An Interview with Gilero’s Vice President of Business Development
Clayton Roberts joined Gilero in 2019 as the Director of Business Development. He brought with him more than 20 years of experience in component design, molding, and contract manufacturing. Clayton is an essential touchpoint for all current Gilero customers and new business opportunities.
What does the Vice President of Business Development do?
“I lead Gilero’s business development, sales, and marketing efforts. Externally, my key focus is making sure that our customers are fully aware of Gilero’s ever-expanding service offerings and capabilities. Internally, I make sure that customer needs are communicated clearly to internal teams and ultimately ensure that we work to align our company service offerings with customer needs and requests.”
Why did you decide to join the leadership team at Gilero?
“This is an industry that is focused on moving medical technology forward in a way that helps people. I wanted to experience and contribute in an industry like this, specifically in the world of medical devices and drug delivery devices. I joined Gilero because I recognized an opportunity to use my relevant experience and make a difference for our company and customers.”
What is the most rewarding part about working so closely with our customers?
“Hearing the passion that our customers have for the products they’re working on is infectious. This passion can be seen in all of our customers, from entrepreneurs to individuals working on behalf of large companies, because they know these devices can truly make a difference and improve the lives of patients around the globe. It’s easy to be excited about the work that we do when it has the potential to impact lives for the better.”
What do you think is Gilero’s competitive advantage?
“A few things have been echoed in customer feedback over the years that I feel make Gilero a great company to work with. First, we have a very full suite of design and development engineering services. We can take a device idea from concept through commercialization, or step in at any point in the development process to help customers take their project over the finish line. This, coupled with our ability to then provide full scale contract manufacturing for finished devices, allows us to truly serve our customers from start to finish. Additionally, we try to bring an abundance of transparency and flexibility to how we can work with our customers. We take extra steps in the sales process, like itemizing our proposals, to make sure it is clear what services are being provided and at what cost. The size of Gilero allows us to offer all of the services our customers want, while still being agile and flexible with how we can meet their needs.”
How has the pandemic affected our sales strategy?
“We definitely had to adjust our outreach to current and potential customers. One thing we are moving away from is a hard push to “sell” to customers. We have realized that by educating customers about our capabilities, and expanding our services to offer what they need, Gilero can be more of a partner and a resource rather than just another service provider. We are putting more effort into marketing and trying to make sure potential customers understand everything that Gilero has to offer.”
What have we done to make up for the fact that we can’t visit customers as frequently as we did pre-COVID?
“As I’m sure many companies did during the pandemic, Gilero realized how important it is to be able to communicate digitally with our customers and do business remotely. We have changed what it means to be present with our customers. Instead of interacting with them face-to-face, we now rely on communication and collaboration tools to effectively hold presentations and meetings. We are now interfacing much more frequently with companies all over the globe because of people’s acceptance of platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.”
How has the industry and our business changed as a result of COVID-19?
“There has been an incredible spark of innovation, both with products and processes, among the entire medtech industry as we collectively work to defeat this pandemic. We’re seeing a new generation of entrepreneurs emerge within the medical device industry due to the fact that our society had to change the ways in which we provide healthcare almost overnight. Telehealth platforms, methods for sanitizing medical equipment, and alternative forms of personal protective equipment are just some of the solutions that have come from our industry in the past year. This has also affected Gilero, as we adapted our manufacturing capabilities rather quickly to be able to produce PPE solutions like face shields and negative pressure environments. Medical and drug delivery devices are still the core of our business, but a portion of our revenue in 2020 came from designing, developing and manufacturing new products in direct response to COVID-19.”
What is your favorite thing about working at Gilero?
“Working amongst a bunch of really smart and talented engineers and a variety of great problem solvers never ceases to amaze me. Coming from a business background, although I have always worked with engineers in some capacity, the level of creativity and ingenuity that I get to witness every day is really exciting. Each of our engineers have a lot of entrepreneurial spirit, which really helps them connect with our customers’ quest to create new and novel devices. If I had to pick my favorite service that we offer, I would say contract manufacturing. Seeing something that was once just a 2D drawing or 3D CAD be built in a GMP environment is like watching ideas come to life. At that point, you’ve reached a milestone of a commercialized product that will be improving people’s lives out in the real world.”