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President's Letter to our Cimetrix Community

Posted by Robert H. Reback: President and Chief Executive Officer

Feb 2, 2017 11:30:00 AM

To the Cimetrix community of clients, partners, shareholders and employees,

Cimetrix had another year of solid progress during 2016. Financial results were in-line with expectations, as Cimetrix continued to achieve profitability every quarter with full-year revenue in the $6M to $7M range.

Our key highlights include:

  • Cimetrix continued to enhance its reputation for product quality and the highest levels of customer support in the industry, receiving consistently excellent feedback from our client base.

  • Cimetrix continued to invest in building great products with new releases of all our product lines. Substantial improvements were made in both new features and internal testing that will benefit our clients for many years. 

  • Cimetrix gained additional “design wins” for its products in North America, Europe and Japan, where the company has an established presence. In addition, Cimetrix won important new clients in China and Korea. 

  • Cimetrix strengthened its organization as we added a number of new employees in business development, software engineering and technical support functions. The Company continued to invest in employee development, education and continuous improvement. We believe the concepts and training we’ve received in lean and agile processes will enable Cimetrix to build better products and more efficiently provide our clients with the highest levels of service. 

  • Cimetrix made a number of key investments that we believe will lead to future long-term growth. We strengthened our local sales and technical support in a number of Asian countries. We developed a number of new product prototypes in collaboration with key clients leading to the introduction of an exciting new Cimetrix product in 2016. Several other new products are in development and have the potential to significantly expand our markets.

Cimetrix also held its first shareholder meeting since going private in late 2014, which provided a forum to explain to shareholders why the Company took that important step, the progress we’ve made since going private, and our future plans. As a result of generating positive cash flow from operations, Cimetrix was able to continue providing liquidity for shareholders that contacted the Company. Prior to going private, the Company had over 4.5M shares outstanding, adjusted for stock splits. As of December 31, 2016, the Company had fewer than 3.9M shares outstanding. This means that every current shareholder’s ownership percentage has increased by over 15%.

Going Forward

Going forward, industry analysts predict an increase in semiconductor capital equipment spending for 2017. In addition, we are seeing increased traction for the relatively new SEMI Standards for Equipment Data Acquisition (EDA), also known as Interface A. We believe these trends will enable us to achieve short-term incremental increases in revenue that support continued operations on a profitable basis and investments in new products and markets that will lead to longer-term step function increases in revenue.

We will continue to focus on satisfying our worldwide base of clients, improving our efficiencies and effectiveness, and executing our plan to expand the markets for Cimetrix products for long-term growth.

From all of us at Cimetrix, we thank our clients for the trust they have placed in our products and our team. We also thank our shareholders for their patience and support. 

Sincerely,

Robert H. Reback
President and Chief Executive Officer

Topics: Partners, Doing Business with Cimetrix, Working at Cimetrix, Cimetrix Culture, Announcements, Investor News

The Right Stuff

Posted by Jodi M. Juretich: Chief Financial Officer

Mar 31, 2016 1:09:00 PM

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Over the past six months, Cimetrix has hired some fantastic new employees in a number of positions, including software engineering, quality assurance, client training and support, and even some new administrative positions. As we are always searching for good employees, there are times I reflect on my father’s legacy of over 30 years with NASA and think of all the challenges NASA faced finding good people in their quest to put a man on the moon. I remember him talking about the “young kids” coming into the organization. By the way, those “young kids” are now my age and older, including many that are retired. Today I find myself using the same term, “young kids” and, as I do, I catch myself and laugh.

Finding “The Right Stuff,” if you will excuse my cheesy reference to the movie version of the Mercury 7 first manned space flights in the early 60’s, is no easy task—especially in these days of low unemployment for highly skilled technical people. But we have found if you make the investment in your recruiting process, you can attract smart talent and greatly increase your chances of finding superior employees that enjoy high job satisfaction, fit well with the team, and contribute to the success of the organization.

To make a successful hire, we move slowly and take our time getting to know the candidate. Our philosophy is that everyone has natural strengths and talents. A good fit is when a potential new hire can leverage their natural strengths and talents in the job function and matches the core values of the company. The right job for anyone is the job that provides an outstanding opportunity to apply those natural strengths and talents in teamwork with others towards a compelling vision and opportunity. You must find someone who possesses the skills your company is looking for, shares the same core values as the company, and is priced at a range that is equitable in the organization. If there is misalignment in any of these core characteristics, DO NOT HIRE.   

A good recruiting process takes patience but, with patience, comes risk. If an employer take too long in the recruiting process, they risk losing a good candidate to other offers. On the other hand, if a company possesses the clout of, say, Google, patience becomes the burden of the candidate and not the hiring company. According to Laszlo Bock, author of Insights from Inside Google, ‘Work Rules’ that will transform how you live and lead, Google may take six months to make an offer. I suspect in the early 60’s, NASA carried the same clout as Google because almost everyone in America wanted to be part of creating history.

Bottom line, recruiting is an investment in a long term relationship. Be thorough. Involve a large number of employees across the organization in the hiring and decision making process. The initial interaction on how a candidate treats the receptionist can be very revealing. Administer “talent tests” to validate required skills. Call references. Perform the necessary educational and other background checks. Take the candidate to lunch in a more social environment and observe how they interact with others. Leave no stone unturned. If you are diligent in the recruiting process, you may just find “The Right Stuff” for your organization.

For more insight into successful hiring, read How to Think About Hiring: Play Smarter to Win the Talent Management Game by Lex Sisney, CEO Coach and author of Organizational Physics.

Topics: Working at Cimetrix, Cimetrix Culture

New Emerging Business and Technology Office

Posted by Bob Reback: Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Jan 7, 2016 12:58:00 PM

With the new year, comes a major new initiative for Cimetrix to grow the markets for its products.  The company used the transition to 300mm manufacturing to establish a leadership position for its current product portfolio in the semiconductor industry. However, the company is starting to have success expanding into adjacent vertical markets that includes disk drive, display, LED, and photovoltaic. The objective of this new initiative is for Cimetrix to leverage its experience, technology, and product portfolio gained in the advanced semiconductor manufacturing industry to expand the markets for Cimetrix products. We will be exploring new opportunities in our current adjacent markets as well as possible new markets such as SMT and electronic assembly.

Ranjan.jpeg

To head up this initiative, Ranjan Chatterjee has joined the company in the role of Vice President, Emerging Business and Technology Office. He will focus on extending and introducing Cimetrix’ portfolio of products into Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) initiatives by interfacing manufacturing equipment with big data and analytics tools. The data generated by devices connected via Cimetrix products can also be enlisted to bolster another methodology often used with lean manufacturing—Six Sigma. With the improvements in cloud and big data tools and infrastructure, one can use these methodologies on data with much bigger volume, velocity, and variety. This enables process control and a lack of variation of products. Processes can be monitored and corrected in real-time instead of inspecting machines merely at completion, and eventually this will help improve yields and reduce scrap. Specifically, manufacturers will need to establish a robust data infrastructure that works across the broader array of machines on the shop floor while breaking down protocol barriers so the machines can communicate effectively and in real time.

Manufacturers will also need to establish a bidirectional data flow so they are not only collecting information from equipment, but also pushing control back to the machines to optimize their usage. Manufacturers that can capture the right information, sift through it, and use it at the right time will be the ones that succeed.  Cimetrix intends to be a leader in enabling this vision. Ranjan’s decades of experience at Motorola and in the industry as a whole in software development, big data, cloud, process control, and lean manufacturing will enable Cimetrix to both adapt and develop products and partnerships to enable a robust ecosystem for a compelling solution.

Ranjan’s relationship with Cimetrix is not a new one as he is a former client. While at Motorola, Ranjan oversaw the development and deployment of a standards-based factory control system for SMT and assembly, which encompassed 24 factories around the world, and connected to over 20,000 pieces of equipment using the first generation of Cimetrix connectivity software. At that time, it was the leader in cell phone manufacturing and the largest purchaser of SMT equipment in the world. More recently, Ranjan has worked with companies developing and deploying systems using cloud technologies, big data analytics, and various modern technologies with a global software development team.

Ranjan is extremely excited to join the Cimetrix team as he sees many opportunities to leverage the latest cloud and big data analytics with Cimetrix core expertise and product portfolio into new markets for Cimetrix. He sees great potential for expanding Cimetrix in this new direction and we here at Cimetrix are looking forward to Ranjan leading the way.

If you are interested in discussing possible business opportunities and/or partnerships with Cimetrix with this new initiatives, please fill out our contact form to reach the Emerging Business and Technology Office.

Topics: Working at Cimetrix, Cimetrix Culture, Announcements, IoT

Cimetrix Annual Picnic

Posted by Cimetrix

Sep 13, 2011 5:35:00 PM

By Jentry Nourse
HR Coordinator

No summer would be complete without the annual Cimetrix Picnic.  We had a fantastic turnout this year.  With a headcount of 68, it may be the largest picnic to date.

 C  Users rschreck Documents Marketing Blogs Lttlle Girl at Picnic resized 600

Last year we added seventeen new members to the Cimetrix team - 7 are from Utah, 9 are located in Texas, and 1 resides in Las Vegas.  We were able to coordinate an engineering conference the same week which allowed us to bring everyone to Salt Lake for an afternoon full of food, fun and conversation.

The picnic was held at our usual pavilion at Murray Park.  With several options such as horseshoes, Frisbee, croquet, soccer, volleyball, baseball, a face painting station, and a snow cone machine, there was something for everyone, including the dogs!

 C  Users rschreck Documents Marketing Blogs girl with dog resized 600

 

We kicked off the picnic with a music set provided by David Francis’ son Austin and daughter Jessica, who played several upbeat tunes on the violin for us.  Jessica Francis recently won the Miss Farmington Scholarship Competition and performed “Orange Blossom Special” and “Millionaires Hoedown”, the same songs she performed during the talent show of the pageant. 

 C  Users rschreck Documents Marketing Blogs Face Painting resized 600

This was a perfect way to begin the festivities and everyone was impressed with Jessica and Austin’s talent, as well as their willingness to come entertain us.  They were so good we asked for an encore.

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Working in the HR department, I see the names of spouses and family members on a daily basis.  I always enjoy this opportunity to put a face with a name and know that everyone in attendance felt the same.  We even had name tags so everyone could figure out who belonged to whom.

Despite my efforts, none of the upper management came prepared with their Karaoke assignments.   I’ll make sure to hand them out earlier next year so no one can claim they were put on the spot.

It’s nice to be able to associate with your coworkers outside of the office environment.  Sitting back and observing everyone, it occurred to me what a really outstanding team we have.  I enjoy talking to every employee here at Cimetrix and look forward to many future picnics.

C  Users rschreck Documents Marketing Blogs Jentry and Sharon at Picnic resized 600

Topics: Working at Cimetrix

The Financial and ERP (R)Evolution at Cimetrix

Posted by Cimetrix

Jun 16, 2011 8:45:00 AM

by Peggy Faulkner

Assistant Controller

Debits and credits.  Accruals, depreciation, amortization.  Terminology that cures insomnia for most, but also the nuts and bolts of keeping track of a company’s day-to-day operations and, ultimately, feedback on its state of health and a roadmap for strategic planning. 

As Cimetrix emerged from the economic downturn, management decided in mid- 2010 the time was right to upgrade the unsupported financial system used in daily operations and reporting.  The Great Plains system had been state-of-the-art when it was implemented, but in recent years was like an old family car driven for years, its better days behind, not able to deliver the performance or features of newer models.

Features, cost, implementation, and support analyses of several ERP systems led to management choice of an updated version of Great Plains, acquired by Microsoft in 2001.   As autumn days became crisp and short, the finance team experienced many things—anticipation...long hours scrubbing old files and laying groundwork... occasional frustration…trial and error….testing, more testing, and more testing—all hallmarks of implementing a new accounting system.  By January 1, 2011, a new era had dawned—we were live, and using our new financial system!  Since that “go live” date, new financial reports and delivery processes have been developed and implemented, giving executives and managers more comprehensive, efficient and varied details of operations for strategic planning. 

During the financial implementation process, it became evident that the integrated Project Accounting portion of Great Plains fell short in meeting Cimetrix' needs, and implementation of that portion of the project was delayed.  Instead of retrofitting a bad fit, CFO Jodi Juretich set out to find a more comprehensive Project Accounting package.  Demos and testing of potential Project Accounting software partners are currently underway, as is staging for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM (customer relationship management) integration.  The CRM integration will play a significant role in how we manage our relationships with customers, and ultimately leads to delivering higher quality service.

Also on the drawing board is a re-design of our website — which has always contained great information, but has been in its present format for many years, and would appreciate a makeover.

 As my friend Mr. Dylan once crooned, “Well, the times, they are a’changin’…”.

A’changin’ indeed.   Exciting times for us! 

Topics: Working at Cimetrix

Worldwide Support... for Football

Posted by Cimetrix

Jul 7, 2010 11:10:00 AM

world cupThe World Cup is one of the greatest sporting events around the globe - and, for many parts of the world, it is THE sporting event of the year. This year, ABC & ESPN experienced an 80% gain in viewers during the opening matches... and the team at Cimetrix definitely helped contribute to that statistic. An avid fan, Cimetrix's CEO, Bob Reback, spearheaded the "soccer spirit" and organized several gatherings to view the matches.

With a worldwide customer base, it was fun to establish a friendly rivalry with the teams (and our friends) from other countries. However, with the US no longer in the running, we chose to focus our loyalties on the other strong teams: the Netherlands and Germany.  Our friends at Assembleon appreciated the support:

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If you're new to football and/or the World Cup, you might want to check out "A step-by-step guide on How to Appreciate a Soccer Game." before the final matches.  And for the latest news and results, visit the official World Cup website: FIFA.

Topics: Doing Business with Cimetrix, Working at Cimetrix, Cimetrix Culture, Germany, Netherlands

Health Care Reform and You

Posted by Cimetrix

Jun 10, 2010 6:00:00 AM

by Jentry Nourse,
AP/AR Coordinator

For months now the only think anyone has been talking about is Healthcare. Now that the bill has passed, it seems like everyone is wondering …..”what does this mean for me? And, how will my company/employer be affected?”

I was able to attend a webinar just 1 day after the Healthcare Bill was signed into law. It was offered through our benefits provider and, in an attempt to gain more knowledge on the upcoming changes, our HR Department attended. The webinar was conducted by Janet Trautwein, CEO of NAHU (National Association of Healthcare Underwriters.) Janet briefly went through the signed Healthcare Bill noting that a Reconciliation Bill would be proposed by the house and that the immediate impact could not be determined until the Reconciliation Bill was passed or rejected. http://www.www.nahu.org/Reform%20Timeline%20revised.pdf

Timelines for these changes are easy to find and most of them show changes to the laws being implemented over the next 9 years to allow for the phasing in of the new changes and phasing out of the old procedures. The details are simply not outlined yet, making it hard to determine what the short term and long term effect will be.

With our benefits open enrollment just around the corner (July), we are actively looking at the upcoming changes and what they mean for our company and our employees, both short term and long term http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/03/23/health.care.timeline/index.html

The next few months will be full of meetings with our providers to determine what we can do to keep healthcare premiums at a minimum as well as how to make healthcare work harder for our employees. Being able to provide a comprehensive benefits package is one of our top priorities. In order to successfully do this, it’s important to know what concerns / questions they have.

  • What questions/concerns do you have with the newly passed Healthcare Bill?
  • What do you like/dislike about our current benefits?
  • What are your biggest concerns for the future of healthcare?

Topics: Working at Cimetrix, Cimetrix Culture

Another step in the right direction

Posted by Cimetrix

Apr 22, 2010 7:50:00 AM

by Jodi Juretich,
Chief Financial Officer

after the stormHave you ever been through a hurricane or a blizzard or maybe just a really bad thunderstorm? I’ve been through them all and when the storm finally passes, we all go outside, assess the damage and immediately start cleaning up and rebuilding. Not too different from the economic storm of 2008-2009.

As a kid growing up in Florida, I remember boarding up windows, stocking-piling supplies, making sure the generator worked and everyone was accounted for. When the storm passed, it was always interesting to see which neighbors emerged defeated and ready to pack up and move out of the state and which neighbors emerged feeling victorious and ready to get right back in the game.

Like most companies across the world, Cimetrix was not spared the pounding forces of the recession. However, before the recession hit, we tightened up the ship and hunkered down, then licked our wounds after the storm passed and emerged feeling stronger and more determined than ever to rebuild and make Cimetrix, once again, VICTORIOUS! We are off to a good start by posting two consecutive quarters of POSTIVE NET INCOME in the last two quarters and 2009. The forecast for 2010 is Bright and Sunny!

When you are faced with rebuilding, it’s a good opportunity to assess what you can do differently to improve operations, generate growth and increase shareholder value. One of the many changes Cimetrix recently implemented was to our IT operations. In November, 2009, Cimetrix made the brave move to outsource all of our IT operations. There was some resistance at first and I even paused at the idea before fully embracing it. After all, it is so nice to call your on-site guy to your computer, at the drop of a hat, to retrieve your missing icon or re-configuring your dual monitor or some of those other voo-doo things that they do!

We selected a local and reputable company (ITNow.net) and they are virtually available 24 x 7 and can be on-site in minutes, if need be. To my surprise, the transition of not having someone physically present at my computer when I have an issue has not been as traumatic as I expected. Their team of dedicated IT professionals can directly remote in to my computer (with my permission, of course) and do all they need to do without leaving their office. Some of the other advantages of replacing a one-man on-site IT shop are the expanded wealth of knowledge a TEAM of people bring to the operations rather than a single source. Since partnering with ITNow.net, we’ve outsourced and upgraded our email, upgraded numerous aging engineering hardware and software, consolidated hardware for more efficient performance, reduced down-time with monitoring equipment and redundant back ups which all leads to increased efficiencies through out the entire organization. Increased efficiencies translates into reduced costs, revenue growth and ultimately, increased shareholder value!

So if you are looking for opportunities to make improvements to your company’s infrastructure, make sure IT outsourcing is on your list to consider.

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Topics: Working at Cimetrix, Cimetrix Culture

A Few Good Reasons to Work for Cimetrix

Posted by Cimetrix

Apr 7, 2010 3:00:00 AM

mohammad & daveby Mohammad Islam,
Software Engineer

Before joining Cimetrix, I used to work for a bigger company in California with lots of benefits. I liked the location and the money part of the job. However, I did not have any mental satisfaction working there as the work environment was very hard to deal with.

When I joined Cimetrix in 2004, I was little worried how things would turn out as it was a small company with a very few non-American employees. However, it turned out that joining here was one of the wisest moves that I've made in my life which I am really grateful about. Being a small company, everyone knows everyone here, we are like a family. The work environment is amazing. They give me my freedom; they trust me and that is very important to an employee. They care about what I do and my opinions. All this makes me feel like I am a valuable member of this company. Moreover, my family and I are very grateful to the Cimetrix Executives and Management for all the help and support they offered us throughout the immigration process.I must also mention that it feels very good to beat Mr. President occasionally at the “Ping Pong” table. He is a very tough competitor and never likes to loose.

In conclusion, I just want to say that this is the best place to work for, especially in this kind of economical era. Cimetrix survived the worst economic downfall in decades which implies that it's a strong company with good people, that's bouncing back very strongly.

Topics: Working at Cimetrix, Cimetrix Culture

Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance and Cimetrix

Posted by Cimetrix

Feb 5, 2010 8:59:00 AM

by Peggy Faulkner,
Assistant Controller

Sarbanes Oxley ComplianceWhen I confided to a long-time friend with whom I used to work in the financial arena at General Electric that I was thinking of returning to work after 20 years of raising a family, and that I would be doing Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliance work for Cimetrix, she gasped, and blurted, “I am SO sorry!” I was pretty sure her dismay was not an indictment of me returning to work, nor to Cimetrix—it was all about SOX.

When SOX was federally mandated in 2002, as a financial regulatory response to the Enron and Worldcom (and others) scandals, the intent was to soothe panicked investors and restore confidence that our public companies operate under sufficient financial control, oversight, and transparency. Revenue level or company size matter not—all public companies must comply, and compliance places a disproportionately heavier cost burden on small companies such as Cimetrix. Annual auditing must be performed by an independent, registered public accounting firm, and an extra layer of control in the form of reporting and certification is included in all SEC filings by financial management. Transparency to financial reports is now greater, and penalties for financial fraud or misrepresentation are harsh.

In an economic downturn, such as we are now experiencing, the cost of compliance becomes even more burdensome. Nonetheless, Cimetrix is fully compliant with all SOX regulations, and has been for some time now, due to the diligence of the Finance team. Long before I joined the company, measures were taken to reorganize, analyze, report, and verify financial data at a SOX-mandated level.

Currently, cross-training and report collaboration within the department ensure an additional level of review. Our goal this year is to become paperless—in keeping with environmental concerns, and our connection to the PV industry, perhaps?

Eighteen months after talking with my old friend, when she asks how things are going, I smile and say, “Piece of cake!”

Now, if I could just win the company Soup Cook-off!!

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Topics: Customer Service, Doing Business with Cimetrix, Working at Cimetrix, Cimetrix Culture, Investor News

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