About Tekcess and Michael Chase
Hi. My name is Michael Chase. You can call me Mike. I’m the President of Tekcess International, a 25-year-plus veteran of the capital equipment industry, and the author of two capital equipment strategy books, Equipped to Win and Get Your Price!.
Before I share the story of Tekcess, I have a small confession to make. Despite the liberal use of “we” and “us” on this website, you should know that it’s just me. No associates. No subcontractors. When you work with Tekcess, it’s just you and me working together to grow your business and improve your competitiveness. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get on with the Tekcess story.
Tekcess Formed to Solve Key Industry problem
My career started as an engineer developing equipment for the semiconductor industry. However, early on I discovered that my real passion was figuring out how to help my employers grow and compete. I got a real charge out of everything from identifying a juicy market opportunity to out-maneuvering competitors. I also loved working with customers. As a result, my career took an early and sharp turn towards all things strategy, product management, and marketing. I had found my calling. By the time I made the move to full-time consulting, I had held the top marketing spot in three different equipment companies.
Here’s what that experience taught me. Capital equipment companies source most of their strategy and marketing professionals from their technical ranks. Almost without exception, these incredibly capable professionals have the formal, technical education necessary to master complex, capital equipment and its applications. But they are often left on their own to figure out how to capitalize on promising opportunities, grow their businesses, and compete.
In 2006, I formed Tekcess International to help capital equipment companies solve that problem.
A Decade of Full-Court Presses
Tekcess’s first decade was mostly filled with enterprise-wide assignments to help equipment companies accelerate growth, increase profitability, and gain an advantage over their competitors. Each assignment was a full-court press. I interacted with my client’s entire organization from the board of directors to the engineering teams in the lab. I coached, trained, facilitated, lead, managed, and implemented. On a few occasions, I even took on the role of interim General Manager and Vice President of Marketing.
I helped with acquisitions, divestitures, new product introductions, market-share grabs, turnarounds, new-market entries; you name it. These were exciting times for Tekcess and my consulting career. I even worked with one organization where we grew bookings from $0 to nearly $1B in less than a year. It doesn’t get much more exciting than that!
Inspiration from a Voice-of-the-Customer Moment
Then around the middle of 2015, one of my clients gave me the idea that today forms the core of Tekcess. I was invited to deliver my “How to implement a Value-Based Strategy” workshop to all the product managers at a large, public equipment company. At the end of the workshop, the company’s Vice President of Sales said to the group, “Nothing would have a bigger impact on our company than implementing a value-based strategy.” He asked for my help. In response, I provided a proposal for company-wide, transformational help as I had done with so many companies before,
He reacted to my proposal with, “Mike, we want to implement everything you showed us in your workshop. But we’re stretched too thin and just can’t take on another major initiative. Is there some way that you can help us that doesn’t require boiling the ocean?”
I offered, “How about I just coach a few of your product managers on how to apply value-based strategy to their product lines? I can coach as few or as many as you like.”
“Perfect!” the Sales VP beamed.
Coaching has always been a big part of my company-wide engagements. But I hadn’t thought of product-manager coaching as a stand-alone service until that voice-of-the-customer moment. It turns out that a lot of equipment companies don’t have the bandwidth or the need for boil-the-ocean initiatives. For them, coaching is the perfect option to develop their product managers and drive value-based strategy adoption. Fast-forward to today; one-on-one coaching is the primary way that I serve my clients.
I have been fortunate to work with many great companies and scores of talented strategy, product management, and marketing professionals. I hope that someday I get the opportunity to work with you.
He addressed critical product and market issues, held the team together through the uncertainty of a divestiture process, and secured a buyer for the business. Mike did an A+ job in an assignment that had an “off the charts” degree of difficulty.
Companies I have worked with:
Advanced Electron Beams
Blue Wolf Capital Partners
GT Advanced Technologies
Kulicke & Soffa
Leading Edge Crystal Technologies
Silicon Valley X-Ray
Thermo Fisher Scientific