Careers at Harris Corporation
Harris Corporation’s mission is to be the best-in-class global provider of mission-critical products, systems, and services to both government and commercial customers, combining advanced technology and application knowledge to offer a superior value proposition.
Harris Corporation is a provider of technology products, systems, and services. The firm operates four reportable business segments:
- Communication Systems - Serves markets in tactical communications and defense and public safety networks.
- Space and Intelligence Systems - Provides complete Earth observation, environmental, geospatial, space protection, and intelligence solutions from advanced sensors and payloads, as well as ground processing and information analytics.
- Electronic Systems - Offers a portfolio of solutions in electronic warfare, avionics, wireless technology, command, control, communications, computers and intelligence, and undersea systems.
- Critical Networks - Provides managed services supporting air traffic management, energy and maritime communications, and ground network operation and sustainment, as well as high-value information technology and engineering services.
Brothers Alfred and Charles Harris operated a jewelry store in Niles, Ohio. During their free time, they brainstormed and developed various types of gadgets. Their first successful device was an automatic sheet feeder that saved people from having to hand-feed printing presses. The brothers built a new printing press for the machine that could accomodate a higher volume.
Feeling confident about their invention, they incorporated the Harris Automatic Press Company in 1895. The firm produced large multicolor presses used to print newspapers and books. In the early 1900s it acquired two other printers, Seybold Machine Company and Premier & Potter Printing Press Company. Its name was subsequently changed to Harris-Seybold-Potter Company.
In 1957 more activity occurred as it merged with the Intertype Corporation, a manufacturer of hot metal typesetting machines. The new company renamed itself Harris-Intertype Corporation. At this point it offered a wide variety of products, including envelope presses, offset lithographic presses, bindery equipment, paper cutting machines, microwave equipment, and broadcasting transmitters.
By the mid-1960s Harris-Intertype was generating annual sales of $200 million. Ambitious, it sought to diversify its operations. Its printing devices were still mechanical, and the firm observed that future technological advances would require electronics. So in 1968 it bought Radiation, a producer of electronics equipment for the government, for $56 million. Its name remained Harris-Intertype.
Following the merger, the new company’s sales surged past $250 million. The next decade saw many new innovations, such as electronic newsroom technology, which grew from a Radiation study on how to update Harris-Intertype’s mechanical presses. It also pursued a strategy of “technology transfer“ – creating commercial applications of technology originally made for the government.
The decade also saw the company aggressively pursuing additional acquisitions in an effort to move even further into electronics. It eventually transformed from 84% mechanical to 70% electronic. In 1974 its name was changed to the simpler Harris Corporation. By 1989 it had become the United States‘ largest supplier of radio and television broadcasting equipment and dictating equipment.
Business model of Harris Corporation
Harris Corporation has a segmented market business model, with customer groups that have slightly different needs. The company targets its offerings at firms in the government, defense, and commercial sectors. The government sector accounted for 76% of revenues in its 2016 fiscal year.
Harris Corporation offers two primary value propositions: innovation and brand/status.
The company has embraced innovation throughout its history. It was formed out of the need to develop a new technology more advanced than existing offerings – specifically, a faster, better printing press. Other innovations of note include advanced battlefield communications and the communications technology used by the earliest astronauts to speak to mission control.
The company has established a strong brand due to its success. It has 21,000 employees worldwide and generated $7.5 billion in revenues in 2016. It serves customers in approximately 100 countries. It is the largest private-sector employer in Brevard County, Florida. Lastly, it has won many honors, including recognition as one of the top 100 federal contractors by Defense News.
Harris Corporation’s main channels are its direct sales team and its network of dealers and distributors. The company promotes its offerings through its website, social media pages, and participation in events such as expos, forums, summits, symposiums, and conferences.
Harris Corporation’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service nature. Customers utilize its products while having limited interaction with employees.
Harris Corporation’s business model entails designing, developing, and manufacturing its products for customers, as well as delivering associated services.
Harris Corporation’s key partners are the suppliers and subcontractors that provide it with the raw materials and parts it needs to manufacture its products. These items include electronic components, printed circuit boards, metals, and plastics. It also works with a network of dealers and distributors that promote and sell its products and services in order to expand its reach.
Harris Corporation’s main resources are its human resources, who include the over 9,000 scientists and engineers that design, develop, and/or manufacture its products. It maintains important physical resources in the form of manufacturing, warehousing, and research/development facilities across the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Central and South America, Africa, and Asia. Lastly, it places a high priority on its intellectual property, with 1,900 issued and 200 pending U.S. patents, as well as 1,700 issued and 600 pending foreign patents, as of July 2016.
Harris Corporation has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation. Its biggest cost driver is cost of product sales and services, a variable expense. Other major drivers are in the areas of sales/marketing and administration expenses, both fixed costs.
Harris Corporation has one revenue stream: revenues it generates from the sale of its products and services to clients. Sales mostly occur through the signing of development and production contracts.
info: William M. Brown () earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Villanova University and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania. He previously served as SVP, Corporate Strategy and Development at United Technologies Corporation.
info: Rahul Ghai earned a undergraduate degrees in Economics and Accounting at Delhi University and an MBA at Purdue University. He previously served as VP of Financial Planning and Integration at Aetna, Inc. and as Chief Financial Officer of Aetna International.
info: Dana A. Mehnert earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics and a B.A. in Political Science at Case Western Reserve University. He previously served as Group President of Harris RF Communications.
info: Scott T. Mikuen earned a Bachelor’s degree at Colgate University and a JD at Harvard Law School. He previously served as VP, General Counsel and Secretary at Harris Corporation and worked as a partner at a Long Island, NY law firm.
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