Businesses Are Fleeing California – Here is Why I Chose It for our Manufacturing Center
The media loves to bash California. In 2018 hundreds of news stories have appeared highlighting what has been alternately described as a mass exodus from California or a looming mass exodus. I have written and spoken a lot about the political, systemic and structural problems that California faces. These have created barriers that have driven too many businesses to leave California and many others to select other regions.
Business strategy involves understanding the connection between all the elements of your business. To achieve financial results, you need to understand how things will fit together and what is most crucial to achieving the outcomes you need. Choosing our first manufacturing facility was among the most critical strategic decisions I have made as CEO.
Our company, Advanced Bifurcation Systems® is headquartered in Southern California. I consider Los Angeles my home, and it has many advantages that many others have already cited. But success makes some lose their competitive edge, and I have worried for a long time about that being the case for the State of California.
I am not talking about our people. California is home to many of the best people, universities and companies on earth. Livermore sits in the greater San Francisco area, adjacent to Silicon Valley and is the world’s top collection of minds and the world’s most innovative region. It is famous as the home of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories which is arguably the capital of America’s nuclear industry. The Greater Bay Area borders Silicon Valley, so the entire region is a critical cluster of innovation in many technologies but importantly health sciences and medical device design and manufacturing. So, in this case, access to talent and the cluster of knowledge and expertise in the area were simply too critical to ignore.
In too many areas, including cost, regulation, startup and regulatory processes and some aspects of employment law, California has created serious disadvantages compared to other areas. I still feel strongly about that. But as I wrote in my announcement, there are other factors than just cost for a company like ours.
So, when the time came to select a location for our first manufacturing center, we thought long and hard about the options. This facility had to have access to top talent, and the facilities need to be among the best in the world. Healthcare products, especially cardiac stents, are very different than many other products. Lives are literally on the line, and I make sure that I never forget that. Also, this would be the facility we would rely on to help us with our application to the Food & Drug Administration, so everything needs to be right for us to achieve our mission.
In my travels to the UK, across Europe, through China and around the world, I have met tremendous numbers of extremely bright and dedicated medical and business professionals and toured universities and research facilities where the future of healthcare is being created every day. So, while I still believe in California, it is important for us to acknowledge that there are lots of very compelling alternatives out there.