EDO Industries, Inc. provides strategic information and services to support corporate decision makers in product development and business planning. In today's competitive world, you must go out and grab the best technical and business resources available. If you need intellectual property, an Asian parts supplier, special fabrication resources, a highly successful marketing manager, or financing assistance, you must go and get it. We help assemble these resources "as needed", to make the project both successful and affordable.
Our employees and local associates consist of about a dozen members, including design, production and business resources. EDO Industries, Inc., offers it's special design, database and management capabilities that are partially identified below. Personally, I have accepted VP roles and sometimes become an investor in our work, but now work mostly on shorter term projects and as a board of advisor member.
After I was fortunate enough to take a very early retirement, a friend commented that I was looking like a prostitute, explaining that I had no visible means of support. I graciously thanked him and said he was probably right because I was preparing to become a consultant.
REALLY, was his reply.
A few months later he made a point of telling me that I appeared to be working harder than ever. I had been through this before with one of my beloved mentors when he retired, so I shared his answer. "Well, you know, (while remembering to thoughtfully stroke my chin) it’s different now. I’m working for myself." Yes it certainly is different.
My friend then came back to the topic of ... what do you do for a living? I then became at least half-serious as I told him that I nail jelly to a tree. Again I received the smug smiles, so I went on and tried to justify my existence.
Simply stated, you have to do what you know how to do, and putting a business together encompasses many different skills, much like the many facets on a gem stone. I don’t pretend to be the expert in all areas, but in electronic product development I have lived through many diverse issues and been successful. I can usually meet anyone in electronics as an equal, within the limitations of current specialization. I may not be as close to the worker as I once was, but I will know the business issues. This decision making support is specifically keyed to fit the needs of the principles or business manager.
In general, I started out offering product management information that evolved into executive support, and then closed the circle by investing time and resources into specific exceptionally good business opportunities. These support services include; Who are the competition, what patents do they hold (a lecture topic on its own), what are their market share percentages, how do the spreadsheets of features-benefit-cost compare, what niche market opportunities are there, and what does the future hold. I still do this work, but please recognize that there is much more to it. This information or business forecast, while quite similar to a combined product manager and sales manager report, is based upon following three areas: (1.) Knowing the customer and bringing back their wisdom by working directly with them. (2.) Learning the in-house strengths and weaknesses, and (3.) Bringing in my lifetime of electronics experience with strenuous continuing education. In addition, I currently maintain over 105 folders for present clients and for continuing state-of-the-art technical awareness. I also receive over 210 trade journals and magazines that are skimmed cover to cover as a filtering process for client support. With the best of industry guidance (books are out of date before they are printed) and good fundamental design skills, I can help management make good technical decisions.
With a very high level of specialized information, real market intelligence becomes a valuable and functional business tool. As a personal philosophy, business and war should both be economics and not just hatred, which leads to the statement that "military intelligence is not an oxymoron." The first Persian Gulf War was a dramatic example of the successful use of superior tactical information. Running a business should encompass similar principles.
During the last sixteen years I have been privileged to participate in over forty product, sales, marketing and business plans on a variety of levels. It has been my pleasure to be recognized at ever-higher corporate levels, and believe my best role is to supply key information and support to decision-makers. This includes a lot of shared work activities and meetings. As a result, I am also on a few corporate advisory boards where the information and recommendations have a better chance of being acted upon. This is not acting like a lone ranger; sometimes it just takes another voice speaking at the right level to enable the obvious.
Stepping sideways for a conclusion: From my college days where I took a "dumb" physical education fencing class, a valuable lifetime lesson was learned. The person who prepares a plan and practices the subroutines needed to make it happen will almost always win, even against a much stronger opponent who is less prepared. My goal is to help pull together the technical, marketing and political realities so the business is prepared to succeed.
Electronic Design Test Equipment
Analog and Digital Voltmeters to 6½ Digit
Analog and Digital Storage Oscilloscopes to 1 GHz
Frequency Counters for DC to 26 GHz
Spectrum and Network Analyzers from 3 Hz to 60 GHz
Function and Signal Generators from DC to 500 MHz
Signal and Network Analyzers to 1.5 GHz
Component and RLC Analyzers
Time Domain Reflectometers and Frequency Domain RLC/Return Loss Analyzers to 500 MHz
Power Supplies from 6 VDC to 15,000 VDC and up to 1,500 Watt
Temperature Chambers for –40 to +250 degrees Centigrade
Production Solder stations and surface mount rework
Languages – Assembly, Basic, Visual Basic, Color Forth and C
Platforms – Embedded Microchip and Atmel, DSP, Windows API
Software tools – DesignCad 3D, Multisim, Serenade, Harmonica, Symphony, PWB Layout, etc.
Beyond 1000 lines of code, usually by sub contract or collaboration
Mechanical Fabrication Hardware
Drilling – to 1 inch diameter
Cutting – Bandsaws, Abrasive cut off saws, Acetylene torch, Arc
Welding – Gas, Stick, Mig, Tig, Heliarc to 450 Amps
Turning – Lathes for objects up to 24 inch Diameter by 9.5 foot long
Sheet Metal – Press Brake, Finger brakes, Sheers, Slip Roll, Edge Roll
Woodworking – Table and Band saws
A Senior Design Engineer with over 450 completed projects documented. The sole engineer responsible for the best-known piece of equipment aboard the Trident nuclear missile submarine, the 5307B threat detection receiver. Senior National Field Applications Engineer - Supporting all major telephone companies for a telecommunications test equipment manufacturer. Product Manager - leading all internally manufactured products and private label negotiations. An example is identifying and acquiring three fiber optic product lines with over fifty new products, with savings of over $3 million in engineering cost and two calendar years, while providing high volume sales margins of 29% to 49%. Salesman - Received the highest sales award given over a four-year period from Ameritech, a regional Bell Telephone operating center. International Sales - A 20% time responsibility that posted a five-year average of 22.2% of company gross sales and achieved a personal high of $1.8 million. National Sales Manager - For two interim periods, with annual product training responsibilities. Management - Participating in more than forty-five business plans in the last sixteen years. President of EDO Industries since 1986, a company specializing in providing strategic information and services to support corporate decision makers in product development and business planning. Also, a Vice President of Engineering and Chief Technology Officer for TensorTech, Inc., and a Founding Partner of Solar Accents, Inc. Consultant for Herzog Contracting railroad track maintenance train, the backbone communications and Manufacturer for the satellite communications and control package.
All companies, and especially technology driven companies, should form a corporate advisory board. The breadth of knowledge available from several complimentary and qualified specialists is a very powerful resource to help advance any company. I have often said that business and war have much in common (Sun Tzu), and should demonstrate common sense, economics and not hatred. The first Persian Gulf War is an example of superior information management and demonstrates that "Military Intelligence" does not have to be an oxymoron. Similar information and management practices should be applied to business. Through progressive selection the quality and the quantity of support can be refined, and multiple disciplines can be brought into a cohesive alignment with the corporate goals.
Large corporations have the resources to reach out for the best nationwide support. This is clearly an advantage, but it does require establishing processes to keep the board members informed and involved. With the development of the Internet and other communications hardware, the bottleneck now becomes the people and their business organization. For example, there may be painfully obvious action items that simply require attention at the right level before things can happen. My recommendation for a smaller company is to find people within driving distance so you can develop personal and working relationships. The issues a small company will face are relatively simple, and where unusually complex issues develop, the advisors should be able to fill in the gaps with their contacts.
Many professional people are quite willing to serve on an advisory board. They wish to broaden themselves and advance their own professional recognition. The most successful board members enjoy a high level of interaction and the resulting feelings of being able to contribute and make a difference. You will also find many people serving simply because they like you and enjoy interacting with the other board members. Paying them fairly for their contributions is a necessary condition, but compensation is rarely the issue because the people you select are likely to be successful and well established. Also note that the size of your company is not an issue. It is common for a new company to use stock options in place of cash. Their buy-in to your corporate vision is the key issue, so always approach a potential board member as if they were a venture capitalist by starting out with a short but thorough business plan.
I also feel it may sometimes be beneficial to form a board of directors instead of an advisory board. The message you convey by having an advisory board is that you want full control, and by contrast, venture capital funding may require specific members on a board of directors. With a board of directors, you’ll be trading off some of the control for a higher level of commitment. This is a much better gesture for getting the proper level of help.
IP Phone, FAX and Data (816) 833-3600
EDO Industries, Inc.
911 N. Lynn Ave.
Independence, MO 64050-2901