Creation Ships First We Share Solar Units

Creation team members first heard about We Share Solar when Diana Ferrari, Director of Central Engineering at Creation Technologies learned about a suitcase building event at St Agnes of Assisi, where her daughter Julia attends school.  Diana couldn’t stop thinking about how to help this program as part of Creation’s Making a Difference initiative and one phone call to We Share Solar Co-Director and Co-Founder Gigi Goldman and they both realized that it was a perfect match.

The VAVE engineers at the Creation Milwaukee Business Unit connected with Hal Aronson, Co-founder and Director of  We Share Solar, and discussed different avenues for creating a lower cost  educational kit, the WSS601.   Our commodity managers and Vice President of Commodity Management, Steve McEuen sourced and quoted the material and was able to create the kit at a price below We Share Solar’s target.

Once we agreed to move forward and quote the project for manufacturing it was turned over to Robert Flores, Business Development Director for Creation Express Services out of San Jose, California.  Robert met with Hal Aronson to discuss their cost expectations and timelines.   Robert also worked very closely with Creation team members Chuck Herman, Customer Focused Team Leader and Juanita Wright, Procurement Specialist to make sure the project went smoothly.     “What really helped to get the project quoted and into production was communication,” said Robert Flores. “I was in constant communication with Hal, and then Chuck, Juanita, and I were meeting on a daily basis to discuss any changes to ensure the project kept moving forward to meet the aggressive deadlines, and we made sure everyone involved was kept up-to-date.“  Chuck and Juanita both agreed communication was the key to success.  Hal had given Creation some very aggressive timelines for delivery which could have been challenging due to some long lead time parts.   Juanita was able to find substitutions for those parts with shorter lead times and while we had already exercised a VAVE to drive out cost, Juanita was able to find even more cost savings and the project actually came in under budget.

Wendy Cross, Program Manager with We Share Solar, which is the specific group focused on these cases, was very impressed with the team in San Jose.   “Once everything was approved we were in a time crunch to ship with the start of the school year.  Chuck and the team in San Jose were able to ship 30 kits a day.    We exceeded the estimated schedule and shipped out well over 200 in the first week,” said Wendy.

We Care Solar facilitates the international deployment piece.  The model is that each school gets 6-8 suitcases, they keep 6 and deploy 2.    Each year participating schools will fundraise to try and buy more.  The teachers are very excited to have humanitarian project based learning as well as an opportunity to learn about wiring and circuitry.    Currently most of the cases are deployed to Kenya and Uganda so students can have lighting giving them more access to resources.   We Share Solar works with partners in Kenya that do the installation work, liaison in terms of choosing schools and in addition can help with maintenance.

And there is more!!!  October 24-25 there will be a Creation We Share Solar training event in Creation’s San Jose Business Unit.  Creation representatives from various business units and Creation Design Services will be on hand to learn how to lead suitcase building workshops. They will eventually host workshops with children in their home cities. Look for future updates on these events!

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

A “Best-Kept Secret” Enters the Spotlight

Creation Technologies Spotlighted on CBC's The Early Edition
Creation Technologies Spotlighted on CBC’s The Early Edition

When I came into the office this morning I was immediately approached by several people… Had I heard The Early Edition with Rick Cluff and Chris Carter this morning on my drive to work? Well no, I hadn’t.

Creation Technologies had been spotlighted!

I think I blinked a few times as I digested the news. Not because Creation isn’t worth the media attention! But as a “high tech-business story that’s one of BC’s best kept secrets” (Chris’s words), we don’t often find ourselves on the news.

Chris, a licensed Portfolio Manager with ScotiaMcLeod, is a fixture in Vancouver’s broadcast news media who provides daily business news and market updates for the CBC. (The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is Canada’s national public TV and radio broadcaster, around since 1936).

Turns out that Chris had interviewed our co-founder and current Chairman, Geoff Reed, a few weeks ago. Geoff’s description of the early days at Creation – a couple of guys buying a division of a larger struggling company, then losing the biggest customer on the first day – and then how Creation has grown to over $550 million with 3,000 people around the world 22 years later, piqued Chris’s interest.

Chris offers up one of the better short descriptions of the EMS Industry that I’ve heard. In under 5 minutes, he also talks about offshoring trends, small business ventures, how a culture of togetherness can enable success, and how the fear of paying back your inlaws can impact your life.

Take 5 minutes to listen to Chris’s peek inside Creation and the EMS industry, here:
Creation Technologies on CBC’s Early Edition

The Changing Medical Devices Landscape: Compliance & Social Media

Medical Devices: Creation Technologies Receives FDA Registration
FDA Registration increasingly important in OEM-EMS Provider relationships

One of Creation’s fastest growing segments is the Medical Devices market, and it’s an extremely exciting one.

Compliance & Innovation

For many reasons, it’s clear that the Medical industry is being transformed. I don’t think it can be overstated that, now more than ever, strong partnerships between OEM and EMS provider are critical to innovation and time-to-market.

After all, as the demand chain goes, so must the supply.

Fundamentally, the need for compliance is at the forefront. With the recent changes in FDA requirements for medical device registration and listing, more contract manufacturers will be seeking FDA registration to prove compliance capabilities.

(A small plug: recently, Creation’s Mississauga business unit became our 4th North American manufacturing facility with FDA registration. 12 of our13 manufacturing business units are ISO 13485-certified, and Creation Design Services is both ISO 13485 and ISO 14971-certified. You can read the press release here: Creation Technologies Receives FDA Registration).

At the same time that increasingly exacting regulatory requirements are challenging Medical Device manufacturers to keep raising the Quality bar (how high is high?), technological innovation continues to drive industry innovation.

For instance, the potential of micro electromechanical systems (MEMs) and the trend toward personalization are inspiring the new era of Connected Health, or the transformation of healthcare as we’ve known it through the increasing use of new wireless technologies.

For EMS providers like Creation that have extensive Communications experience, this intersection of what were once distinct vertical markets is exhilarating. And, of this subset of EMS providers, those with sophisticated Design capabilities have the opportunity to play an absolutely vital role in design and development of new modalities.

Medical Devices & Social Media
How will innovations in communication change the Medical Devices industry?

Social Media & The FDA

At Creation, we’ve seen our Medical OEM partners taking a more holistic view of patient care, which is one of the things enabling them to outpace their competition in this environment.

But is there such a thing as too inclusive, too “customer-centric” when it comes to the Medical Devices industry?

On the subject of personalization and ‘on demand’ use, it’s fascinating from a marketing and communications standpoint to see the breadth and type of information that’s being shared today in this highly regulated industry.

There’s an interesting interview with Tom Abrams, Director of the FDA Office of Prescription Drug Promotion, about the potential impact of social media and the much-awaited FDA guidance on its use (possibly slated for summer 2014).

As someone involved with social media and digital communications strategy, I was struck by one of Abrams’ comments:

“Our objective is that when you present claim information, it should be balanced with appropriate material, such as risk information. It should not just say all good things about a product and leave out the risk.”

While the focus of the interview is primarily on how pharmaceutical companies are using social media to communicate with their consumer audience, what strikes me is that Abrams is calling for a ‘balanced approach’ to social media use in the Medical sector.

Current information consumption statistics tell us that the longer the message is, the more diminishing the returns. (On that note, I hope you’re still reading!!) Similarly, many social media platforms have a very short character limit for updates in order to maximize activity and optimize the user experience from an architecture standpoint.

While this is almost certainly a chicken-and-egg scenario, the fact remains that attention spans are dwindling and so ‘balanced’ approaches are highly uncommon. Hit ‘em hard, hit ‘em fast, and with just one key message. Not several. Not inclusive, and balanced.

I’m very curious to see what the FDA’s social media guidelines will entail, and how people and companies will respond.

What do you think? How will this increased focus on compliance – in production and communication – affect a company’s ability to innovate? Will Medical Device manufacturers be thwarted in their quest to connect with the patient to develop solutions that best fit their needs? Or will avenues like expanded at-home diagnostics revolutionize the industry?

Welcome to the Creation Blog!

Welcome to The Creation Blog
Though it will evolve over time, we expect Creation’s blog to cover a variety of topics
that we hope you’ll find relevant and interesting!

Over the last year, I’ve really come to appreciate the power of social media and the opportunities to share my experiences and learn from others.

Now, we’re really looking forward to bringing this same kind of powerful, open discussion to the online community of which Creation is a part.

Through our blog and other social media platforms, we can now offer additional ways of connecting people—our customers and potential customers, people, friends and partners—to great ideas. We’re also excited to have a way to connect with the extended industry community and form new relationships.

We have people with varying backgrounds from across Creation and our partners set to share their experiences and knowledge. We also invite you to contact us if you are interested in contributing!

We hope that you will join us as our blog grows and evolves.

Connect with Creation Technologies Online!

We’d love to connect with you through our new Creation blog and other social media platforms. You can connect using the links below or anytime via our website at www.creationtech.com.

Creation Blog: http://blog.creationtech.com
Creation on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/creation-technologies
Creation on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/creationtech
Creation on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/creation.technologies
Creation on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/CreationTechnologies

Why Social Media for Creation?

Our goal is to bring our customers, partners and people together through shared interests. We are teaming up to share our experiences from such topics as the art of manufacturing, lean thinking, best practices, team-building, industry and technology, wellness, recruitment and retention strategy, leadership, and even our best chili recipes.

We’re looking forward to hearing back from you and having you share your thoughts.

We hope that you subscribe to the blog by email or by RSS or check back often, and we look forward to some great discussion!

What topics would you like to see us cover on our blog? Do you blog?

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