Robert Smithmyer, Director of Product Management
In my role, I can help my team by focusing them on what the customer wants and aligning our roadmaps to changing market needs and trends.

Robert (Bob) Smithmyer joined TE as a sales and marketing intern in 1993, and has served many different roles, from account management at the local and global level, to customer care, and now product manager of connectors for consumer and data devices. Bob credits his large farm family background with his strong work ethic and thirst for adventure. “I like to be challenged, and this job affords plenty of opportunities for me to be adept and to persevere, from funding a new program or tooling capacity expansion, to driving engineering innovation to differentiate our product solutions for the customer.” 

1

What recent customer collaboration can you share that was “brilliant”?

After initial customer contact about a product, we received a request for samples. The team turned the samples around quickly, with requested design modifications, under a very tight schedule. Our willingness to exceed expectations helped build a trusted relationship that led to a new partnership. 

2

What future development or connectivity possibility would astound you?

True wearables through miniaturization of connectors, sensors, and smart fabrics. I think the next big thing will not be “gadgets,” but integrated products—items you cannot put down because they are part of you or how you do what you do daily. And then the question becomes balance. What control or privacy do you give over to the wearable? That is a good question for our customers’ customers! 

3

Why should customers come to you (and TE) to be delighted?

Customers can count on us. When I was in Sales, I was hyper-sensitive about building trust. I accomplished it through constant, steady, great service and support. We at TE take our customers seriously, and they know that when we say we’ll deliver, “TE will get it done.” Having that reputation with our customers and building on it is a great feeling. 

4

What advice can you share that helps your team succeed?

Count on change and be agile. Persevere. Find out what your customers expect from you, but be ready to adjust to changes, especially in a fast moving market where each day brings new opportunities for innovation. The way we react and respond directly impacts the customer experience. 

5

Do you have a favorite TE product?

Our CT and mini CT connectors. We have manufactured them for many years, but are still used to solve customers’ application challenges. They showcase our core competencies of stamping, plating, molding, and assembly, come in multiple configurations and pin counts, and offer cost savings when used with our wire harness application tooling. Continued design innovations keep them relevant and valued solutions across multiple industries.

6

What else would you like to share with customers?

Even after all these years, I’m still excited about our products, about demonstrating what we can do for the customer, and building stronger relationships. Our relationships with the customer are directly related to ongoing business, constant product innovation, and delivering on our promises. We are a proven leader in this industry, but we will not take our success for granted—we strive to do better always. 

Be agile in the face of change. Agility is a great thing to learn in the world of consumer electronics!
Robert Smithmyer,
Director of Product Management, Internal Interconnects
  1. Scalable Spring Finger Contacts (English)

A 360-degree view of our spring fingers – also known as shield fingers, grounding fingers, or universal contacts.

  1. Slim Solutions (English)

To meet the demand for slimmer consumer devices, we can custom design the connectors you need. We are ready to help you to reduce connector height up to 30 percent, enabling the super thin consumer devices of today and tomorrow.