Teknic, Inc. Co-op/Internship Job Description & Application
What is a sales engineer?
Many students are not even aware that sales engineering is a career option. (“Sales Engineering is the greatest career no one knows about” National Society of Sales Engineers: https://www.nationalsse.org/?pgid=l1zru99j-0f0b94cb-1446-4bae-a598-3e968e93f4b1) When most students think of sales, they think of a used car salesman caricature. The sales engineering role (especially at Teknic) couldn’t be more different.
Almost all high-tech companies in the world employ sales engineers. A sales engineer is trained on all of the technical background of his/her company’s products and then consults with customers to help them choose the optimal products for their machines based on application goals, technical requirements, and specifications.
At Teknic, our Sales Engineers go through a thorough training program to become motion control and machine automation consultants. Teknic Sales Engineers learn the electrical, software, and mechanical attributes of a wide range of motion control products and applications. They work directly with customers to understand their automation requirements and then, based on application goals and specifications, they help these customers select, integrate, program, test, and troubleshoot motion control products.
This job does not require previous knowledge or experience in motion control or business. If you like robotics, enjoy constantly learning, and want to work with a wide range of engineering customers, read on!
Below are some resources to better understand the sales engineering position in general. That said, Teknic’s Sales Engineers are somewhat unique and there are some notable differences between a typical Sales Engineer and Teknic’s Sales Engineers – we outline these points further below in this job description:
- Video on “What is a Sales Engineer” from the National Society of Sales Engineers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbkPiszgufc&ab_channel=NationalSocietyofSalesEngineers
- “A Day in the Life of a Sales Engineer” at Texas Instruments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJBko9wbU0Y
- Article from Seek – “What’s it like to be a Sales Engineer?”: https://www.seek.com.au/career-advice/role/sales-engineer
This position is for:
- Spring 2023 Summer 2023
- Students who intend to graduate on or before May 2024.
- Students in any STEM major (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics); Mechanical, Mechatronics, Electrical or Software Engineering related majors are ideal, but not required.
- Pay range is $26-$30/hr, depending upon academic semesters completed and previous work experience.
What does a Sales Engineer at Teknic do? A sales engineer at Teknic:
- Discusses technical applications with customers (via email, phone, occasional on-site visits) to determine motion control goals and project requirements (such as power requirements, settling time, accuracy, smoothness, software & electrical interfaces, and also the type of control).
- Uses internal simulation software tools to optimize product selection based on the customer’s application requirements. These tools help our sales engineers recommend the optimal product(s) for our customers based on various mechanical, electrical and software specifications/parameters.
- Provides value engineering services to help OEM customers improve machine performance, increase throughput, and/or reduce costs.
- Works to understand the business side of each customer application to determine profit potential to Teknic, what product options the customer has, how to help that customer become more competitive in their own field, how and where the customer can save cost, etc.
- Trains and supports customers on Teknic’s products and the application of those products
- Builds rapport with customers to establish their confidence in Teknic as a business partner.
- Addresses any customer questions about Teknic’s manufacturing systems, supply chain, and quality.
- Tunes, troubleshoots, and runs tests for customer machine performance and optimization.
- Assists Teknic design and applications engineers with new product testing, feature specification, and technical documentation (e.g. technical applications notes and user manuals).
- Works on marketing and advertising research/ tasks such as video scripts, marketing emails, web design, technical writing (social media responses and online articles), and Google advertisements.
What doesn’t a Sales Engineer at Teknic do? A sales engineer at Teknic does not:
- Work on commission or fill any type of quota.
- Make “cold calls” or have designated “regions”/ “territories” to sell to.
Push product that isn’t a good fit for customers, solely to make Teknic more money.
- Deny technical support to a customer because the opportunity isn’t large enough.
- Negotiate pricing with Teknic customers (all of Teknic’s products’ pricing is fixed and based on volume).
- Travel for weeks on end (Teknic sales engineers will very occasionally travel for anywhere from 1-5 days in a row) – total travel time is less than 10% of the job.
Desired Skill Set:
What type of person is a good fit for a Teknic Sales Engineer position? Someone who:
- Studied engineering or another technical major, but wants to engage in and explore other areas outside of or in addition to that focused major.
- Enjoys learning and working across multiple different engineering disciplines, especially mechanical, electrical, software/controls.
- Enjoys troubleshooting and being presented with tasks that require open-ended problem solving.
- Likes working with and helping people (both internal and external to the company). They enjoy teaching others and are interested in speaking with people for a majority of the day.
- Has an interest in learning more about the business side of a company. They have a strong technical background in engineering, but would also like to understand more about business topics such as marketing, qualifying ROI, risk vs. reward, supply chain, quality, manufacturing flow, advertising, and technical writing.
- Does not desire to solely design and develop products, but wants to learn and understand the application of motion control products and then work with customers to help design those products into larger applications and automated machinery.
- Has great communication skills and/or is interested in improving their communication skills (both written and verbal).
- Seeks out and incorporates feedback well.
- Wants to work in a fast-pace environment and work on many different types of tasks and projects.
- Has the desire to work in a flat management organization – we’re not big on titles or tenure, but rather value performance and demonstrated competence within a particular field.
- Enjoys an open-office environment. No one has a private office or cubicle at Teknic. In fact, all employees, including co-ops and interns have the same, identical desk setup.
Recent Co-op/Intern Projects at Teknic:
- Motor stator design and development
- Dynamometer design and development for motor testing
- New product testing and creation/implementation of test plans
- Software application and electro-mechanical sub-system for an automated lock-cracker: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tteG2hQaDeg
- The “RumBot” automated bartender, made by a former co-op in his spare time (with help from some Teknic employees): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSmx47DsDTs&feature=youtu.be
About Teknic, Inc.
Engineering and Manufacturing of Motors & Electronic Controls for Automation- Specializing in Ease-of-Performance
What is it like to work at Teknic?
Since 1985, Teknic, Inc. has designed and manufactured servo control electronics and high-performance servo motors for use in robotic machinery in a wide variety of industries: semiconductor, medical, CNC, grand-format printing, flight simulators and many others.
Our business philosophy is as follows: It’s no fun doing things like everyone else. We want to make products that are not only higher performance than everyone else’s, but less expensive too. That’s obviously a tall order, but so far, by challenging the conventional wisdom in everything from design to manufacturing to sales, and especially in our work environment, we’ve done just that.
The type of person that fits in well at Teknic likes to work in teams; wants to have a say in how things are done; is creative and wants to do things better than they’re done elsewhere; is comfortable with a lack of formal hierarchy (very flat management structure); likes being responsible for the overall objectives of projects and working on a wide variety of activities (as opposed to preferring to specialize in a narrow area); isn’t afraid to take intelligent risks on doing things in new ways; has a good sense of humor, and works hard but wants to have fun in a challenging and stimulating environment.
Our work environment is open (easy access to senior management), and casual (e.g., most of us wear shorts in the summer). Co-op students who perform well are often hired after they graduate (and their co-op time counts toward their tenure for tenure-dependent benefits like profit-sharing and paid vacation time).
Here’s a recent co-op student’s comment about his time at Teknic:
*** “I had a great experience at Teknic. On a personal level, everyone was really nice and fun to be around. The setting was very casual which made it easy for me to fit in. On a professional level, I learned a ton on this co-op in areas that I find interesting which is a bonus. In addition, a lot of what I learned will be useful on my senior design project.” ***