Eric Arno Hiller, Managing Partner

Eric Hiller Product Cost Management Hiller AssociatesEric Arno Hiller is one of the world’s foremost authorities in Product Profitability and Cost Management – enabling the organization to bring innovative products to market in a profitable way, where product cost is known and reduced throughout the product development process, before product launch.  Eric has been researching and driving product profitability since 1996, when he published the seminal thesis on the topic and invented the world’s first practical CAD driven Feature Based Costing software.

Eric has shared his insight on how to bring profitable products to market with senior executives of many of the world’s most innovative product companies, including Ford Motor Company, John Deere, Caterpillar, Flextronics, Polaris, JLG, and many others.  He has been interviewed by many of the thought leaders in the sourcing and product development world, including www.spendmatters.com and blog.sourcinginnovation.com/.  Eric has written for www.tech-clarity.com and www.CostCents.com, and his ideas have been covered by IndustryWeek, Aberdeen Research, Managing Automation, Design Engineering, and CAD Digest, among others.

Mr. Hiller has invested the last fifteen years as an entrepreneurial executive and product development leader.  He has led cross-functional teams to develop revolutionary products and to solve business problems that lie at the nexus among functional groups, such as engineering, finance, purchasing, and manufacturing.  Eric was the co-founder and founding CEO of two high technology start-ups:  aPriori (the world’s premier provider product cost management software) and End Around. 

In 2003, Eric founded and was the first CEO of aPriori.  He lead the company from day one in all respects including, value proposition, funding, recruiting, piloting, development, marketing, and sales.  Eric held many other positions as the company grew, including Director of Business Development, Vice President of Cost Modeling, and Chief Product Officer, as well as starting the pre-sales and professional services groups.  For five years after its initial venture funding by Bain Capital Ventures and Sigma Partners, Eric was the driving force behind aPriori’s product strategy.  He led product management through many releases that helped close aPriori’s first 20 customers and drive the company’s valuation and subsequent funding rounds. Eric_Hiller_at_aPriori_STARS_1_2012

Prior to aPriori, Mr. Hiller worked briefly in Venture Capital with 3i, PLC while in business school, and before that he worked in product development at Ford Motor Company.  His last role at Ford was as Product Manager and Systems Engineer for the F-150 Pick-up Truck Driveline, a $450 million per year commodity.  Prior to that, Eric served in various roles at Ford, such as launch engineer for the first Excursion SUV, engine computer calibrator for the Explorer SUV, product manager for Ford’s first Gasoline Direct Injection engine in Cologne, Germany, financier in the Treasurer’s office, corporate strategist, and controls test engineer.  Prior to Ford, Eric worked in manufacturing at Procter & Gamble and design at John Deere.

Mr. Hiller holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he earned 2nd Year Honors and won the HBS Business Plan Contest.  He also holds summa cum laude masters and bachelors degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

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