Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cognex staying above the fray?

Check out the list of Exhibitors at this year’s “The Vision Show”. All the big names are there, except one.

Know which one I’m talking about? Yes that’s right, yet again old “Big Yella” has decided to stay away.

I’m not sure this is a wise move. I get that trade shows are expensive and that the ROI is hard to pin down, but out of sight is most definitely out of mind.

Keyence will be there, and I expect they’ll have a big stand full of sales people eager to explain how their vision systems will solve all your problems. And with no Cognex on hand, who’s going to present a counter argument?

This attitude of “staying out of it” seems to extend to the factory floor too. The Engineers I talk to are being blitzed by Keyence sales people who won’t take “No” for an answer. Eventually they let the guy through the front door and next thing there’s Keyence vision system out in the plant.

If you’re selling machine vision the best sales tool you can have is a working system on a plant floor. Keyence are getting those installed, and I don’t see Cognex offering any resistance.

Maybe the problem is that they’re selling through distributors. Distributors have other things to sell, so why invest time and effort in complicated vision systems when you can make a faster buck from something else, like a code reader?

Staying away from trade shows is one thing, but staying out of the fight for customers is something else. I fear Cognex are losing sales and handing the industrial market to Keyence.


Laith said...

That is very surprising, especially as their head office is just down the road in Natick!

JD Martin said...

Yeah, I've noticed the same thing. But not just Cognex, a lot of the formerly "big names" are missing at vision shows. The foolish companies cut marketing first when times get tough since it often cannot show a solid ROI. On the other hand, I've also cut back my attendance. There is nothing to learn at conferences that I cannot pick up online. The only real value for me is seeing new products in action, and there just isn't enough of that right now to justify the expense unless it's a day trip within driving distance.