Business Lifecycle Challenges: Understanding What Keeps You Up at Night

by Jan Janick, SVP & CTO / April 12, 2019

With the constant ebb and flow of market demands, budgets and skilled personnel, it can be hard not to constantly worry about the pain points within engineering and manufacturing. Whether your company is just starting up, or has been creating products for centuries, Benchmark understands what keeps you up at night and is adept at developing solutions for the complex challenges you face every day.

We typically see three types of engineering and product design companies in varying stages of its lifecycle:
  • Startups: A lean, fast-moving engineering team with little or no productization experience, but very knowledgeable and capable in its core technology.
  • Established: A mature OEM who has established product lines and is experiencing an ongoing reduction in engineering spend over a period of time, leaving the company with fewer skills in its core competency.
  • Expanders: A company experiencing fast growth in products and has the determination to keep pace with technology but is unable to grow and expand its engineering team fast enough. 


Startups are young and hungry with great ideas, but budgets are smaller and therefore experienced design and engineering teams are not available to the company yet. With limited funding, startups will devote money to the engineering team to support their key innovation, their key technology advantage and their core value add. However, the engineering team lacks experience productizing its design.

The typical startup challenges are:
  1. Simple engineering tasks like design for manufacturing and design for supply chain don’t get attention.
  2. No one wants to take time from the engineers to design the hardware and software required to test the designs.
  3. Engineering expertise like testing, regulatory requirements and certification skills don’t exist.
  4. Simple documentation, BOM control and code control are usually lacking.
  5. Skills to utilize state-of-the-art tools such as simulation, layout and thermal don’t exist.


Established companies often fall into the trap of settling or no longer innovating because they have successful legacy product lines and maintain a regular customer base. Over time, the company will typically lower spending on engineering and prioritize maintenance of product lines, diminishing innovation.

The established company challenges typically focus on engineering, including:
  1. Engineering budgets continue to be reduced.
  2. New engineering talent is not brought in at the level required and the current engineering population ages.
  3. Product development risk reduction takes priority over innovation. Additionally, skills atrophy and knowledge of new technology and capabilities don’t grow at the pace of technology and the industry.
  4. What’s left is an engineering team that can barely keep up with the need to update their previous generation products due to basic processor and technology end of life, lacking the ability to innovate or the will to risk new technology.


Expanders are companies that are growing faster than it has engineering teams to support. While the engineering teams are large, the market demand requires more innovation than these teams can feasibly develop or budget for. 

The challenges that exist for expanders include:
  1. There are too many projects going on at one time and innovation ideas are scrapped.
  2. It purchases another company, but the engineering teams still aren’t robust enough, or cannot be brought up to speed quickly enough.
  3. It needs to find a partner to outsource testing too, or who can support good ideas that needed to be scrapped due to lack of bandwidth, so that the expander can focus on its primary innovation.

How Does Benchmark Help Each Customer During Its Lifecycle Phase?

No matter which lifecycle phase you can most identify with, Benchmark understands the pain points within the evolving world that you operate. We’re here to provide you production capabilities as well as to enable opportunities to help you reach your goals.

We focus on specific innovations that fit our customer’s needs:
  • Product Development
  • Automation
  • Prototyping
  • Test

Benchmark has also spent the past 10 years investing in key technology building blocks to ensure that we can service the products of tomorrow. We excel at tackling complex challenges and delivering high-quality solutions at scale. Our breadth of capabilities demonstrates our ability to provide a “One Partner Solution” whether the product represents a simple concept or a detailed design in a heavily regulated market.

Key capabilities in Benchmark’s portfolio cover a wide variety of sectors including:
  • IoT
  • RF High Speed Circuit
  • RF Components
  • Medical
  • Manufacturing Test
  • Surveillance and Threat Detection
  • Ruggedization
  • Defense
  • Avionics
  • Human Machine Integration
  • Embedded Electronics
  • Robotics

When your engineering teams are missing an essential capacity or need more experience, our engineering and design services are the perfect complement.  With Benchmark as a design partner, you’ll get the exact expertise you need, no matter what the challenges are or how complex they seem, to bring the best product to market in the shortest possible time.

About Benchmark

about the author

Jan Janick, SVP & CTO

Jan Janick is the Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Benchmark. Jan’s extensive customer-focused career spans more than 30 years leading high-performance multicultural technology development teams at industry-leading computing systems companies. His ability to make decisions quickly and inspire teams to move at the speed of technology makes him a valued contributor to the Benchmark executive team where he leads the world-wide product realization design teams through launch into the Benchmark factories.

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