How did your experience as a Navy lieutenant shape the professional you are today? There are many ways that my years as a Naval aviator shaped me. The biggest things I have carried into my professional career are: (a) Keep the strategy simple; (b) Prioritize the actions that will ensure the success of the strategy; (c) Continually communicate what everyone’s role is to ensure the success of the strategy; and (d) Evaluate the effectiveness of the strategy and adjust as necessary.
What path led you to a career in the healthcare industry? I grew up in a family that was involved in healthcare, and in college I studied biology, which is what initially drew me to healthcare after I got out of the Navy. What has kept me in it is that it is a place where I can make a difference. Healthcare has changed dramatically, and healthcare providers are struggling to ensure they are providing the best possible care while controlling expenditures. At Ortho, I feel that we are approaching the issue from a different perspective. We are focused on providing a portfolio that offers our customers efficiency by allowing them to control their inputs, optimize their testing processes, and provide them with trusted results.
Can you give our readers more information about the Ortho neXT Tour?
Laboratory professionals and hospital executives are increasingly pressed for time and resources. We have solutions for them but realize they cannot always make it to the big trade shows and conferences to experience our latest products and services. So, we’re excited to have put the Ortho experience on wheels and we’re traveling straight to their front door.
The neXT Tour is a 46-week tour of labs and hospitals in the United States. It’s centered around our next-generation clinical lab solution, the VITROS XT 7600 Integrated System, but it covers the complete Ortho portfiolio, including the ORTHO VISION Analyzer for the transfusion medicine lab, Informatics Solutions for data management, and the company’s Ortho Care customer service and support.
Ortho has a longstanding commitment to sustainability. Can you give some examples? A prime example goes right to the heart of our business—and that is our VITROS Systems for the clinical lab. They do not require plumbing to operate, which helps our customers reduce their environmental footprint. Another reason is that VITROS Systems use Ortho’s proprietary multi-slide technology, in which a sample is dropped onto a dry, postage stamp-sized slide that contains the reagent.
So, as you can see, protecting the environment and advancing sustainability go hand-in-hand with our purpose of improving and saving lives through diagnostics. We are committed to operating in a manner that supports the environmental health of the communities in which we operate and the sustainability of the planet.
Aside from making water savings easier for our customers, our own practices also are emblematic of our philosophy. If you drive up to our global headquarters in Raritan, NJ, you’ll see an illustration of that: acres of solar panels on the front lawn. The solar panels alone offset 2,010,401 kilowatts, which is enough to power nearly 200 homes.
What can you share about Ortho ON DEMAND training programs? This is another area where we’re getting closer to our customers. We have been partnering with several customers, as well as key opinion leaders, to bring category trends, topics of interest, and best practices to labs around the world. Ortho ON DEMAND enables us to create a forum for ongoing education that can be delivered any time worldwide.
What are Ortho’s predictive technologies and how are laboratorians benefiting from them? Our predictive technologies are centered on our proprietary e-Connectivity technology, which enables us to track how our analyzers and assays are performing and how customers are utilizing them. We have also built a customer portal where customers can log in and see high-level tracking and detailed reports on how their analyzers are performing. With this data, they can focus on how to better control and optimize the laboratory operations and performance. It’s part of a wider focus on customer service and support. When you buy an Ortho analyzer, we are ready to offer you the support you need and deserve—and we take pride in that.
There is often a disconnect between sales and marketing teams. How aligned are Ortho’s sales and marketing teams and how often do you get to interact with the customer? Alignment and communications are two things that always need to be focused on. Critical to the alignment is everyone being clear on the strategy and everyone knowing their role in contributing to its success. The second part is to see the effectiveness of the strategy and ensuring it is meeting our customer’s needs; you cannot do that behind a desk at the corporate office. My team and I travel extensively to customer sites to make sure we understand their goals and challenges and to get direct feedback as to how well we are meeting their needs and where we need to improve.
You work in a very competitive industry. What has Ortho done to focus on quality over quantity? Ortho has always been known for quality and it is ingrained in our culture. Our value proposition focuses on differentiating on efficiency; as such we know that we have to provide a high-quality product to our customers. We utilize our e-Connectivity technology to track and trend how our products are performing in the field and how our customers are utilizing them. With those insights, we have been able to make sure that the specifications of our products and product release testing matches our customers’ needs and expectations.