Every manufacturer tries to develop seamless interfaces between product and user. Usually, it’s for convenience. Sometimes, as in aerospace and medical applications, it’s crucial for life and limb. One of the best at crafting seamless interfaces is Meridian-based PKG User Interface Solutions. PKG is one of Idaho’s best-kept secrets and has contributed to a staggering 240+ corporate partners globally.
PKG has a great story, evolving from a hobby into a major contributor in design, development and manufacturing to many Fortune 500 companies. Born as the Promed Keyboard Group (hence PKG) under the visionary leadership of Homy Panahi in 1989, PKG has grown steadily ever since to become one of the go-to sources for very high reliability user interfaces in a variety of industries, most notably in medical and aerospace.
PKG is moving the needle in many ways. I’d like to share the strength of its internal culture, embrace of open innovation and Industry 4.0, and how they are playing an increasing role to support smaller, newer Idaho technology businesses.
PKG’s mission statement is “Enriching the Lives of Those We Touch.” It starts with each employee having their own mission. Not your usual onboarding, PKG builds their culture inside-out. As CFO Cheryl Adams noted, “We do a day-long class called ‘Purpose and Passion’ that’s dedicated to helping our employees discover who they are and what kind of person they desire to be. The class facilitator walks participants through activities meant to reveal important themes, values, and principles in their lives then coaches them through writing a ‘Purpose and Passion Statement’ of their own that shows the part in the world they’re meant to play.” Those framed statements hang publicly by their desks. Corny? Maybe. Effective? Definitely.
The purpose and passion driven mentality comes across in their partnerships with other firms. Cheryl and CEO Almir Garibovic point to a guiding principle to “make our customers feel like a part of our family. Customers recognize PKG as having a culture based on an open-door policy, trust, and empowerment.” Lofty words, but well supported by PKG’s pervasive culture of positivity.
Modern technology development has morphed into a world where the lines between customers, suppliers, even competitors blur. At the heart of Industry 4.0 is the powerful strategy of open innovation where innovation is shared across an ecosystem of partners. Few Idaho firms have embraced this like PKG. While most firms try to align their strategy and culture, PKG pulls it off, collaborating with innovative leaders globally providing products used for patient imaging, diagnostics, treatment, and surgery as well airplane controls and communication devices.
PKG’s vision is to build partnerships and to drive development in Idaho’s burgeoning startup community. PKG is determined to develop robust and life changing products through focused partnerships with inventors, investors, universities, and entrepreneurs. With the aim of bringing new technologies to the market and helping smaller local ventures, Almir says “Idaho needs to grow its own great companies and keep them here,” keeping with the Industry 4.0 model. It’s in PKG’s best interest to make that happen. It is also a blueprint for other Idaho innovators to join PKG in growing Idaho’s economy.