Connectors, Engineering Leadership, and Growth Strategies with HARTING Americas' Casey Spitz and Cory Jenkins

Imagine a world without connectors… If we didn’t have connectors, technology and products would simply be cool ideas without that all-important functionality we need. In this episode, we speak to two of HARTING Americas’ team about the importance of connectors in manufacturing and engineering processes.

Casey Spitz, the Vice President of Development and Innovation, and Cory Jenkins, Senior Director of Business Development, weigh in on why connectors should be a part of design processes from the very start, rather than left to the end.

Casey and Cory share insights on the technical details of connectors, the trend toward miniaturization, and the evolution of things like Ethernet over the past few years. We also chat about the project management side of engineering, how HARTING balances growth with everyday processes, and how engineers should think about localization. As industry leaders, they have some great actionable advice on leadership, growth, and the importance of team collaboration. We hear what it takes to build an efficient engineering process that welcomes new ideas to boost innovation.


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3 Quick Things from this Episode

  1. Connectors are fundamental to a product’s ability to function, so they shouldn’t be left until the last stage of the production process.
  2. A company that gives everyone a seat at the table and welcomes different opinions (even seemingly crazy ones) will innovate and iterate more effectively.
  3. In a niche industry like connectors, companies that prioritize hiring good collaborators will drive innovation throughout the team.

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Tweetable Quotes

  • “The world of connectors is actually pretty niche. There’s not a lot of people that have done this before, so we’re looking for people that are top notch collaborators, that are very humble and respectful of other people’s ideas.”
  • “Don’t confuse busyness with productivity. And the difference between those two is really being connected to your company’s goals.”
  • “If you go in every direction, that’s not a right answer. But you’ve got to be listening to every direction.”

Please Scroll Down for Recommended Resources from this Episode

Do you want to connect with other leaders that are moving the needle in manufacturing everyday? Then make sure to join us in the Manufacturing Happy Hour Industry Community on LinkedIn.

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EPLAN provides software and service solutions in the fields of electrical engineering, automation, and mechatronics engineering. They’ve developed one of the world’s leading design software solutions for machine, plant, and panel builders, providing data-driven panel design capabilities to manufacturers. Click here to listen to our full interview with EPLAN’s International Solutions Architect Sean Mulherrin.

What We Discuss with Casey and Cory

  • What are connectors and why are they so important for engineers
  • Why Europe appears to be ahead in the connectors world compared to North America
  • How Ethernet has evolved and the lessons we can take from that
  • How Cory has successfully led HARTING through a number of technology shifts, including a branch out into semiconductors
  • Actionable advice for engineers and manufacturers to execute quickly and adapt to the market
  • How Casey created processes that HARTING needed to grow to the next level
  • How Casey balanced creating processes for growth with working on the day-to-day priorities
  • Advice for building efficient processes into your own business as a manufacturer
  • The role of localization in HARTING’s growth, plus advice for others
  • Why collaboration is a huge priority for HARTING and how it directly drives innovation
  • What engineers should know about connectors and how they should integrate them early in the process

Recommended Resources

  • HARTING, a connectivity solutions provider that operates worldwide to design connectivity for challenging environments
  • Ernst Barre Private Brewery, located in the East Westphalian town of Lübbecke in the north-western German district of Minden-Lübbecke

Connect with Casey and Cory

Casey Spitz | Cory Jenkins | HARTING