6 Typical Customer Groups in Machine Vision
There are essentially six types of business models and therefore six typical customer groups in the machine vision value chain. They can mostly be distinguished by the required level of integration and their in-house machine vision know-how.
Based on these different business models, companies can be clustered into (target) customer groups. Each of these customer groups has specific business potential and characteristic requirements on their suppliers of Machine Vision technology.
For our client projects that involve the analysis of a business or strategic planning of marketing, sales, or product development, these customer groups constitute the default starting point. In some cases a customer group might be irrelevant, in other cases, such groups might need a further split-up, e.g. with respect to their level of in-house machine vision know-how or location per world-region.
Manufacturers of machine vision components including cameras lenses, optics, lights, cables, software libraries, and accessories. Though on a higher level of integration, OEMs of smart cameras and code readers can also be counted in this category.
Manufacturers of devices designed to fulfill a certain purpose and operating widely as stand-alone units sold in the many hundreds or thousands, such as blood analyzers, measurement projectors, or mobile code scanners for delivery services.
Manufacturers of larger machines for use as stand-alone units or fully integrated into production lines and sold in the several dozens or hundreds. Examples include automatic optical inspection (AOI) machines for assembled printed circuit boards, screw inspection machines, or universal and vision-enhanced robot cells for pick-and-place tasks.
A variety of customers across numerous industries. Examples range from an OEM purchasing vision-enhanced machines or full production lines to soccer league associations equipping their stadiums with goal cameras. A common pattern is that this customer type purchases machine vision technology for its own use but does not re-sell it in any way.
Companies developing highly customized modules, systems or solutions for OEMs or end-users, from complete production lines down to modules comprising few components, software algorithms, and hardware/ software interfaces that are sold a couple of times or even just once. System Integrators are mostly small companies with local reach.
Companies purchasing and reselling components and software from different OEMs. Some add value by pre-sales and after-sales technical support up to feasibility studies and paid design services.
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