Back in 2007, Arrotek was a medical device start-up that was about to do something new – hire its first employee. That was 15 years ago this month, and the employee was Adrian Moran. Adrian is still with Arrotek today, so he has witnessed first-hand the changes as we have grown into a company with nearly 100 staff.
“It was humble beginnings at the start,” said Adrian, “as when I joined, Arrotek operated from a single unit in a business park in Strandhill. The company has grown continuously since then, and it has been fantastic to be a part of that and contribute to its success.
“Over the years, I have been involved in various expansions, including an expansion in Strandhill when we added two additional units to increase capacity. We then moved to new premises in Collooney in , but we quickly reached the capacity of that location too.
“Now we are in a purpose-built facility in Finisklin, and we are still growing, still expanding our facility, and continuously hiring new people. It was an exciting company when I joined, and it continues to be an exciting place to work today.”
Adrian highlighted the commitment of Arrotek’s co-founders, Mark Pugh and Ger O’Carroll to continue growing the company and pushing it forward. He first recognised that commitment in the decision by Mark and Ger to hire him. It was a commitment that went both ways.
“I was moving from a bigger company and a steady job to a start-up, and I was coming to a different industry. So, it was a leap of faith, but I haven’t looked back since. Mark and Ger had great vision in terms of their expansion plans, and that was really key for me. The guys always thought they would grow the business and they did grow it and continue to grow it today.
“It was a leap of faith for Ger and Mark, too, as I was working in the food industry, not in MedTech. But I had experience working with production equipment – conveyors, packing lines, automation solutions, production tooling, and the like – and I was able to bring that tooling and production equipment expertise to Arrotek.
“I also had experience working in a fast-growing business, as I joined my previous company when it was small. I spent nine years there watching it grow, so I was able to bring that business growth and change experience to Arrotek too.”
Agile, Fast-Paced, and Cutting Edge
Adrian joined Arrotek in June 2007 as a Design Engineer. He said: “I was designing tooling and equipment at the time, then I progressed to product design, working directly with major customers. I then made the transition to project manager, and to my current position as a senior project manager, so I now have direct responsibility for customers, projects, and all aspects of the device and its development.
“Today, though, we have a large and expanding team. Back then it was just the three of us – Mark, Ger, and me – so it was a busy period and there was a lot to do. There was also a steep learning curve, as the industry was growing and moving very fast.
“In those early days, we were doing a lot of development work, with a lot of innovative thinking and hard work we built up our capabilities. It was very satisfying building up those skills over the years. I also got great satisfaction from getting results after starting from scratch and coming up with new ideas.
“We were doing a lot of early-stage projects initially which then evolved into larger cleanroom and manufacturing projects. So, about a year after I joined, we started hiring operators for the manufacturing machinery.
“There were some challenges in those early days, and we needed to stand out from our competitors, we had to have a point of difference, something that made us different. Our selling point then and now is that we are highly responsive and agile, so we can adapt quickly. We also keep in close contact with our customers all the time, seeing what they need and listening to their requirements.
“While we were small, our responsiveness, agility, and communication set us apart from the bigger companies who were more rigidly focused on figures and the bottom line.”
Improving Patient Outcomes
Adrian still gets a great deal of satisfaction from the work Arrotek does. He said: “I have been involved in a lot of challenging and interesting projects over the years, and it’s fantastic that we are still very focused on the development side of the medical device industry, even though we are growing in size and are now part of a larger company.
“There are always new technologies coming in, boundaries are always being pushed, and the industry is continuously coming up with new ideas to make devices better. The work never really feels like work.
“Improving patient outcomes is a big part of it too. We get to go to conferences on occasion and we hear patient stories at those events – first-hand stories of how a medical device helped in the treatment or diagnosis of a person. Those real-life stories bring what we do at Arrotek even closer to home, and they help drive us to continuously improve.
“Improving people’s lives continues to be a big part of the motivation for me.”
Ger O’Carroll, Arrotek co-founder said:
“I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Adrian on his 15-year anniversary and thank him for his continued contribution to the company. I remember working in Strandhill when it was just the three of us, and it’s great to see the excitement and enthusiasm of those early days are still here in Arrotek today.”
Mark Pugh, Arrotek co-founder commented:
“Adrian is a great example of why we have achieved the success we have, and why we continue to grow. Our people are passionate about what they do, the engineering innovations they develop, and the contributions they make to healthcare and the treatment of patients. We are not the same company that we were 15 years ago, but our ethos and values remain the same, as personified by Adrian and other members of our team.”