Explore North America’s Largest Annual Medtech Event

What are you doing February 6-8, 2018? How about coming by to visit with people from Creation Technologies manufacturing and design teams at Booth 546 at Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) West ?

It’s going to be quite an event this year, and we’re really looking forward to reconnecting with industry friends as well as meeting new people. MD&M West is always a great place to solve existing challenges and be inspired by everything new in the MedTech industry.

At MD&M West you’ll find the largest showcase of MedTech suppliers in the country, plus a full spectrum of solutions across the advanced design and manufacturing supply chain. Whether you’re interested in product design, new materials, intelligent sensors, testing solutions, components, packaging, or anything else needed to bring your concept to market, you can source from more than 2,000 cutting-edge suppliers in a time-saving format. Free presentations, interactive events, and fun activities throughout the expo make this a can’t-miss event.

Featuring its biggest program yet, the MD&M West conference will deliver four tracks of expert-led MedTech education you won’t find anywhere else — plus additional smart manufacturing and 3D printing programs — all with unlimited track hopping.   This year MD&M offers a full day of conferences focused on Medical Device Security.  This rigorous conference program will address security and privacy challenges for connected healthcare devices.

This is your chance to get up to speed with the strategies and techniques that turn concepts into competitive products. Curated with the help of an expert advisory team, this unmatched program is made by the industry for the industry and packed with information crucial to every stage in the development process.

Learn about Creation Technologies’ flexible model, integrated solutions and dedicated Customer-Focused Teams and how we offer a complete customized solution that delivers what our customers need…their way. Creation’s experience and robust systems help OEMs avoid costly surprises, get to market faster and scalability to achieve your business goals.

We would love to meet you and learn more about how we can help you meet your future goals. Drop by Booth #546 and learn how we do it.

You can use our Promo Code:  Special when registering and receive a free Expo Pass or 20% off Conference Pricing

Hope to see you there!


Robots vs. Cobots: Electronics Manufacturing Trends in 2017

Now that the hype around the new year (Chinese New Year included) has settled and resolutions have been broken, people are pretty much back to their regular routines.

While gym traffic may be neutralized, the year is still early and there are exciting things on the horizon.

For us in the electronics industry, the new year means more innovation and finding ways to make manufacturing smarter, faster and more cost efficient. With technology changing daily and manufacturing processes evolving, OEMs and EMS providers constantly have to adapt. But trends are not always limited to technology, it could also be the improvement of processes.

Here are 5 electronics manufacturing trends to look out for in 2017.


1. Riding the IoT Wave

It’s impossible to talk about trends and electronics without mentioning the Internet of Things (IoT). Smart electronic devices being connected to the Internet is nothing new. But the presence of these connected devices will likely soar, as IoT spending is expected to jump from $480 billion in 2016 to $1.7 trillion by 2020. In the EMS industry, this means machines are able to collect more data, allowing them to be more responsive and make better real-time automated decisions. From a supply chain standpoint, the IoT will continue to predict customer demand and always have the appropriate stock of parts and supplies.


2. 3D is Not Just for the Movies

The effort towards faster turnaround times and manufacturing efficiency is being enhanced by 3D printing technology. In 2017, OEMS will likely use 3D more – and use it in a big way. Some industry experts predict that more 3D printing and additive manufacturing processes will be used to make large-scale pieces and final production parts.


3. OEMs in the Market for the Aftermarket

According to a Harvard Business Review study, more than $1 trillion is spent yearly on assets that are already owned. For decades, the sale of aftermarket parts have been controlled by third party resellers and other suppliers. With the margins and demand high, more OEMs are looking to capture a larger slice of that market by investing in inventory and technology that will keep products operating at a high-level for a long period of time.


4. Cobots Take Over

In the ‘80s movie “Back to the Future”, people envisioned the 21st century to be filled with flying cars and robots. While we are not walking side-by-side with robots on the street yet, they are becoming more visible in manufacturing facilities across the globe. But robots are not taking over jobs, they are working side-by-side with manufacturing employees – hence the term “cobots”. The cobots are designed to assist the human worker in completing tasks in an efficient manner. Cobots are expected to increase in 2017 because they are cost-effective, collaborative, productive, and easily adaptable.


5. All Eyes on Risk

Well this one isn’t as exciting as cobots, but something you might see more of in 2017.

No matter the industry, re-evaluating business objectives is always top of mind for companies when transitioning into a new year. In the electronics manufacturing industry, both OEMs and contract manufacturers will put a higher priority on risk management. Manufacturers will focus on supply chain stability and business continuity planning to lessen risk derived from unforeseen market conditions.

So there you have it. Just a few trends to keep in mind as you continue to make strides in 2017. You might want to take your cobot with you though.

3 Keys to a Successful, Large-Scale Product Transfer

For OEMs, switching your manufacturing solution is not as simple as switching your cable provider. Whether you build in-house or are using a contract manufacturer (CM), transferring a family of products to a new facility or partner can be a very complex, time-consuming, and expensive process.

With so many factors to consider – from cost to assessing manufacturing capabilities and engineering expertise – just qualifying and selecting a new contract manufacturer can take several months alone.

Time is money and the faster the transition, the better.


3 Keys to Product Transfer Success


1. Have a Product Transfer Roadmap – With Many Checkpoints

Coming up with a detailed transfer plan may sound obvious, but many OEMs underestimate the impact that expert project management has on executing a large-scale product transfer. For a company that has multiple product lines to transfer, there are many concurrent timelines that need to be addressed.

A strategic, clear and documented plan from the get-go helps manage the various moving parts. Consistent communication with all the appropriate stakeholders can be especially difficult considering the number of teams involved in a large-scale transfer of products.

It is also important to have a project management system that tracks timelines, checklists, and stores key documents.

If you’re outsourcing, verify that your EMS partner has a tool that captures detailed and strategic actions and milestones, and will drive regularly scheduled meetings to keep your project on schedule. Your company will have full visibility during the process and specific processes are guaranteed to be addressed, improved, and executed on.


2. Assess Early to Incorporate Improvements

The opportunity to improve is why most OEMs choose to switch their manufacturing strategy. This is why selecting an EMS partner with experience and the appropriate resources is so vital to your long-term success.

In the planning stage of the transfer, your EMS partner’s engineers can assess existing equipment and test processes, and make recommendations to improve or upgrade.  Your partner’s engineers and supply chain team can also make value engineering recommendations that mitigate your costs and risks and accelerate launch timelines.

Re-evaluating your manufacturing processes with your new EMS partner from the beginning will help identify gaps in documentation, streamline your supply chain, and make the necessary enhancements to your equipment and facilities.


3. If You’re Outsourcing, Make Sure It’s Not a CM’s First Rodeo

A large-scale product transfer is a gargantuan task. Depending on a variety of factors, like the number of products, the complexity of the manufacturing and test, and the complexity of the supply chain and fulfillment model, transitioning to a new partner or in-house facility can take as long as a year to complete.

Partnering with an inexperienced contract manufacturer can lead to both strategic and tactical mistakes that will cost your company time and resources.

EMS partners with good track records are able to understand the needs of the OEM and map out a strategic transfer plan and execute it on schedule. They will have the expertise to provide recommendations, understand regulatory requirements and cost implications of the decisions you will have to make along the way.  (We all know that nothing ever goes exactly as planned!)

Most importantly, an experienced EMS provider will know how to communicate effectively and proactively with their customer throughout the transition, and offer guidance and program management leadership every step of the way.

At Creation, we routinely accelerate product transfers for OEMs with multiple product lines, many of which have complex designs and programs.

In our experience, we have learned that these 3 Keys to Product Transfer Success streamline the product transfer process, especially a large-scale one, making it as efficient and cost-effective as possible. In the end, that makes all the difference.

Achieving Success in a Complex Sales Cycle

Sales Funnel Infographic. Vector illustration

New business has been referred to as the lifeblood of the company for good reason.  Without it, companies cease to exist.

So why is it that there’s often a negative stigma associated with the sales craft?


Pressure and Performance

Like in any other profession, in sales there are exceptional, average and bad performers.  Many of us take on the responsibility of keeping people at our company employed, and at the same time keeping our families fed.  With this responsibility comes tremendous pressure.

Sometimes this pressure makes people do desperate things.  This is where some poor sales performers compromise their integrity for “a sale”.

Great sales people, on the other hand, are constantly focused on how to help customers solve problems.  They draw on their integrity to help handle the pressure, and if their solution isn’t the best fit they do their best to point the customer in an alternate direction.

I have spent half of my career in customer-facing roles and the other half supporting people on the frontline.  I understand that my reputation as a sales person is all I have, and that if it were ever compromised – in the market or at my company, Creation Technologies – so is my ability to keep people employed and feed my family.

That’s all well and good, Kathy, you might be thinking. But having integrity and having fun doing what you love don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

You’re right.  Especially when finding the best solution for your customer takes time.


The Importance of Business Development in EMS

In the Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) industry, our sales cycle is an average 12-18 months from when an opportunity is identified, and can be much longer.  That’s a long time for a business development team to wait to know if we’ve met customer, company and personal metrics.

To address this dilemma, my team and I spent some time identifying some of the quantitative activities for each stage in the sales process that help us know we are on track.  Are we “winning every day”?

Our list helps us motivate ourselves and each other. It keeps us productive and focused on the right things, like:

  • Did I identify a new OEM I think Creation can help?
  • Did I think win-win through a difficult conversation?
  • Did I leverage my network to help someone else, or did someone else help me?
  • Did I make a new contact?
  • Did I learn something new about our market, company or potential customer?
  • Did I hear from an existing customer how happy they are that they chose Creation?

Thinking about the process in this way has helped us use the momentum we build early to endure through the long sales cycle, and ultimately feels fantastic when our customer selects us as their solution provider.

Lao Tzu said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

In our business, I think every win is the result of a many small victories.


But what about that Sales Stigma??

I like to think of it this way. Because sales is so critical in every company, it makes sense that sales people are highly scrutinized.

As business development professionals, if we stay on track and help our teams celebrate the little things, those often-criticized poor performers will stop drawing so much attention away from the great performers.

I tip my hat to all those road warriors out there giving it their best for their teammates and families every day.  And for everyone supporting them, Thank You!


What are some of the small wins in your business that keep you motivated?  I guarantee you have probably already done something that has made a difference.  You just need to celebrate it.


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.




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.


Risk and Mindshare (And Other Key Factors in OEM-EMS Relationships)

Take the time up front to ensure that there’s cultural and business alignment. Key to finding a good fit here are the concepts of mindshare and risk mitigation.

Because of factors like ever-increasing supply chain complexity and rapid technological advancement, I think it’s quite clear that today’s OEMs who are outsourcing their electronics manufacturing and product development need a partner with:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Appropriate technical expertise
  • Relevant industry experience
  • Strong quality and business systems
  • Teams in the right locations to support the business requirements

But over the course of my 30 years in the electronics industry, I’ve come to realize that there are other key factors in OEM-EMS relationships…if they’re going to have staying power.

Here are 3 of them.

3 Key Factors in OEM-EMS Relationships

  1. Both companies need a long-term partnership mindset. This is the only way to get past common hurdles in this industry that stem from a fundamental lack of trust and understanding. It’s also the only way to form partnerships that teach us and help us improve.
  2. As the service provider, the EMS company must always be seeking out strategies that will make their customers more competitive. At Creation, we are constantly looking to see what more we can do, other than “normal” EMS.
  3. Taking the time up front to ensure that there’s cultural and business alignment. Key to finding a good fit here are the concepts of mindshare and risk mitigation.
How do you identify the right balance between mindshare and risk in a business relationship?
How do you identify the right balance between mindshare and risk in a business relationship?

Why Risk and Mindshare?

In any important relationship, business or personal, would you rather be an afterthought or a focal point?

Personally, I’d rather know that my partner thinks and cares about me and my future.

I’d like to know that I’m a priority, and that my risk of getting hurt from carelessness or lack of consideration is at a minimum.

And it happens that our company, Creation Technologies, is in the business of ensuring our customers’ success by providing mindshare as a critical piece of the partnerships we build.

Watch the video below to learn more about how Creation’s take on risk and mindshare was highlighted to a broad business audience.


What are key factors for you in successful relationships, EMS, business, or otherwise? Feel free to share in the comments.

I love to talk about strategies to build relationships and help our customers succeed. Please contact me any time if you’d like to chat!

Future of the EMS Industry: San Jose State University Robotics Class Tour

Students from San Jose State University during EMS Industry information session hosted by SMTA Silicon Valley and Creation Technologies
Students from San Jose State University during EMS Industry information session hosted by SMTA Silicon Valley and Creation Technologies

Knowledge is power, they say.

And education leads to knowledge.

So it only made perfect sense to the SMTA and Ela Pannerselvam, one of our Process Engineers here in Creation – San Jose, to help provide education to San Jose State University (SJSU) students about the great things going on in the Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) industry.

EMS Industry Advocacy and Collaboration

For those not familiar with the organization, the Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA) is an international network of professionals who “build skills, share practical experience and develop solutions in electronic assembly technologies, including microsystems, emerging technologies, and related business operations”.

Ela has been an SMTA member for over 7 years and was an officer for the Silicon Valley Chapter, but he first joined when he was a student.

Like most students in college, Ela explored his options to find out what interested him. He found support, friendship and like-minded people in the SMTA, and the organization enabled him to reach out to professionals that are passionate about the EMS industry.

Ela considers it crucial to his career success that he grasped the early importance of getting to know the EMS industry and networking. Today, as a successful professional with knowledge to share, Ela’s able to help the SMTA return the favor to new people to the industry.

When the Silicon Valley SMTA Chapter proposed an onsite session to expose the future generation of engineers to the fairly unknown EMS industry in the college community, Ela volunteered Creation Technologies – San Jose as a great place to host an exciting joint event.

A Peek inside a Successful Silicon Valley EMS Provider

The SMTA-Creation event was held on a lovely Wednesday night in the Valley.

This wasn’t the first time either of our Creation manufacturing facilities in Northern California has opened our doors for students, (we love our “Bring-Your-Kids-to-Work Days”)! But this was the first time we’d opened our facility for College students.

Professor Winncy Du and her SJSU Robotics class joined us for a short introduction to learn the basics about the EMS industry and a little about Creation Technologies. A lot of the students had heard about the EMS industry, but they didn’t possess much knowledge beyond a few facts and some theoretical concepts.

Following the intro came a tour of our manufacturing facility, and we were excited to show the theory in action to our visitors and give them a first-hand look at the EMS industry’s strong presence in California.

During the tour of our production floor, the SJSU students were very enthusiastic and had many questions on a variety of topics such as solder applications, 5DX/AOI and validation/verification.
These were answered by our own group of dedicated SJSU engineering alumni—Khalid Mahmood, Shuo Cao and Steven Chun.

Following the tour, our San Jose General Manager, Eldon Regua, was on hand for a discussion session and some words of wisdom.

Was the event successful? I believe so!

We were able to open up the doors to these future leaders in our industry, both literally and figuratively, and learn from them what might drive new passion in the next decades.

We hope the SJSU Robotics class will consider Creation Technologies and the EMS industry in general as exciting career paths when they graduate.

With such a successful first event, we’d love to host next year’s SJSU class, too!

Similarly, we want to reach out to other colleges and universities out there in the Bay Area. Are there other institutions who’d like their students to get some hands-on knowledge and excitement from the EMS sector? Let me know!

Students are part of the next generation that shapes the fabric of our industry. As business leaders, it’s our responsibility to look for ways to build and cultivate our relationship with academia.

What are other ways we can connect to the student community?



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