring tomorrow’s medical solutions to the healthcare marketplace.

MedTech provides a single voice for the Bio/Med industry and also encompasses the entire ecosystem – from innovators to suppliers and academic research to service providers – providing a vehicle for collaboration and the sharing of best practices.

 

JU: What’s your vision for the evolution of this ecosystem, and how is it relevant in today’s changing economic climate?

JC: This couldn’t be more relevant than in today’s dynamic industry landscape. In today’s ever-evolving healthcare marketplace, identifying untapped potential is essential for success.

Partnerships emerge through investments, consolidation and public-private collaborations, bringing together payers, providers and patients to improve care and reduce costs.

At the heart of this convergence is creativity, building momentum for growth. Through purposeful collisions – industry and academia; entrepreneurs and business leaders; domestic and abroad – convergence drives progress through the development of new technology, product enhancements and radical innovation.

MedTech will be highlighting this and more at our annual conference, MEDTECH 2015 “Convergence: Building Momentum for Growth” on October 14-15 in Buffalo, NY.

 

MEDTECH 2014

 

JU: We’re certainly looking forward to some great discussion, and maybe even a little debate, at the conference!  Also to meeting new people from other MedTech member companies. What is it about New York that attracts medical and biotech businesses? And how are these companies leveraging the growing MedTech community to engage their customers in the area and beyond?

JC: New York is among the top tier of states in the size of its bioscience industry and the scale and reach of its bioscience research complex.

Here are some of what I think are very exciting stats:

  • State firms employ nearly 75,000 in the biosciences.
  • New York’s academic institutions conducted $3.5 billion in bioscience academic research and development in 2012.
  • State institutions, both academic and non-academic, have received $1.9 billion in funding from the National Institutes of Health in 2013 alone.
  • New York inventors were issued nearly 6,400 patents from 2009 through 2013 in bioscience-related technologies.
  • In each of these key metrics of the scale and innovative nature of the biosciences, New York is among the top 10 states. (From Battelle/BIO State Bioscience Jobs, Investments and Innovation 2014)

MedTech connects New York State’s Bio/Med industry through collaboration, education and advocacy. MEDTECH 2015 is a prime example. It draws more than 300 decision-makers from throughout the industry, and offers unmatched opportunities to strengthen and build new relationships with industry leaders and meet new partners, resources and customers. Our signature Collaboration & Growth Track also offers partnering opportunities with some of our industry’s foremost companies, this year including Air Liquide Healthcare, AMRI, Johnson & Johnson and PARC – a Xerox Company.

We’re also very excited that this year’s conference is in Buffalo, NY. The energy and momentum surrounding the Bio/Med industry in Western New York is palpable and is a testament to the capital infusion by New York State and local industry into its downtown core.

In the last five years alone, Western New York has experienced a four percent growth in Bio/Med employment, yielding $5.6 billion in total economic impact.

 

MEDTECH 2014 -2

JU: MedTech’s focus seems to be on community, scalability and tools for success in today’s competitive marketplace. With regard to tools — how are MedTech companies measuring success these days? Is the focus still on speed to market, or are you seeing a shift with new competitive pressures?

JC: With the onset of the Affordable Care Act, the business of healthcare has changed dramatically as the focus has shifted to health outcomes and behavioral changes.

For example, information-leveraging technologies including smartphone applications and sensors are empowering patients with transparent information and giving them more control over their health. Further, to help reduce costs and improve quality, companies are changing the way they innovate and identifying efficiencies in production.

Our Manufacturing Innovation” panel at MEDTECH 2015 also features industry experts, including, as you know, Creation Technologies President and CEO Bhawnesh Mathur.  This session will examine how new technologies, partnerships and initiatives in manufacturing are reducing costs and production time, while also developing custom solutions including personalized devices, prototypes and injection molding.

I’m looking forward to hearing Bhawnesh speak to new industry trends and resources that you are leveraging for your customers, as well as how Creation’s customers are innovating for their own marketplaces.

 

Creation Technologies Medical Devices

JU: MedTech talks about the vibrant community at its epicenter. Is there a success story you can share? What do you think are the indicators of a successful relationship?

JC: MedTech means different things to each of our members. Consequently, success or value for one may mean something completely different to another.

Member Bill Rader, president and CEO of Efferent Labs, Inc. participated in a MedTech Metro event in 2014, making a presentation on his development stage bio-device company focused on implantable biosensors. Someone in the audience followed up with him afterward and encouraged him to apply for the 43North Competition – the world’s largest business competition with $5 million in cash prizes.

Bill took the advice and applied. He later learned he was a semi-finalist and ultimately took home second place and $500,000 and more in cash and incentives to locate in Buffalo, NY.

Efferent Labs, Inc. is now on the fast track toward success – made possible through a MedTech connection.

 

JU: Back to the origins of MedTech and its goals – this year’s MEDTECH 2015 conference surfaces some new areas of focus like, “How to Play Nice with Others”.  What is your prediction for medical device companies in the next year?  What might be some hot topics at MEDTECH 2016?

JC: The theme for MEDTECH 2015 is focused on convergence and how new industry trends are leading to unique opportunities for partnering and investment. To remain competitive, industry stakeholders including payers, providers and patients, are coming together in novel ways.

Consolidation has become the norm as bigger appears to be better in the post Affordable Care Act world. Traditional consumer giants like Google and Samsung with either technical expertise or market share are also leveraging strategic partners to enter the Bio/Med industry. This paradigm shift is heating up competition and creating unique opportunities for collaboration.

This year’s “How to Play Nice with Others” panel discusses emerging channels for consumables and the repurposing of technology to appeal to varying populations, as well as the challenges that arise from new players entering the healthcare market.

And it’s unlikely that these trends are behind us.

Provider systems around the country are following payers’ moves, also entering into new relationships at a feverish pace. Just this year, Barnabas Health and Robert Wood Johnson Health System combined their 11 hospitals to form New Jersey’s largest health system and Prime Healthcare Services’ takeover of six-hospital Daughters of Charity Health System. And private practice acquisitions are happening daily in the health delivery space.

MEDTECH 2016 will continue take on these trends and more when we return to Albany, NY next fall.

 

If you haven’t already registered, it’s not too late! I believe there are still a few tickets left for MEDTECH 2015, which you can get by contacting events@medtech.org.

I’m looking forward to hearing all about MEDTECH 2015 from Jessica and the folks at MedTech, as well as from Bhawnesh and the other Creation folks who are attending.

If you missed it, Bhawnesh shared a sneak peek here of his thoughts around the complex subject of Manufacturing Innovation in medical devices.

And maybe Connie Griffin will publish a recap to go along with her lead-up post to the conference that presents an interesting perspective on the impact manufacturing and the medical community are having on revitalization in New York State.

 

I Took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Creation's President and CEO in ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Creation’s Executive Team raising funds and awareness for ALS IceBucketChallenge.

Last week, I accepted an Ice Bucket Challenge to raise funds and awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease), a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord and for which there is no current cure or treatment. About 2 in 100,000 people have ALS, which can strike anyone.

If you haven’t heard about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which went viral earlier this summer, accepting a challenge means that you commit to donating to the cause or having a bucket of ice water dumped on your head!

Like many people, I chose to do both.

And I didn’t take part alone.

It’s More Fun with Your Friends

The entire leadership team in Creation’s Toronto business unit decided to issue a personal challenge to me, as well as challenging some of our other Creation business units and teams.

 

It was only fitting that all of the members of our executive team in Vancouver that day accepted Toronto’s challenge along with me!

Many people from our Vancouver and Headquarters teams came out to watch. After all, seeing someone dump freezing water on their head is a lot of fun.

In exchange for the entertainment, we challenged everyone watching (in person and online) to get involved.

And so for every Creation person that takes the challenge, Creation Technologies will match your donation of $10.

And for every customer, supplier, friend, neighbour, and family-member you can convince to take the challenge along with you, Creation Technologies will match their donation of $10, too!

Did I mention that we’re also challenging our friends over at Birch Hill, our private equity partner? I can’t wait to see that video! Here’s ours:

Making a Difference

I joined Creation this past April, and one of the things that stood out to me immediately was how people are truly friendly, helpful, and connected to each other and to our suppliers and customers. Our Making a Difference program, formalized in 2009, carries that spirit into the communities in which we live and work.

Our teams in all Creation business units are proud to be able to give back, and feel very fortunate to meet the amazing people and learn about the amazing programs that do so much to make the world a better place.

I’ve heard so many wonderful stories about how we’ve planted trees, painted gyms, made sandwiches, washed boats, built houses, dug latrines (yes, really), and shaved eyebrows.

And now in true Creation fashion, teams across our business units have come together for each other and for ALS, dumping frigid water on their heads in Ice Bucket Challenges.

You can see more of our videos, here on Creation’s YouTube Channel.

 

The goal of all non-profit organizations is to find impactful ways to raise awareness about critical issues.

I’d say that the ALS Association has done a tremendous job of that through the Ice Bucket Challenges.

I’d also say that I’m really lucky to have a team like mine.

Please take this opportunity to learn more about the fight to treat and cure ALS through research and advocacy at www.alsa.org.

 

Why Entrepreneurship Is Critical to Success

Creation Entrepreneurship
Since our founding in 1991, Creation people have had Entrepreneurship in our hearts

What do you think of when you hear the word “entrepreneur”?
A genius?
A millionaire?
An inventor?

Who comes to mind when you think of entrepreneurs?
Steve Jobs?
Bill Gates?
Debbie Fields? (Founder of Mrs. Fields cookies, one of my personal favorites. Yum!)

Hearing the word, ‘entrepreneurs’, I think that most of us conjure up images of famous business founders or owners. Or perhaps the images are of our family members or friends who have gone into business for themselves.

I would be willing to bet that, for most of us, the first image that comes to mind is not of ourselves.

Am I right?

 

Yet, at Creation, entrepreneurs are exactly what we’re encouraged be…to think like entrepreneurs, and act like entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurship is one of Creation’s six Core Values, and for good reason.

In the dictionary, an Entrepreneur is defined as:

“a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk”. Entrepreneurship is defined as demonstrating a spirit of “initiative and risk-taking in the way we perform our day-to-day roles and responsibilities“.

So how can we become more entrepreneurial? And why would we want to?

I believe it boils down to three factors:

  • Sense of Ownership
  • Perseverance
  • Dissatisfaction with the Status Quo

 

3 Characteristics of Entrepreneurs

#1 Sense of Ownership

At Creation, we’re fortunate to have the opportunity to purchase shares in our own company and literally become owners. You don’t need the shares or stocks, though, if you work for an organization where you don’t have this opportunity or if you aren’t in a position to invest.

Shares or not, we can all act like we’re owners of our company.

Owners take responsibility for results, look for positive ways to solve problems and remove obstacles, and do what needs to be done without being asked or told. Sounds good to me.

#2 Perseverance

One of my favorite definitions of Perseverance is, “picking ourselves up one more time than we fall, or are knocked, down.”

I always think of Rocky Balboa in pretty much every one of the Rocky movies. No matter how much of a beating he took, he always found the strength and courage to get up off the canvas and ultimately prevail over the ‘villain’.

In the workplace, this strength and courage translates into pursuing improvements even in the face of failure, criticism and fear.

The most successful entrepreneurs I know never give up.

#3 Dissatisfaction with the Status Quo

The minute we let satisfaction settle in to our daily outlook, we invite disaster. Try driving down a winding mountain road using only your rearview mirror!

That’s the best metaphor I can think of to describe an individual, team or organization that gets overly caught up in yesterday’s successes.

We all need a healthy dose of dissatisfaction with the way things are, even if we just made significant changes yesterday. Continuous Improvement is rooted in this mindset.

This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate achievements. We should.

We just need to remind ourselves that successfully navigating the hairpin turns behind us was exciting. And that there’s an endless road full of challenges ahead.

So let’s look through the windshield and identify our next opportunity.

Entrepreneurship in Action: Engineering, Operations and Supply Chain on one of our Customer-Focused Teams in our Milwaukee Business Unit spent a few hours a day for several weeks lending their skills in Manufacturing so that one of our customers could meet an unexpected
Entrepreneurship in Action: Engineering, Operations and Supply Chain on one of our Customer-Focused Teams in our Milwaukee Business Unit spent a few hours a day for several weeks lending their skills in Manufacturing so that one of our customers could meet an unexpected commitment

So what does Entrepreneurship look like at Creation Technologies?

I can think of so many real-life examples, like…

…The person who drove 5 hours to hand-deliver a shipment to a customer because it was produced after the last overnight truck had departed.

…The business unit leadership team that spent the last day of the month working in Manufacturing to ensure our shipping commitments were met.

…The countless regular and daily kaizens that use the best ideas of our people, customers and suppliers to drive improvements in quality, safety, materials, cost and throughput.

…The members of our production teams who proudly lead our customers and prospective customers on tours through their work areas.

There are endless other examples where individuals and teams show this entrepreneurial spirit of initiative and risk-taking. At Creation, Entrepreneurship is about going “the extra mile” for a teammate, customer or supplier.

And it’s always worth it.

How about you? Are you an entrepreneur? Do you see yourself as an owner? Do you have the spirit of “Rocky”? Are you using the windshield or the rear-view mirror?

What are the examples of Entrepreneurship you can share?

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