It’s difficult to rate the magnitude of positive impact Anthony Morin is making at Crestron Electronics. When Morin spoke with American Builders Quarterly back in 2017, he had managed and overseen the completion of Crestron’s on-campus LifeCenter wellness facility, introduced a new healthy food service program, and was in the process of developing a master plan for the company’s headquarter campus while also constructing a new multiuse facility in Bangalore, India.
Less than two years later, Morin has far more to report, including the consolidation of Crestron’s manufacturing and supply chain functions (MS&C) into one state-of-the-art location at the company’s Orangeburg, New York, site; the completion and continued development of Crestron’s training institute (CTI) campuses first in Rockleigh, New Jersey, and now in Plano, Texas; and the continuation of major changes to Crestron’s corporate environments both domestically and abroad.
One of these projects would be enough to help define the career of Crestron’s vice president of global real estate and facilities, but Morin says he’s only “about halfway” into a transformation at Crestron that is positively impacting the company from C-suite to the production line.
Training Up the Best
“One of the biggest successes really has to be our CTI projects,” Morin says. “In terms of design and the coordination involved, it really has been a unique process.” The amount of backend work, particularly from an AV component, made it imperative to work closely with internal design experts, engineering, and customer support to ensure that Crestron trainees would receive the industry’s best training experience.
The second CTI site was recently completed in Plano, Texas, and Morin says the changes that Crestron has initiated will be felt globally. Two new CTI sites are already planned for Europe, and Morin believes the training institutes mark a new era in advanced training for the audiovisual industry that only Crestron can successfully provide and sustain.
At the end of May 2019, Crestron successfully consolidated its manufacturing and supply chain organization in New Jersey from three separate locations into a 200,000-square-foot manufacturing/logistics center in Orangeburg, New York, and a brand new 90,000-square-foot distribution center in Euless, Texas.
In Orangeburg, half of the space is dedicated to a cutting-edge manufacturing facility that features the North American debut of Panasonic’s newest electronic component mounting equipment. “This is one of the biggest real estate projects we’ve ever completed throughout the history of the company that will ultimately impact production efficiencies and our overall space utilization,” Morin says. “To provide a single source of operation for our MS&C team is something our CEO Randy Klein views as a positive enhancement to our current model of production.”
The VP says the efficiencies that are being created in the new site go far beyond dollars and cents and make the challenging and monster-scale project absolutely worth it. “The list of people who have made this project successful is so long, I’m not sure we could ever get through it,” Morin says. “Everybody from our CEO down to the person on the production line has been part of this process, and I believe that will show.”
The technological and enterprise resources required for such audacious transformations are extensive, but luckily Crestron has someone in the pipeline for that. Nic Milani, executive director of commercial product marketing, describes Crestron’s own new Flex product line with a “physician, heal thyself” mentality. The Flex platform unifies communication through Microsoft and Skype and provides optimal video and audio solutions. “We want to create a very easy and consistent experience for our employees as they’re moving around these new spaces and can quickly connect with clients and each other,” Milani says.
Crestron’s scheduling platforms include panels outside of meeting rooms with colors that will change from green to red when a meeting is in progress and where ad-hoc booking can be done at-will. The room also recognizes if a scheduled meeting isn’t happening and returns it to inventory. “It gives you the ability, from a real estate standpoint, to really optimize the usage of your rooms,” Milani says.
All of these systems and platforms tie back into XiO Cloud, a service that earned it IoT Partner of the Year by Microsoft, and whose capabilities allow monitoring of all inputs as well as automatic firmware that is aptly illustrated by Milani succinctly explaining the process of connecting a new piece of technology: “It just starts to work.”
A Self-Imposed Revolution
While Morin is aware of the impact he has been tasked with implementing, he knows successful outcomes are a group effort, and has experienced the most meaningful result of all the hard work when speaking with a member of his own team.
“One of my team members is finally able to take a vacation after completing the Orangeburg project, and he says to me with excitement that he is going to drive his kids up to the building to show them the project he was tasked with managing,” Morin says. “He’s been outstanding and to find out that he wants to show off his work to his kids—I can’t really ask for much more.”
That said, the VP continues to look at how the change he’s helping drive will impact Crestron five years down the line. “I want to make sure we stay relevant and continue to enhance,” Morin says. “I’m never looking to settle.”
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