For the Record with Curt Steichen, Sr. VP of Business Development, Nortech

November 14  

Curt joined Nortech in 2005 and has held leadership roles in Sales, Marketing and Operations. Curt has been instrumental in building the Medical Device Engineering and Manufacturing Services for Nortech with acquisitions of Trivirix with FDA certified manufacturing and Devicix with medical device product development services. Curt began his career with General Electric and held leadership roles at Hoffman (a Pentair Company) and Graco.

Curt has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, an MBA from St. Thomas, and the Minnesota Executive Program from University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.

Give us Nortech System’s elevator pitch. 

We help customers get their electro-mechanical devices to market quickly with full product life-cycle services from design ideas to manufacturing. Medical Device customers looking for innovative solutions can leverage our engineering, robust yet flexible quality management system, and vertically integrated global manufacturing expertise to establish a balance of speed and risk management to meet their product and business strategies.

What is one (or more) thing the Medical Alley community might be unaware of about Nortech Systems that you think would be good to know?

The breadth of services we offer. Nortech provides engineering AND manufacturing services, including Product Development and manufacturing for interconnect, PCBA and complete FDA Medical device. We are a global company with operations in U.S., Mexico, and China. We are investing in innovation to help our customers apply the latest technologies to support the exploding demand of data to support IoT and AI business models. Nortech also serves a diverse customer base – in addition to medical we serve defense aerospace and industrial customers. With our investments in Medical, the Medical segment is now over 50% of our portfolio. 

How did the COVID-19 pandemic change Nortech Systems for the long term?

By making our employees’ health a priority, we have been able to avoid shut downs or major disruptions. This required a very open communication process throughout the organization that has had tremendous short term benefits and will have long term benefits as well. The COVID-19 supply chain challenges have required us to formulate more robust supply chain solutions including inventory programs that reduce supply risk and ensure our customers are able to get their products. We are working together with our customers to get visibility into their long term customer demand and put tailored plans in place to reduce future risk of supply.

During the pandemic, we have developed a flexible workforce, independent of where the expertise is located that we expect to have long term benefits as well. Thank you Zoom!

What are the big milestones to come in the next few years for Nortech Systems?

Innovation. Nortech has begun making investments in innovation to help our customers apply the latest technologies. We work with customers on their technology roadmaps, especially in the areas of supporting smart devices that provide data for analytics. Nortech will soon be launching technology platforms that give our customer’s a competitive advantage.

What does leadership look like to you?

Providing the direction and creating the environment where the team is empowered to provide creative solutions to our customers problems. As the marketplace becomes more complex and dynamic, it is critical to listen to the customers and the employees to support the creation of fresh ideas to create value.

What is the best advice you have received in your career? 

Stay focused. As a service organization, it is easy to get pulled in many directions. Keeping focused on your goals and providing consistent direction.

What is the worst?

Let’s start a digital market. During the dot com peak I was tasked to create of a digital market place for manufacturing partners – then the market disappeared.

What have been the most rewarding moments in your career?

When I was being promoted to my first executive position, I still recall the president of the company came to me and said, “Curt, I don’t know what it is, but everything you are involved with turns out better”. I still attempt to make that happen in my daily work.

What is one personal goal for the upcoming year?

Celebrate the freedom of being cancer free. I have been able to beat a bout with prostate cancer and my goal is to put the treatments behind me and enjoy every day.

How do you relax / decompress? 

A round of golf with friends or attending the grandchildren events, seeing them grow and develop.

What do you enjoy most about the Medical Alley community?

I enjoy the networking within the Medical ecosystem that we have. Everyone is very open and willing to help others improve their businesses. I feel that Medical Alley is a key source of my continued learning.

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