I wanted to become a ‘game changer’ and use technology to provide solutions that are less invasive, shorten patients’ stay in hospitals and speed recovery.
Unleashing people’s potential is more than a box on TE’s Strategy Map. Terrell Jacobs is proof of that—coming to TE with TE’s acquisition of AdvancedCath in 2015, he’s already an inspired and respected leader for TE Medical. He says, “The people make the difference at TE and the company recognizes that, offering great training and opportunities to grow at an accelerated level.” On the personal side, Terrell was a star athlete and has applied what he learned about teamwork in sports to his career, saying “It’s important for employees to take complete ownership, so that when there’s a challenge they rise to the occasion to help the entire team.”
Tell me about your role.
I maximize organic growth by maintaining our customers’ expectations with operations and leveraging lean methodologies to continuously grow with existing and new customers. Financials are a big part of my role and so is building a strong brand—not in the marketing sense, but through individuals in the organization who drive the experiences we have with our customers, which in turn drive the brand. Leveraging employee experiences and expertise leads to daily achievements that drive positive change within the organization and tangible results for our customers.
In your role, how do you approach tough problems?
With a positive approach. Every tough problem is an opportunity to drive change within TE that helps drive change to the customer as well. It’s important to listen, create processes and metrics, and stay proactive when tough problems occur. I look at problems that occur in two ways—short term, to see what we can do to resolve the issue immediately, and long term, examining process and metrics to make sure the problem does not happen again. I take a strategic approach to drive accountability, teamwork and integrity across the organization so our employees are always ready—despite any issue that arises—to provide fast and flexible solutions to our customers.
How do you measure success?
Success is all about people—our customers and our employees. My success comes from enabling others to be successful in the organization. As a company, we talk about unleashing people’s potential, allowing them to grow and take on new challenges through positive change. Success becomes contagious when people are successful as a team. We take steps every day to become world class in what we do, and I measure this with people and how they grow. The other part of success is measuring how we perform with both our internal and external customers, and making sure our high levels of service are maintained.
What inspires you?
I’ve always had a passion for helping others. In talking with physicians and watching loved ones struggle with their health, I wanted to become a “game changer” and use technology to provide solutions that are less invasive, shorten patients’ stay in hospitals and speed recovery so that they can go back to their normal lives more quickly. I enjoy seeing the smiles on customers’ faces as we help them launch new products in the field or provide them with a solution that will lead the market with a new technology.
What are the some challenges our customers face?
Most of the challenges our customers face are due to market changes. They have to provide products that are cost-efficient and high quality but also keep up with changing market trends and conditions—that’s where we come in. We get to know our customers so that we can stay ahead of their needs. As they look for more innovation, we rely on continuous improvement around our processes and leverage our employees’ knowledge and experience to create processes that are effective, repeatable and capable of delivering high quality products in a short time period.
What innovation do you see having the greatest impact over the next 10 years?
The innovation with the greatest impact in Operations will be using lean tools and processes--such as our TE Operating Advantage (TEOA) and “Muda” as well as other lean methodology--to drive the waste out of a process or drive change with the quality of our products. Standardization of products and processes throughout the organization enables employees to move forward with changes and innovation more quickly. As products become more innovative, our lean methodologies lead the way regardless of how complex the innovation, and as employees have adjusted to the lean tools and methodology, we’ve gained a competitive advantage as an organization.