I Am Merit: Brandon Beck

Brandon presenting a manufacturing flow chart for an NPI project.

Brandon Beck, Senior Engineer for Merit Malvern, Pennsylvania, USA

My story here began 20 years ago: I started working here in the now “Merit Malvern” office twenty years ago, right after graduating from Penn State University. When I started it was Thomas Medical and I was a supervisor who worked on the team that built the Classic Sheath, a device for implanting leads for pacemakers and defibrillators. Years later we were acquired by GE Healthcare and then in December 2012, by Merit Medical. Now I’m a Senior Manufacturing Engineer, which means I look after our manufacturing processes to ensure efficiencies and quality, including ECN’s and validations. I review work that others produce and mentor other engineers so they can grow in their professions.

Thomas, then GE, then Merit: The transitions from company to company has been a positive experience. There’s a group of us who have been together for 15-20 years and have gone through these transitions together, making it all feel familiar. However, looking back over the past 20 years, I have been presented with so many varying opportunities and challenges. My goals from day-to-day and year-to-year are never the same. This has made working here feel new, exciting and challenging all the time.

What do you enjoy most about being a Manufacturing Engineer: I love solving problems all day long. Sometimes I feel like a CSI investigator. I love to fix and improve things so I spent many months training to receive my Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma Black Belt certifications. Several years ago, we found that we were carrying six months of inventory for one of our most popular products. Utilizing lean and six sigma techniques and working with a team to determine how to reduce waste – we reduced the number of people working on that line by half and now only carry a two week inventory. These efficiencies benefit Merit and our customers.

Tell us about a project you feel most proud of: I’m proud of many of the projects I’ve worked on but the first one that comes to mind is the Steerable Sheath. I was the lead manufacturing engineer working with R&D and it was the first new project coming out of R&D Malvern incorporating lean manufacturing techniques. The steerable sheath is the most complex product we’ve built in Malvern because it has the most parts and several new unique processes. We’re already at 98% yield and labor is the smallest portion of the cost of the product.

After work: I married my wife Meredith the same week I was hired by Thomas Medical, 20 years ago, and my marriage and my career here are still going strong! Meredith and I have three teenagers – two sons and a daughter. Matthew is in college and Christopher and Sarah are in high school. I love hockey and played ice hockey at Penn State. But my real hobby passion is disc golf. Disc golf allows me to see beautiful places while playing a competitive and fun sport. I look forward to playing disc golf at the Solitude Mountain Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon next time I am in Utah to visit HQ.

Merit Medical to Exhibit Dialysis Product Line at Controversies in Dialysis (CiDA) Conference in New Orleans, October 29-30, 2015

The world’s premier dialysis access conference will be held in New Orleans, LA. We look forward to meeting the attendees who come to CiDA to discuss unique techniques and devices for hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis access.

Merit Medical’s full suite of innovative dialysis products are designed to help improve your patient’s quality of life when treating end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

Our comprehensive dialysis product line features long-term hemodialysis catheters and peritoneal dialysis implantation kits, catheters, and accessories. These products are designed to meet the unique clinical needs of the ESRD patient.

For every step of your dialysis procedure, Merit Medical offers high-quality products for dialysis therapy. From preparation to intervention, our products will help you achieve the clinical, economical, and procedural efficiency that is essential for delivering the best possible care.

We look forward to seeing you at CiDA!

Nate Smith
Senior Product Manager
Hemodialysis

Lynette Ruppel
Senior Product Manager
Peritoneal Dialysis

I Am Merit: Michelle Molin-Savelkoul

Michelle Molin-Savelkoul
Manager, Customer Service for Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA)
photo: Leon Vrijdag Fotografie

Tell us about managing Merit Medical’s Customer Service for all of Europe, Middle East and Africa: I manage Merit Medical’s customer service for our distributors, direct customers (hospitals) as well as the tender department for all of Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia (EMEA). When I started (on November 3, 2008), there were three of us in the Distributor Customer Service department for EMEA and approximately 20 people at our facility. Over the past 7 years the number of employees increased to just over 60 people and I now manage 24 customer service employees, soon to be 25 before the end of this year!

I work from our European Headquarters in beautiful Maastricht in the very southern region of The Netherlands on the border of Belgium and Germany.

Tolerance is Key for EMEA Customer Service: The biggest (and most rewarding) challenge for our EMEA Customer Service team is working with 75 countries that speak 12 different languages. This includes 14 countries that sell direct to hospitals and 61 distributor countries. Our team services 1,830 external customers and 75 Merit EMEA sales representatives! Our team speaks Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Swedish, Russian, English, French, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Finnish and Italian and at all times we need to make sure that someone who speaks that language is available to speak with customers calling in.

Tolerance is a very important trait to have when you work in EMEA customer service because we must be familiar with and sensitive to so many different cultures. So I’m sensitive to having a team with a good vibe and I look for people who can maintain a sense of humor while managing so many customers and nationalities.

On why it’s all important to Michelle: I once had a job opportunity to work for a company in a different industry. It didn’t feel important to me – medical devices save lives, they are important and that’s why I love this industry. This was confirmed recently when my husband David suddenly had a heart attack at age 39. Products like the ones that Merit manufactures saved his life. We got married this past weekend after 15 years of being together. I would trust Merit products to go into my husband’s body – I know that we make the highest quality and we do everything we can to produce the best we can.

What about Merit do you enjoy: Merit has a family feeling, it’s like a second home. The people in this company give you that second family feeling. And Customer Service feels to me like the center of everything. We provide all of the information to planning so they can ensure products ship on time, to finance, to logistics, to regulatory, to marketing, to the customer, internally and externally. To them we are the face of Merit.

I have especially enjoyed working with Justin Lampropoulos – he helped me move up from distributor customer service representative to my current position as Customer Service Manager for EMEA. He has motivated me all along the way. His vision for Merit to be the most customer-focused company has been my mantra for our EMEA customer service team – give every country what they need – do anything and everything we can for the customer. That’s what makes Merit very unique in our industry.

After work: On the weekends I love to take my two daughters horseback riding. Yadira is 11 and Yuna is 8. Horses really help me to destress from the week and it’s an activity we love doing together.