John Walmsley

Describing StarFish in One Word and Partner Referrals often ask me for industry referrals. I’m always happy to oblige.  After all, the vast majority of StarFish Medical clients come to us via recommendations.  Of course immediately after I provide the partner referral, the client asks “Why?”   And I sometimes have to pause to find a word or phrase that sums up the benefits that specific company might bring to the table.

In December and January we conducted a survey with a large group that included customers and prospects. It was interesting to be on the other side of that situation and hear how our clients described what it’s like to work with StarFish Medical.  I realized that their descriptions were also the characteristics of a good partner referral.     Everyone was candid and we learned a lot.  Readers who didn’t participate in the survey might be interested in the results and learn a lot as well.  So I decided to share the answers in this blog.

Here are the verbatim One Word Descriptions of StarFish provided by participants with any additional client explanations. (Apparently most interviewees laughed when asked to describe us in one word, so you’ll notice more phrases and sentence fragments than single word answers.)  The responses might help you vet referrals and identify partners for your next project.

• Easy to work with.

• Excellent Process.  One of the things that attracted me to them.  Superb design process.  The quality of the engineers was very high as I got to know them.  Design Process and Design Control Process.   Knew they were very serious about doing product development for medical devices.  Impressed they have a small manufacturing capability.

• Earnest. Of our corporate values Earnestness is right at the top.  I always liked everyone.  It’s a nice environment.  Everyone is Earnest.

• Capable, flexible and good value for investment.  We’re investing in product assembly.  In return, we gain Flexibility, experience and capabilities.

• Thorough. Kenneth does a really good job drawing up weekly where we are in our plan and the risks and weaknesses.  Lots do Gantt charts, but this is done very thoroughly.  We go through it and say, “Oh.  We have to address that.”  I count on that thoroughness because I am big picture.  I say “Do this and get back to me on where you think this is.”   And Kenneth comes back with where we are and options.

• Thorough.  When you went over my product, you went over all the steps and won’t miss one.  When I want to jump from A to Z, you won’t let me do it.

• Quality Design.  Quality Medical design.  Quality Engineering. High quality service.

• Technical. Competent. Experienced.

• Click with Dave and John.  Very important.  I really saw them as an extension of my team.  They tell me what they think, but also listen to what we have to say.

• Dedication to detail.  Technical Caliber. In general I work with the project engineer on my project and it’s ongoing for close to a year.  We keep adding new phases.  Impressed with caliber of engineer I’m working with.

• Unique.   A medical device contract manufacturer has unique characteristics and qualities to be effective.  The needs and requirements of building medical devices is a very unique industry. Regulatory, everything.  Materials used.  Specific and focus.  QMS is a different derivative from regular ISO.  Cognizant of regulations, documents.

• Starfish.   Because Starfish have all different feet, powerful core and all these capabilities.  Describes business very well.  Reach out in different directions and help client gain traction.

• Breadth.   The range of different projects being worked on and have worked on.  Not a niche of electro-mechanical.  More like “My God, you did that?”

• Confident.

• Competent.  Sense of security for certain.

• Awesome.  Competent.  Pleasure to work with.

We’re proud of our clients, their products, and our working relationships.  And we see ourselves in their descriptions.  If you’d like more information,  references or referrals, please contact us.

Image: 3023578 © Andy Piatt /

John Walmsley is VP of Product Development at StarFish Medical.  He is a Professional Physicist, holds a Master of Science in Opto-electronics from Queen’s University Belfast, and would love to hear how you describe StarFish Medical.


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