It is not just knowing about our products. It’s understanding the growth models and targeting the products our customers need.
As a director of product management for heat shrink tubing, John Sandwell caters to customers in each region by providing a global strategy to drive TE’s products in four different markets. His current focus is on TE’s Entrepreneur Product Management Course, designed to help each product manager build a product portfolio, plan a strategy, and develop ideas for innovation that his customers, and TE, will benefit from. John was a part-time police officer and for 20 years has played on a local soccer league. After joining the armed forces, he began to cultivate an interest in engineering. Staring his engineering career at the lowest-level positon in a plant, he eventually moved into various engineering positions, including Plant Technician, Machine Design Engineer, Product Engineer and TEIS-Team Leader. John credits TE for supporting him as he earned his degree, which helped him reach his current director-level position.
Since I started in a plant environment, I have a good understanding of what causes people to think differently and take ownership.
- John Sandwell,
- Director of Product Management
Do you have a favorite TE product?
The magnet wire product is my favorite. In my seven years as a product manager, I’ve learned that to grow an existing product line faster than the market is based on having a value proposition that can be easily conveyed to a customer. Trying to re-invent and re-energize a product line that has been around for 25 or 40 years can be a rewarding challenge.
Which emerging ideas are shaping how you think about and approach your work?
It is important to look beyond what we normally sell and to innovate. Even by simply using customer relationship management systems, we can find opportunities to build a pipeline. We must also take a fresh look at the industry and take note of things such as a lack of focus on smaller appliances. We are looking for ways to become more inventive and to change our focus.
What types of problems most challenge you to think differently?
The need to stay ahead and remain competitive. In order to do that, it is important to understand when to launch products and to recognize the dynamics of the market. It is crucial to be aware of competition because there will always be a competitive reaction. In other words, if you are taking market share away from someone, you must anticipate how will they react.
How do you predict the company will be different in two years?
Starting in a plant environment, I have a good understanding of what causes people to think differently. I encourage employees to turn a negative setback into a positive experience for the customer. We do this not only by rewarding success, but by challenging everyone to become more responsible for their individual successes and challenges.
What are the primary challenges your customers face?
The key challenge for many OEMs is that there is a finite price they can put on their product. Since market forces keep them from selling it at a higher cost, they always want a cheaper component. We must ask: How do we provide a high-quality product while driving the cost down for the customer? We do not want to miss market and product opportunities.
Heat Shrink Tubing
Our heat shrink tubing provides electrical insulation, mechanical protection, sealing, and strain relief, and it can also be used to identify components and wires, creating a functional, professional appearance of the assembly.
Magnet Wire Products
We offer a broad range of terminals specifically designed to terminate magnet wire whether you are using copper wire, aluminum wire, or a combination of both. Matched with our application tooling, our magnet wire terminals can offer high-throughput solutions for the original equipment manufacturing environment.