Better Before Cheaper: Manufacturing Leadership Council Interview with Stan Crossett

December 1, 2015 - Jeff Moad, Manufacturing Leadership Journal

Stan Crossett, Vice President of Manufacturing at Minnetronix, Inc., says manufacturers must deliver differentiating value, not just greater efficiency.

Q: What is your role and focus at your company?

I am the Vice President of Manufacturing for Minnetronix, Inc. Minnetronix is a medical technology and innovation company with deep expertise in electronic and electromechanical devices. We create new technologies and therapies that solve unmet clinical and business needs for patients and medical device companies.

Q: What is the most pressing issue facing the manufacturing industry today?

I think a chief concern is the potential for further commoditization of the manufacturing industry. If the industry focus is overwhelmingly centered on efficiency and driving down cost without creating differentiating value, customers will continue to commoditize manufacturing and squeeze margins. To successfully position themselves in the market, I believe companies need to follow the three rules prescribed by Michael Raynor in his book, The Three Rules: How Exceptional Companies Think: Better before cheaper, revenue before cost; there are no other rules.

Q: What is the most important corporate initiative you are involved in at the moment?

I am focused on enhancing our continuous improvement platform to create differentiating value within the medical device industry.

Q: What will be the most important leadership qualities to possess in the future?

Industry leaders will need strong business acumen and the ability to strategically use Big Data to assess position and leverage market opportunities.

Q: What will be the greatest opportunities for manufacturers over the next five years?

One area of opportunity will be leveraging human intelligence to assess Big Data and to meet the increasing consumer demand for instant order gratification. The potential exists for a manufacturing model where individually managed, focused factories located around the country are integrated into distribution centers. These factories could produce and ship product hours after orders are placed. This model will allow a unique set of skilled workers to operate as decisionmakers who are connected to a larger network of thinking data sources, enabling them to meet market demand while achieving corporate goals.

Q: What is your favorite activity outside of work or the last book you read?

I enjoy spending time with my family, going to our cabin in Wisconsin, and working on and fabricating parts for vintage go-karts. Recently I read Novation: Strategy for Career Management by Gene W. Dalton, which defines the stages of contribution as individuals navigate their corporate careers.