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Predicting the Unpredictable | How Managing the Supply Chain at a Startup is Full of Exciting Challenges

Author: Shannon Clements

Published: September 17, 2021

Shannon Clements: “I hope to look back someday and reflect on the many lives that have been enriched by The Heart Seat, knowing that I was a part of the development team that made it possible.”

Shannon Clements is the Supply Chain Manager and Production Manager at Casana.

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Tell us about your role as Casana’s Supply Chain Manager and Production Manager.

As a Supply Chain Manager, I work to ensure we can build our products today and in the future by making sure we have the necessary items on hand, when we need them, and at a competitive price.

As the Production Manager, I have spent a lot of time personally building these seats, incorporating the sensors, working with the circuits, and affixing over forty screws per seat! As such, I would consider myself to have a unique perspective as an authority on The Heart Seat’s brain and capabilities.

How do you feel your past experiences have helped in your role at Casana?

I have worked in several different roles over the years, all primarily in Manufacturing. For a period of time, I even worked in Human Services, so I have developed a strong passion for helping people and building things over the course of my career. Both of these traits influence my current role at Casana as the Supply Chain Manager and Production Manager. I love to help people, make their lives easier, and develop innovative ways to do both; which fits right into the mission and vision of Casana and The Heart Seat™.

What inspires you about the work at Casana?

The Heart Seat’s innovative design makes a seemingly normal toilet seat truly extraordinary. The seat is equipped with sensors that use direct contact with the bare skin of your thigh to monitor your health. Casana’s goal in developing the Heart Seat is to make managing your health both easier and more effective.

When I was first interviewing at Casana and learning about the company, product, and position being offered, I knew instantly that it was what I wanted for myself and my career. I believe Casana is developing a product that is going to touch so many lives, and hopefully, touch my life too. I have a family member who has Hypertension and other underlying conditions, so health monitoring is a critical part of her everyday life. The Heart Seat and the overall vision of the work we are doing here at Casana may be a game-changer for her, and that makes me feel so proud and honored to be a part of the process and company that facilitates that.

I hope to look back someday and reflect on the many lives that have been enriched by The Heart Seat, knowing that I was a part of the development team that made it possible.

Walk us through the importance of the supply chain for the Heart Seat.

The Heart Seat is comprised of many components and making sure that Casana is positioned to have all the necessary pieces and parts at the right time to make our product and develop new products is a critical function for our growth and future expansion. The past year has increasingly made the supply chain a very critical and time-sensitive function of business operations, which requires constant monitoring.

I love the challenges that I am faced with every day regarding supply chain fluctuations as well as on the production side of The Heart Seat’s development. I enjoy getting my hands on the components, seeing how they work or don’t work, and then taking that back to my role in Supply Chain and bringing innovative solutions to the table. Much of what I do in these two roles correlate with one another, creating a feedback loop that establishes the means for Casana to consistently improve, and I take great pride in being able to facilitate that.

As a small startup company developing a new product, there is a lot of change and development happening every day. We must monitor and react to the ever-evolving product development cycles. Being able to predict our needs and adapt to each new development decision is a facet of my work that is ingrained in everything we do. Predicting the unpredictable is tough, but just like The Heart Seat, I collect data every day to make sure that we are prepared for whatever unexpected challenges may arise.

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Casana’s vision is to create effortless, in-home health monitoring solutions that allow care teams and their patients to achieve better health outcomes. The Heart Seat™ is Casana’s first product and is currently pursuing FDA clearance.