Meet Benchmark Electronics: World-class design, engineering, manufacturing HQ in Tempe
A conversation with Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Solutions Teresa Lamberger
Tell us about your company:
Teresa Lamberger: Benchmark provides comprehensive solutions across the entire product life cycle; leading through its innovative technology and engineering design services; leveraging its optimized global supply chain; and delivering world-class manufacturing services in the following industries: complex industrial, commercial aerospace, defense, advanced computing, next-generation telecommunications, medical, and semiconductor capital equipment. Our global operations include facilities in eight countries, and we hold common shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BHE.
What city in Arizona is your company located in?
How did your company get started?
Lamberger: Benchmark was founded in 1979 in Clute, Texas. We started under the name of “Electronics Inc.” and served as a manufacturing subsidiary to Intermedics. In the beginning, we specialized in low-volume, complex assembly of medical products. In 1990, we changed our name to Benchmark Electronics Inc. and opened our first IPO on the American Stock Exchange under the symbol BHE.
Through acquisitions and key investments in talent and technology building blocks, we’ve grown into an engineering, manufacturing, and innovation solutions provider for a wide range of customers in complex technology industries. We’ve also expanded our global reach with 28 locations across the Americas, Europe, and Asia. In 2017, we moved our headquarters from Angleton, Texas, to our current home in Tempe, Arizona.
Explain why you chose Greater Phoenix to build your company:
Lamberger: As a global design, engineering, and manufacturing company with locations in different regions across the world, our executive staff was geographically dispersed, making it difficult to lead in a way that was ideal. Our headquarters had long been in Angleton, Texas, because our founder’s roots were anchored in the area.
We made the strategic decision to select a new site and build a facility that would bring our executive team together to increase communication, eliminate organizational complexity, and put Benchmark on a stronger path for growth. We debated relocating to either Colorado or Utah, but after careful consideration, Arizona was our clear winner. The decision-making process included key factors such as the ability to attract and keep talent, education, culture, cost of living, and recreational opportunities.
What makes your product unique and different?
Lamberger: Benchmark sets itself apart from the crowd by forming not just relationships, but partnerships with our customers. While traditional EMS companies choose to focus on the challenge at hand, Benchmark focuses on the customer and the success of their products. Our investments in innovative technology building blocks and world-class talent is another key differentiator.
We’ve built our capabilities around the challenges of the future across complex technology industries. This includes expertise in 5G, photonics, miniaturization, IoT, ultra-precision machining, and so much more. As part of our commitment to our customers, we strive to not only solve the immediate challenge in front of us but also to look forward and anticipate future obstacles and opportunities.
Finally, we pride ourselves on the fact that we take on the toughest, most complex technology challenges – many of which other providers will not. We developed the tagline “When It Matters” because of our deep expertise in helping customers create solutions that cannot fail, no matter the circumstances. We work in industries such as medical and defense, where high reliability is a must, and any mistake can cost lives. These complex solutions need to be designed, engineered, and manufactured to the highest level of quality, and that’s where Benchmark excels. When It Matters.
What is the best thing about having your business in Greater Phoenix?
Lamberger: The decision to open our new headquarters in Greater Phoenix came down to several enticing benefits unique to Greater Phoenix. What we believe makes the region a great location to work and grow a technology company include:
- The proximity to Arizona State University and the willingness of its leaders to partner with local technology organizations.
- Greater Phoenix has become a hotbed for technology startups, and we’ve been seizing the growing landscape to collaborate with others in design and manufacturing.
- The Arizona Technology Council, Arizona Commerce Authority, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Arizona Chamber, and other local business development and technology organizations are great assets to the community and have helped us connect with local innovators and navigate our new surroundings.
- Arizona’s minimal living expenses, beautiful weather and vibrant food scene greatly improve quality of life for our people.
In your opinion, why should someone build a career in Greater Phoenix?
Lamberger: Greater Phoenix isn’t just on the rise anymore; we’ve arrived as a legitimate competitor to the nation’s largest technology hubs. In fact, we set ourselves apart in some ways with our key differentiators such as quality of life, limited regulation for tech R&D, and an active and supportive community – both startup and established.
The opportunities are endless for job seekers in technology, and if you’re still deciding on post-secondary education, we have some of the best universities in the world for engineering, manufacturing, and other technical disciplines. We wouldn’t have relocated to Greater Phoenix if it wasn’t a great place for our people to work, live and grow personally and professionally. If you are interested in a career in technology and want to be somewhere that values innovation, Greater Phoenix is the place to be.
What are three words you would use to describe the business community in Greater Phoenix?
Lamberger: Driven, supportive and risk-takers
Are you currently hiring? If so, what types of positions do you need filled now? What about in the future?
Lamberger: Benchmark currently has multiple openings in our facilities in Phoenix and Tempe. A few of the open positions include engineers, program managers, machine operators, production inspectors, and more.
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