The following is a discussion with Markus Tarin of MoviMED Custom Imaging Solutions.
Name: Markus Tarin
Company: MoviMED – Custom Imaging Solutions
Title: President and CEO
How have market changes and customer demands changed the way that MoviMED has approached its business?
Due to the challenging economic environment, our customers have become a lot more risk averse. Many systems we develop solve very tough challenges. Customers come to us when they cannot find any off-the-shelf solution. Developing new technology inherently carries risks, especially for solutions with a higher degree of research and development content. In the absence of a commercially off-the-shelf solution (COTS), the customer has several choices.
- Don’t outsource a custom solution development and wait until a COTS solution becomes available. This mitigates the risk, but also eliminates the chance for gaining a competitive edge while becoming a market leader. Innovation is risky but the upside can be significant.
- Bring the development in house. Many customers underestimate this effort, especially when their engineering team does not have a solid background in optics, machine vision, electronics, and software engineering. This often distracts from the company’s core focus and competencies and frequently leads to a failed mission and substantial direct and indirect financial losses. Even if the initial system is yielding acceptable performance, maintaining the system during its lifecycle is an aspect the customer usually does not start thinking about until it is too late. Inspection needs change due to product changes – imaging components become obsolete, employees with intimate knowledge of the system leave the company, the IT department needs the inspection software to be updated, and the list goes on.
- Partner with a solutions provider, innovate and take the lead. Does this carry risk? You bet. However, with the proper project management and risk mitigation strategy, all of this becomes a controllable expense. A typical response or demand we get in this scenario is that we ‘guarantee the outcome – financially.’ The customer wants to transfer all the risk to the solutions provider. This sounds like great solution – if you are the customer. We here at MoviMED understand the motivation for this demand and we very well appreciate the need for cost control and risk mitigation. However, we are met with the same challenges as our customers. We also run a business for profit and we also need to mitigate risk at all times. That is exactly where our expertise and capabilities come into play. Since we are the domain experts, we are very well suited to provide the right risk mitigation strategy for tackling very complex design problems. Our development plans include measurable and verifiable milestones to provide our customers with the best cost control mechanisms available. This model has worked very well for both our customers and MoviMED while allowing us to create valuable solutions.
What type of new technologies or advancements has led to the enhancement of MoviMED systems?
Enhancements and new technologies are all around us. From an infrastructure point of view, we have implemented cloud-based project management software to allow our engineering team to communicate seamlessly with our customers regardless of where they are performing their work. Remote support software allows us to provide immediate technical support for mission critical systems as if we would sit right in front of our customers system.
From an imaging technology perspective, we always stay on top of the latest technologies in order to be able to provide our customers with the most cutting edge solutions for their demanding inspection challenges. We constantly push the envelope of our solutions portfolio. We ensure this by partnering up with major industry leaders in various fields, such as FLIR Systems, Inc. for thermal imaging cameras, National Instruments for data acquisition, motion control, machine vision, and software development tools amongst others.
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