Advanced Imaging


Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: January 12th, 2011 09:49 AM CDT

How to Develop Business Opportunities

Strategies for finding new prospects in difficult times
Dynamis AB
Bin Picking is one of the most interesting opportunities in visionbased automation. In 2008, for example, Karlskoga, Sweden-based Dynamis AB, successfully introduced SensActive ™ technology for bin-picking applications.
Hofmann AMC
The goal of realizing additional business can be achieved in many different ways depending on your core business, customer base, competition and available budgets & resources. Opportunities can be grouped into three categories: Existing customer/new product, existing product/new customer and new product/new customer.
Baumer Gige camera
National Instruments module for camera link imaging processing

By Holger Hofmann
AMC Hofmann

Internal market intelligence is a valuable source for the first step. By collecting information and ideas from your staff as well as analyzing data stored in your customer database or CRM system many opportunities can be identified and grouped. Mind mapping is a valuable technique to do so. Let´s assume that in our scenario the vertical markets aerospace and photovoltaics as well as the horizontal market bin picking have been identified.

To evaluate these new markets further internal and external research is necessary. The easiest and fastest ways to get an overview of vertical markets, as aerospace or photovoltaics, are associations, trade shows, publications, vendor listings and market researchers dedicated to these markets. Research on horizontal markets can become more challenging. To get information on applications used in several markets, there are no specific sources. One approach would be to do research on the technologies used, in this case machine vision and robotics. In addition, your competitor´s webpage, search engines and groups in business networks, such as LinkedIn and Xing, and even YouTube can be very helpful.

The first phase of research, or using vision terms the “quick search,” should determine if there is a business potential for us. There is no reason for further work on an opportunity if there is not enough potential. The second more detailed research phase has to generate information about existing projects and budgets, competition and the way to do business in the new market. Discussions with potential future business partners and customers are recommended. At this point it is necessary to question the expected potentials critical. Some specific questions that can help better evaluate an opportunity are:

• Target price of the products you plan to offer

• If there is a huge potential with market growth as in photovoltaics, but many competitors already are well settled in the market, does it make really sense to invest and compete? Introducing new technologies, cross-selling aspects or increasing volume can make it interesting.

• If there has been a huge potential for an application or a product for many years that has barely been tapped, such as bin picking, there must be a reason. Sometimes higher volumes, lower prices, new technologies or better concepts, make such applications feasible and profitable.

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