CMD Corp., making its third appearance on the Best Places to Work list, seeks to emphasize innovation — not just in its technology, but also in its 150-plus employees.
"We believe that critical elements of our culture, which we feel are really drivers of success, are what we call technology leadership and then collective excellence," CMD President Steve Sakai said. "Technology excellence, for us, is the ability to advance technology and utilize it to build more valued solutions for our customers, and that enables our customers to become more successful. That's been the historical perspective or driving force within the company. It's really kind of the critical element that has led to the company's success over many years. The company has been established since 1980, so it has a fairly long history.
"The collective excellence is really about trying to leverage the collective capabilities of all our employees and make sure we're effectively utilizing their talents toward working on those kinds of solutions for our customers. We're working together most effectively in doing that," Sakai added.
Sakai said CMD prides itself on valuing diversity and hiring people with different backgrounds and experience for the betterment of both the company culture and the customers.
"What we don't want is everybody to be exactly the same and to come up with exactly the same answers for the same problems all the time. Our customers are looking for creative solutions to their problems to help their businesses improve and get better. It's incumbent upon us to help come up with those innovative solutions to support or customers," he said. "We just feel that we get a higher quality of ideas when we have a body of employees that has a very diverse background, diverse experiences [and] come from different areas."
CMD's website highlights three pillars of its company mission: "listen to our customers," "learn new ways to solve problems" and "lead the industry in technology, service and new solutions."
According to Karen Diedrich, director of human resources at CMD, the company's EEO-1 report showed an increase in female and minority employees over the years.
Looking forward to 2017, the industrial machinery manufacturer has its eye on what Sakai calls "ongoing programs of development."
"[The programs] are really focused on advancing technology and leveraging that technology toward creating these better solutions for customers," he said. "We have several ongoing development programs relating to that."
When it comes to hiring the ideal employee, Sakai said eagerness to learn can outweigh previous job experience.
"We believe that if the employee has those kinds of fundamental traits, we can train them in whatever kind of role we're looking for," he said. "Obviously, prior experience is a benefit, but I think we view that a sort of natural thirst for learning and eagerness for learning and enthusiasm are kind of the key traits that really define a successful employee for us."
Sakai said employee feedback has helped influence the culture they seek to promote at CMD. Employee surveys, he said, have been used to increase the level of communication throughout the company and enhance collaboration among different departments and functions.
"I think our emphasis is that we attribute the success of our company to our employees; that's our focal point," Sakai said. "We think we have an outstanding group of employees that are very dedicated and very hardworking, and we're very proud of them. That's the whole strength of our company."