Automation Technology has opened its first North American office in Boston, Mass.
Opening the Boston office is part of the German high-tech imaging solutions company's effort to increase presence, customer support, and sales in the North American market.
“The U.S. is one of the largest markets for industrial image processing and is strategically very important for us,” Automation Technology (Bad Oldseloe, Germany) CEO Daniel Seiler said. “We already have some major customers there, whom we can now support even better locally.”
Indeed, the North American market holds the greatest potential for growth, AT Business Director Gretchen Alper, who heads up the Boston office, said.
“The available market is large and growing,” Alper said. “While more and more manufacturing is done outside of North America, most large companies have an engineering team inside North America involved in critical decisions for product development and process development.”
Those engineers especially appreciate being able to work with knowledgeable local professionals who understand their needs, she said.
Alper, who has worked in the machine vision industry for more than 15 years, says that having local professionals servicing local customers not only makes sound logistical sense but also plays an important role in building, nurturing, and strengthening business relationships, because locals have a much better understanding of and ability to work within North American business cultures.
While Automation Technology has customers across the U.S. and Canada in a variety of industries, the company is not as well known in the North American market as it is in Germany. Therefore, an important aspect of the company’s initial growth strategy will be to launch a strong communications campaign in order to raise brand awareness and develop and expand relationships with OEMs, system integrators, and end users, Alper said.
“Compared to Europe, the U.S. and the North American market have a completely different understanding of product marketing,” Alper said. “Here (North America), it’s not just about having a good product. Customers need to understand why the product is special and how it is used."
Automation Technology, which was launched 25 years ago, now generates more than 50% of its sales outside Germany. The company plans to double its North American sales over the next few years.