Here’s a list of some of our favorite blogs, forums and Twitter pages that you may find interesting as well. Make sure to let us know if we missed any of your favorites!
More evidence that social media is here to stay, and connecting every part of our lives. An article in a recent issue of the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement
(IDGA) newsletter noted that the US Department of Defense (DoD) has relaxed prior restrictions on the use of social media by military personnel and that Admiral Mike Mullen, who is chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the top U.S. military officer, has aTwitter feed
with more than 16,000 followers.
I attended the Plastics News Executive Forum “Managing for Recovery” held March 7-10 and heard many interesting insights on the state of the economy, emerging markets, M&A activity and best practices. Of all the great information presented, I gained the most insight from the panel discussion on “Challenges & Opportunities” in the medical devices market. Alex Mastorakos, Global Sourcing Director – Plastics, Boston Scientific, was particularly insightful laying out what he felt defined a strategic partnership:
Common Vision – You need to align yourself with a partner that has a similar strategy and growth plan.
- Trust – In order for the relationship to be successful, you need to establish and maintain a level of trust, including full disclosure.
- Performance/Continuous Improvement – The culture has to be metrics-driven and focused on continuous improvement.
- People – The relationship has to be easy. You need to put the right people in front of the customer. Just because Ms. Jones has a PhD from MIT, doesn’t mean she should be the one in front interacting with customers. Either the relationship is easy, or it isn’t. The relationship needs to be easy. Period.
- Proactive Culture – Don’t just sit on your hands. Add value to the customer relationship by educating, reducing costs, or providing more value to the customer. The firms that are proactive and out in front with their customers are going to be the most successful because they are truly acting as a partner, not a vendor.
Great advice from a marketing leader in the medical device arena. I left the conference invigorated, as it reinforced my conviction that Kaysun is already on the right track building strategic partnerships with our clients.
On March 5th, Kaysun participated in the “Medical Device Collaborative Gathering” in Green Bay organized by WiSys, the University of Wisconsin’s technology transfer program.
During my panel on “Best Practices to Identify Opportunities and Obtain Resources to Move an Idea Forward,” I provided input on business development, business planning and engaging contract manufacturers in design. We fielded many questions about FDA compliance issues and choosing manufacturing and distribution partners.
One point this experience reinforced for me was the long time-to-market cycle for medical devices. Attendees said it is typically 2-5 years from conception to market, depending on how highly regulated the device is. This has two implications for Kaysun. The first is partners that can help reduce cycle times can differentiate themselves and add great value to their customers. The second is that to best serve the medical device market requires a commitment in both time and effort to help bring the product to market. It was affirming to know that our engineering expertise, combined with advanced automation and testing capabilities represent a strong offering for medical device companies.
A capacity crowd attended the event last week, promoting great opportunities for networking and building new relationships. Several Kaysun suppliers and a local product development company were in attendance. I always enjoy getting together with our partners and especially enjoy following up on new referrals to build our mutual success.
Thanks to Aurora BayCare for hosting the event.
Last week I had the pleasure of getting back in the classroom as I attended an MBA Sponsorship Day held at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management on behalf of our VP of Manufacturing Keith Bridgford. It was great getting back into an academic setting and getting out of the daily work routine. I attended a great negotiations class held by Professor Leigh Thompson where I learned the hard way that closing a deal requires a fair amount of give and take and will ultimately yield a greater economic outcome for both parties than trying to strong arm your way to a one-sided outcome. I then attended a Marketing lecture from former Kellogg Dean Dipak C. Jain that highlighted the fact that anybody is capable of doing amazing things if you are willing to work hard at treating others like you would want to be treated.
I left Kellogg inspired to refocus my efforts on continued education while managing the current demands of my job, family, etc. It’s so important to guard against complacency. Continuing education is necessary for any business leader as the growth of the organization is largely predicated on the growth of its leadership.