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Sunday, 29 April 2012 20:00

Michigan 50 Companies to Watch: Criterion Manufacturing Solutions

Written by  MiBiz Staff
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Founded: 1987
Location: Comstock Park
Top Executive: Jeanne Rathbun, CEO
Primary Business: OEM, automated systems, manufacturing solutions
Employees: 20 full-time equivalent in 2011; 22 in 2012

Criterion designs and manufactures automation equipment, particularly programmable motion technology used in cutting machines, measurement machines and robotic parking systems. Last year, the company helped develop an automated parking system for a medical center in California.

How have you managed to grow your company?

By leveraging the talents of our staff to develop solutions for a wide variety of industries. Criterion has repeatedly developed innovative solutions for our customers’ automation needs. Each project increases our experience and presence in that industry.

How did you survive the recession?

Several years ago we began diversifying into new markets.   We also maintained and even increased our staff so we were prepared for new opportunities when the market increased.

What’s the largest challenge you have in your business?

Controlling the growth of our company and managing the challenges that significant growth presents. This includes changes in processes and infrastructure as we transition from being a local supplier to an international supplier.

What’s the best entrepreneurial advice you’ve received?

Develop a team of advisors who will help you think through your ideas and decisions.

How do you innovate in your company?

When our team of mechanical, electrical, software and civil engineers combine their knowledge and experience, more effective products, processes and ideas are inevitable. We foster this collaboration by keeping each member of the team involved throughout the design and implementation process. Innovation occurs naturally as opportunities are presented then analyzed from many different perspectives. We strive to carry this product innovation into the entire culture of the company by continually asking: “How can this be done better.”

What’s your company’s biggest opportunity?

Our development of eValet, an automated parking system, allows Criterion to enter a quickly growing market. We also have had the opportunity to automate production processes for Boeing from which we anticipate additional growth.  In addition, we continue to increase our revenue for our other product lines and specialized automation equipment.

Read 2116 times Last modified on Tuesday, 07 August 2012 10:10

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