By Nick Klein, Director of Hardware Engineering
I learned more about the company when a MultiTech employee I’d worked with in the past saw an opportunity for me. One thing that caught my attention was the average time people had worked here — around 15 years. I had been working at a contract design firm where the average (tenure) was seven or eight years; people would come and go. I found out MultiTech is family-run and people have loyalty to the products and the family … all things I admire. That encouraged me to come here.
When I was doing contract design, it was fire-and-forget design; I’d take something of the customer’s, work on it, then it just kind of went away. At MultiTech I can take a project all the way from concept to production in a cradle-to-grave kind of design, and take ownership. So another big draw was for me to get out of that mercenary lifestyle to more of a steward type thing, where you’re doing something not only for your benefit, but for your customers and for the product as a whole.
What keeps me here is the great team of people we have. It’s family-like, so it’s really comfortable. There’s not a lot of stress as far as dealing with people. I’ve been the director of hardware engineering since I came here; the electrical engineers, mechanical engineers and layout guys all report to me.
Why has MultiTech been so successful? One differentiator is that we make things here. When we talk to customers or other vendors and tell them we build everything right behind this wall, they’re a little shocked we’re not offshoring or building in Mexico or whatever. We’re very close to our product, and our support team is here as well, so we all have access to our factory and our engineers.
We always have high marks for customer service, whether there’s a problem with an existing product that’s been shipped or someone in sales needs to go to engineering and ask ‘Hey, I’ve got a customer need — is this possible?’ We can work with customers to get what fits for them in a short amount of time, rather than having to translate something to a different language and deal with someone on a different schedule.
What excites me about MultiTech’s future is new technologies. We started doing modems when modems started, so we’ve been in the machine-to-machine communications field for a really long time. We picked up LoRa, and now that’s a significant part of our business. CBRS Private LTE is another thing that’s going to pick up, giving us a lot of new opportunities for machines to talk to other machines and enable technology in different ways.
Another thing I’m excited about is that we’re getting tighter customer relationships — and not just with one customer. They like working with us, so they ask what we can work on together because they have a market need they believe MultiTech can fill. We shape the product to them, and we can see it has general market appeal as well. So we prioritize features to the customer we’re dealing with locally and often times release the product to a general audience. That’s been very cool.