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Veterinary Doctors Find Their Way to the Manufacturing Floor

With the help of: Manufacturer's Edge


SurgiReal of Loveland, Colorado, has the beginnings of a true entrepreneurial effort. Dr. Dean Hendrickson and Dr. Fausto Bellezzo were instructors at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University (CSU) when they discovered that they needed a better, easier way to teach their students to suture. Thanks to a generous donor, they were able to use grant-funding to develop a solution utilizing silicone pieces. As with any good invention, this process took many years, but after extensive testing and re-testing, the duo landed on the invention that became the first iteration of the RealLayer Technology Suture Pad.  

As any new business owner can attest, the process of becoming a corporation is arduous. From outsourcing to the eventual purchase of the company from CSU to keep the manufacturing in-house, the learning curve was steep. By 2012, the company launched and SurgiReal became a reality for Dr. Hendrickson. 

The Challenge

Early in the life of the company, Dr. Hendrickson found that he needed assistance with the layout of the manufacturing site to ensure effective and efficient production processes. As a member of the Northern Colorado Manufacturing Partnership, Dr. Hendrickson became acquainted with Manufacturer’s Edge, part of the MEP National Network™, and the support they were able to offer. Thus began a long, fruitful relationship between SurgiReal and Manufacturer’s Edge.

Our experience with Manufacturer’s Edge has been great. They have served as a mentor that took us under their wing. It’s been great to work with people who have been in manufacturing and want to pass that knowledge on.
— Andrew Hendrickson, CEO

MEP's Role

By 2020, the company was growing and identified an immediate need for the creation of efficiencies in their process flows. Manufacturer’s Edge was again welcomed into the business to provide SurgiReal with guidance on how to map their current-state as well as future-state operations. Through the value stream process mapping program, SurgiReal was able to see precisely where they could make changes to achieve their goals of greater productivity and revenues for the company.

The relationship between SurgiReal and Manufacturer’s Edge continues today with the current President and CEO, Andrew Hendrickson. Andrew and his team at SurgiReal have since expanded and invited Manufacturer’s Edge in to design the layout of larger manufacturing facilities. They knew from the very beginning that doing this early would ensure success while avoiding unnecessary bumps in the road. 

Created May 7, 2022, Updated August 11, 2023