Someone You Should Know: Seamus Dolan
With so many ERA members, it is not easy to get to know every rep, manufacturer and distributor in the business.“Someone You Should Know” is The Representor department that gives readers the chance to learn about fellow ERA members, including how their time is spent both in and out of the office.
Meet Seamus Dolan, director of sales at Crouzet, an independant manufacturer committed to designing, manufacturing and supplying customized mechatronic components for demanding applications in aerospace and transportation, energy, building and machinery industry.
The Representor asked Seamus a few questions about his time in the electronics rep business and his experiences with ERA. Here is what he had to say.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in Roswell, Georgia, before moving to Upstate South Carolina to attend Clemson University. Following graduation, I returned to Atlanta for a few years before relocating to Philadelphia. I currently live in the small river town of Stockton, New Jersey, with my wife and Canadian Labrador Retriever.
How long have you been in the manufacturing business?
I have been in manufacturing for 11 years, 10 of which have been with Crouzet or our former parent organization, CST (Custom Sensors & Technologies).
How did you become interested in the electronics industry?
I stumbled into it. I attended Clemson University because of its relationship with BMW, Bosch and Michelin. My original focus was to be an automotive engineer and hopefully contribute to the M Racing series of BMW. However, I graduated in 2008 into one of the most challenging job markets in history. Automotive simply was not hiring so I took a position with a division of UPS. This gave me exposure to global trade and manufacturing supply chains. That exposure led me to pursue opportunities within the electronics industry.
What have you found to be most rewarding about the business?
The relationships and being a part of the customer’s build/success story. The electronics industry, despite its significant global GDP, is a rather tight-knit community of people and a concentrated group of actors/firms. The opportunity to be part of this community has been personally rewarding in too many ways to count. With respect to the customer, helping their vision become a reality is immensely rewarding. When you are out in the real world and can look at an airplane, train, power station or medical device (to name a few applications), knowing that you played a part in that is deeply satisfying.
Briefly describe your organization.
Crouzet is a mechatronics manufacturer with headquarters in Valence, France, and North American headquarters in Allen, Texas. Our main competencies are switches and sensors, automation and controls, motors, cockpit controls and electrical protection. Our customers are those in mission-critical industries: aerospace and defense, transportation, power generation, access control, medical and water management, to name a few. We are celebrating our 100th anniversary this year!
What recent innovations, best practices and/or changes has your organization made?
Without disclosing our IP, from a product perspective, Crouzet has made several innovations recently in our electrical protection segment (focused on aircraft), strain gauge technologies, relays and automation. Our re-entry into solid-state relays, continued innovations in electromechanical switching and our upcoming announcement about a new automation product have been particularly invigorating for us as an organization along with our reps and customers.
With respect to best practices, Crouzet has aggressively adopted new technology to maximize both production and field efficiencies. We are heavily invested in our CRM tool for many years which provides a high level of data capture and fluid transference amongst our commercial teams. We expanded on that resource this year to create a “Rep Portal” which gives our partners real-time information about the customer along with immediate notifications to new commercial opportunities.
As mentioned before, Crouzet is laser-focused on our customers and we consider ourselves to be experts within their respective industry, allowing us to help “co-engineer.” We are disciplined and do not attempt to be all things for all customers rather choosing instead to focus on those in a mission-critical setting.
Finally, Crouzet’s executive leadership creates a culture of trust, honesty, and open communication. We are an extremely flat, ego-less organization that ultimately benefits our employees, partners and customers.
What have you learned and/or what contacts have you made through ERA that have had the greatest positive impacts on you and/or your business?
There are too many lessons learned and people to thank. I am extremely proud of the rep network we have put together and the corresponding partnerships. Each partner brings an amazing amount of insight into the business along with best practices. Electronics are built on human beings and we work with the best of them.
I have made it a priority over the last several years at the recommendation of some rep partners to get involved in ERA as a manufacturer member. The contacts generated have been amazing in helping us grow and work to better serve the industry. I’m constantly amazed at the willingness of manufacturers and reps outside our network who are willing to give up their free time in pursuit of this betterment with no expectation of personal return.
Are you active on social media? Do you follow ERA? Have ERA updates via social media been helpful to you?
To some extent yes. I recently deleted Instagram after deleting Facebook several years ago in an effort to focus more on “real” relationships. With that said, I am quite active on LinkedIn. I follow ERA and find the updates to be highly relevant. It is undoubtedly the most effective method for helping me stay up to date.
What are some things you enjoy outside of the workplace?
If you could not tell based on my background, I am quite the “gearhead.” I enjoy working on and modifying anything with an engine from cars/trucks, boats and even tractors.
I am an avid weightlifter, enjoy upland hunting and spending time with my dog and wife on our boat on the Delaware River.
What is one interesting fact that people may not know about you?
With such an Irish name, most people are surprised to learn I am half Italian American as well. Who says Guinness and pizza don’t mix?