Participating Advisor

SMP Alignment could be considered a consultancy specializing in sales, marketing, product development, innovation, or strategy.   In a sense, SMP Alignment is all of these.  But SMP Alignment avoids the consultant cliché and adopts the term participating advisor.

The participating advisor is one who becomes a part of your team to contribute, bring insight, coach, and do – not to borrow your watch and tell you the time – but to participate and advise.  You won’t be reminded of the infamous UPS commercial that stars consultants pitching brilliant proposals where the client responds with “Great! Do it!” and the consultant responds with “Sir, we don’t actually ‘do’ what we propose.” 


The inspiration for SMP Alignment came from a multi-year product development journey at the Hach Company (part of Danaher, DHR), that reinvented a configurable platform of water quality monitoring instruments used by scientists and engineers worldwide to assess environmental water quality.  This was a comprehensive project encompassing mechanical, hardware, firmware, software, sensors, and user interface design to meet customer requirements discovered through comprehensive market and customer research and then packaging this complex product into something that is easy to sell with messaging, promotion, and sales tools that resonate with customers worldwide and the global sales team – all in an organization that takes lean manufacturing and performance expectations to the highest levels.  Such a project needed tight alignment and cross-functional cooperation between sales, marketing, and product development – and masterful use of tools, methods, processes, and tricks to make it happen and win back market share from an entrenched competitor.

About Erik

Erik Host-Steen, Founder of SMP Alignment

Erik Host-Steen, Founder of SMP Alignment

Erik’s deep and broad experience across sales, marketing, and product development comes from 20 years of working in and studying these disciplines, within and for several B2B industries and companies, from small family-owned businesses to the biggest publicly-traded enterprises.  His favorites are small to mid-sized technically-oriented B2B product companies with engineers and scientists as associates and customers.

In addition to years of hands-on practical practice, Erik leverages his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Binghamton University, master’s degree in environmental engineering from the University of Buffalo, and a MBA focused in marketing from Cornell University.