True Manufacturing Partners

Written by Jen Hocken

Cirtronics Corporation is a contract manufacturer offering extensive expertise and experience in manufacturing complex and quality-sensitive products. From engineering services to fulfillment, Cirtronics tailors its fully integrated manufacturing Precision Engagement® processes and services to ensure each customer’s needs are met.
Cirtronics serves its customers with seamless project evolution from design reviews to production, testing, aftermarket support and fulfillment—and each step is tailored specifically to meet the needs of each customer. Dedication to customer-focused service, combined with purposeful, proactive communication is what Precision Engagement® is all about.

“Contract Manufacturing requires precise attention to detail. Each customer has different needs and that’s why Precision Engagement® matters. We don’t try to force fit projects into pre-defined programs and processes. Instead, we tailor our services to support the goals of each customer and project. Our attention to detail and our dedication to customer satisfaction are truly part of our culture and are obvious in every interaction from sales to fulfillment,” says David Patterson, COO of Cirtronics.

Cirtronics was founded in 1979 in Milford, New Hampshire by Gerardine Ferlins. Cirtronics’ foundation is built on the idea that each individual holds unique potential and that the organization’s role is to identify and develop that potential through ongoing collaboration and engagement. The company’s mission is to serve and continually improve under its DUO (Do Unto Others) philosophy. DUO is practiced in every interaction with each of the “6 We Serve”: Customer, Corporation, Employee, Supplier, Environment and Community.

“It’s beyond just coming to work every day and doing one core part of your job. It’s about being part of a community and a family, and that is where the culture of Cirtronics is unique,” says Stephanie Gronvall, Director of Marketing. To ensure this culture flourishes, a career development center, the Cirtronics Learning Center, was created as a comprehensive and deliberate approach to grow and maintain the workforce.

Since 2002, Cirtronics has offered an Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP), now at 40 percent ownership. Cirtronics’ culture of ownership runs through all aspects of the organization, extending from relationships with suppliers through shipping of every single product. Employee-owners are direct stakeholders who recognize the customer as an extension of their own business. Dedicated to positive outcomes and proactive engagement, employees bring their best to every interaction with customers and to every decision impacting the company infrastructure and offerings.

“We are so lucky to have the opportunity to co-own a company that truly values its employees and creates such an inclusive, service-based culture,” says Patterson. “As employee-owners, we are truly invested in the success of our customers and of our company.”

Cirtronics has been on an excellent growth path, although suffering the same challenges during 2008 as other companies in the market. Since then, it has continued to grow, adding capital equipment, expanding training, increasing staff, and manufacturing new products for existing customers, while forging relationships in a variety of markets including robotics and security. The majority of business for the company comes from the medical, industrial, aerospace and military and robotics markets.

Cirtronics is always serving multiple customers, and tailors its offerings to fit their specific needs. This flexibility is a true differentiator in the marketplace. It also has deliberately cross trained staff, and that creates a level of agility that allows the team to shift personnel to address changes in demand.

Cirtronics shares certain similarities with its competitors; all contract manufactures can build and provide products. Cirtronics, however, invests each year in the latest capital equipment and technology and focuses on serving the customer. “We will work with them to understand their needs before we take on any purchase order to fully grasp what it is they are looking for, and that is what we will deliver on.” And Precision Engagement® shows up very strongly here as well. “Just because we offer ten different services doesn’t mean they have to sign up for all those services,” says Gronvall. We create a program that suits each customer’s needs, with the understanding that as their needs change, we can change to support them. There is no one size fits all—companies at different stages in their product development have different requirements. We want to be as responsive and proactive as possible, so that their experience with us is supportive, positive and easy.”

The level of customization and the extensive discussion prior to starting actual manufacturing is uncommon in the industry. The other unique aspect is the standard of training that employees receive. Although technology and machinery are used to manufacture products, human beings are critical in the process. Cross training is common, and pay is proportional to the level of training received and the skill sets that employees offer.

A few years ago, Cirtronics Learning Center was officially established to focus on both work skills training and to provide an orientation to the core values of the company – so as the company continues to grow, the values are intact, and there is a continuation and awareness of the importance of culture and the supportive team atmosphere. The learning center also helps new employees to feel at home. Part of the education at the center involves the company’s mission to serve and continually improve under its DUO philosophy. This philosophy is used in every interaction with customers, corporations, employees, suppliers, the environment and the community.

One example of its philosophy in action in its providing of employees with thirty hours per year of paid volunteer time. “We want to give people the opportunity to contribute to causes that are important to them,” Gronvall explains. “By creating paid volunteer time and by highlighting volunteering opportunities, we are able to serve the community. Being involved like this allows a real relationship to be built between our employees and the organizations they serve. It is much more personal, and it feels good to be able to make a real difference.”

Transparency is another differentiator. Along with sharing daily information about shipments vs. sales to all employees, Cirtronics holds quarterly meetings in which it discusses new customers, quality and delivery details. The staff always know where the company is in terms of processing, shipping, delivery and financial stability. Regular emails and visual aids around the facility keep all employees up to date. “The more you keep people informed, the more motivated they are,” explains Stephanie. “We find that being transparent is one of the most important motivators for all of us; we can see the goal, believe in it, see where we are, and make the extra effort necessary to reach it.”

Another difference is that all input is welcome, and does not require working “up the management ladder.” As part of the fully integrated lean manufacturing philosophy, all staff are encouraged to voice any ideas that may improve production or reduce waste. “We want to make sure that we hear from the people that are building and assembling in production. Everyone in the facility is empowered to do that,” says Gronvall.

With a diverse customer base, the company’s engaged workforce is well positioned to handle the increasingly complex products and deliver on the promise of true partnership.

Cirtronics is a great choice for customers looking to build a strategic, interdependent, collaborative relationship with their contract manufacturer. Precision Engagement® approach means each customer is treated as unique, and solutions are built cooperatively to best serve their needs. Cirtronics: Strong values, a culture of ownership and Precision Engagement®.



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