K-Tec Systems was started by Cathy Koch, a woman with a vision to change the way manufacturing is viewed and to empower other manufacturers to achieve greater accuracy, efficiency and cost savings across their operations using data-driven technology.
K-Tec Systems originally started out as ‘K-Temp’. The inspiration for the name was derived from “degrees Kalvin” due to the nature of the original temperature sensor technology, but more importantly due to the fact that Kalvin is a temperature starting point of absolute zero. That idea of ‘starting with nothing’ was how Cathy began her business and remains an important part of the company’s history.
Her passion for helping others and motivation for solving problems, discovering new ways to do things and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, was the driving force behind her startup. Today, K-Tec Systems is a manufacturer, global distributor and engineering integrator of temperature sensors, wire harnesses and control systems, and serves organizations across the automotive, aerospace, food and chemical industries.
EVOLVING THE MANUFACTURING EXPERIENCE
K-Tec System’s tagline is “Making Solutions Happen®”, which means they don’t just make better technology products for manufacturers, they work with each organization to strategize, build and test different projects and ideas. Partnering with production lines that make everything from potato chips to car bumpers, Cathy and her team at K-Tec Systems not only help customers experience greater success, they help them view manufacturing with a different frame of mind.
Cathy explains that, “When people think of manufacturing, they usually picture something that is dark, dingy and labor intensive. I want to show people that no—it can be open and creative and very innovative.” She challenges that perspective by demonstrating her vision for manufacturing at K-Tec. “When you walk into our plant, the first thing you see is manufacturing—everybody is working together and collaborating. It’s clean, it’s bright, it has windows, people are enjoying what they do.”
K-Tec Systems has a passion for quality and they want to prove it, so the company is driving their growth and success by focusing on four areas. As the company started out as a representative, then quickly became a distributor, they are now bringing manufacturing in-house and hiring engineers in order to take their business offering to the next level. To ensure the experts they hire will be successful, K-Tec is introducing a teaching school to define proper temperature measurements and processes. Additionally, they are establishing an in-house lab for testing the quality of their products. Lastly, K-Tec is also in the process of launching an e-commerce platform to expand their business and better serve their customers.
K-Tec Systems has recently engaged with the LTU Collaboratory to help launch a new product that will solve some major issues in the temperature world. The Collaboratory provided Cathy and her team with a designer and mentor who are helping move this product invention forward.
ACHIEVING SUCCESS IN THE STARTUP WORLD
K-Tec System’s powerful story, fearless leader and innovative thinking has helped the company evolve from one individual’s vision into a second-stage startup that is continuing to thrive and make waves in the market. In fact, K-Tec’s growing success recently landed them a spot in 2017 Michigan 50 Companies to Watch.
Having gone through the startup journey herself, Cathy Koch has a few simple pieces of advice for people trying to start their own business: get a good CPA, find a mentor (or mentors), don’t be afraid to ask questions, get involved in other organizations or groups and get the right people behind you from the beginning.
Cathy has learned from all her experiences and has a genuine desire to help others succeed. Along the way, she discovered that networking was one of her most powerful tools, and doing things like joining the Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation, creating a scholarship for women in automotive at LTU and going to industry conferences helped her get where she is today. She preaches that “all questions are good questions” and is happy to meet with anyone who is looking for answers, insights or advice.
To connect with Cathy Koch, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about K-Tec systems, you can visit them online at http://k-tecsystems.com/.