May 24, 2017

Carl G. Anderson, Jr. ’67, Partner, Cannondale Partners, LLC on Manufacturing

Carl Anderson presented several business cases to emphasize a critical point: understanding the customer is essential for success and to remain competitive. Early in his career Anderson worked for Proctor and Gamble. He gave the example of Tide, one of the biggest names in consumer products. His story of how scientists went door-to-door talking with homeowners and testing out their laundry showed not only how important it is to monitor multiple perspectives about a product, but also to test a product over time.

Anderson also represented the importance of understanding the problem and listening to the customer using the example of the catheter manufactured by Arrow International. He mentioned that Arrow would talk to doctors and nurses to see how they used the product. These lessons are applicable in any field of business and for any product.

Anderson related the challenge of locating and constructing a production facility. He noted that one of the major challenges of building a new plant in the United States was the delays required to comply with government regulations. As CEO of Arrow International, he chose the Czech Republic as the site for a new production facility. He explained this decision was in part because of its abundance of skilled workers, especially engineers.