The Sussex Solution Episode 2: Medical Molding
In this episode of The Sussex Solution we are talking all about Medical Molding and how Sussex has expanded to meet our customers’ needs. Join us as we chat with Business Development Manager, Greg Gierach, about our recent ISO Class 8 Cleanroom addition and learn about our post-molding expertise.
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The team of medical molding experts here at Sussex are driving our expansion into the medical market. A key member of that team is business development manager Greg Gierach who you met in this months episode of The Sussex Solution. Learn more about Greg’s medical molding experience and what he is most excited about as Sussex continues to expand our medical molding capabilities.
How long have you worked at Sussex? Did you start out in a different position?
Nine years on May 21, I have always been involved with the commercial team.
What does your job entail?
Account Management of legacy customers
Negotiating Cost Variables and protecting profitability
Analyzing New Products, Markets and Industry Opportunities
New Business Development / Customer Development
Strategic Long-Term Contracts
Developing a strategy for Short and Long Term goals that coincide with available capacity and resource utilization.
As Sussex expands further into the medical market how do your past experiences support this expansion?
You have to be flexible and you have to build a team an surround yourselves with that mindset. There is always a strategy to every program you take on medical related or not, but there is a lot more planning and contingencies to consider. The regulatory requirements make every hurdle more daunting and you have to be prepared to address that inevitable fact. There is a more significant domino effect that occurs.
Resin selection for example has obvious requirements for product performance and process-ability. But now you need to consider regulatory testing, verification / validation of the processing conditions, cost influx, availability and potential second sourcing. In the medical market there are a lot more limitations on what you can physically utilize.
What are the key differences your team is focused on to support medical customers?
From a commercial perspective, there is a significant amount of research; keeping tabs on where the segment is innovating and transitioning, keeping up to speed on regulatory updates and requirements. That leads to your credibility and proficiency at speaking the customer’s language, identifying with their product development and commercialization. This is invaluable when building long term relationships.
What excites you most about the medical market?
A lot. I can break it down to three things.
First, is the amount of opportunity. There is an ever evolving plethora of products. As Healthcare in general is improved there are a host of products that are needed to support that. And on that note, once you are a proven supplier and are fair in the relationship there tends to be a lot more long term loyalty of your customer.
Second, the attention to detail and process. Everything we will do in the clean room is supported by data. This discipline is critical, it will become common practice and it will bleed into other aspects of our business outside of the clean room.
Lastly, and this is the most rewarding part – WE ARE IMPACTING LIVES. This again is true with every product we manufacture – they make our lives more convenient, make our lives more fun, help us clean and cook and do whatever you need to do in everyday life. But in medical molding, we are helping to save lives and make quality of life better for longer. Whether it is drug delivery, components used in the operating room or doctor’s office or a device helping to identify or fight a disease it all starts with the products we make.
What do you like most about your job?
It’s never boring. There are a lot of challenges to develop new business; considering the number of people involved, the variety of processes that we can manage, all of the variables that can come up and timing / costs associated to help make it all happen. Commercializing a new product or executing a transfer program successfully is extremely complex. I am proud to be a part of a team that can consistently ship parts out the door that we see and use everyday.
Are there any specific projects you are working on?
Multi tool transfer program for food storage containers, including multi-shot, assembly, packaging with potential for full 3PL service.
A re-launch of a medical device to minimize the potential of concussions or Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). The device is nearing the completion of the FDA approval process.
A commercial irrigation valve involving a very complex tool design.
Developing a relationship with one of the ‘majors’ in the medical product arena. We are positioned to quote projects in the very near future.
Favorite part about working at SIM?
There are truly a lot of positives at SIM but I would say the people are the highlight. There is something special about being part of a team that impacts so many lives, not only on what this company provides to our employee family but the impact that the products we make have on the world.
There are always challenges and people may have their differences of opinions. It may not always be easy but that is a great thing that makes us unique. It is a testament that we all care about our contribution and have a vested interest in our collective success. We are thorough and professional and our customers appreciate that.