In a new feature for MVPro Magazine, we ask senior executives within the industry ten key questions. First up is Jean Caron.
1. Describe Your Role And Responsibilities?
I’m Vice President Sales and Support EMEA. I’m in charge of managing all relationships with customers, especially the key accounts, and of managing the distributor network within the region.
The second main responsibility is the business development strategy to increase the Euresys business for both product range, the frame grabbers and the machine vision libraries.
Another duty is to maintain high visibility of the Euresys brand within the MV market and of the relationships with other MV manufacturers.
2. Where Are You Based And How Much Do You Travel As Part Of Your Job?
I’m based at the Euresys HQ in Angleur, Belgium.
I’m travelling as much as possible to visit prospects, customers and distributors. I attend major trade shows and conferences within the EMEA to find new opportunities. I also visit major MV shows to maintain my market knowledge.
I’m out of the office 60 to 70%+ in average per year.
3. Describe Your Management Style?<
I have confidence in each person of the team and this gives them some autonomy with the aim of providing customers and prospects with a first-class sales and support. Thus, delegated is important for me but with keeping in mind that I’m still accountable for the team actions.
To achieve this goal, I define the scope of responsibilities of each team member and stay always available to give them advice.
It is also important as manager to work continuously on developing the professional skills of the team.
4. What Is Your Background – Have You Always Been In The Machine Vision Industry?
I would say yes, I’m in the MV industry since I passed my masters. I have a Phd in Industrial Computer Sciences with a focus in Machine Vision during my thesis. I started my career as R&D Engineer and then joined Cognex International as Vision Solution Engineer. During this period, I used my technical skills and ability to develop close relationships with customers to complete numerous training and custom MV development. This job led me with the seniority to the supervision of engineers working on MV projects.
I always liked to progress and develop new skills. Thus, I joined Euresys to organize and manage the worldwide technical support of customers and prospects. Then I had the opportunity to take the responsibility of the EMEA sales development.
I’m also quite involved in the MV community, as elected Board member and treasurer of the European Machine Vision Association for more than 4 years.
5. If You Were Not Working Within This Industry, What Do You Think You Would Be Doing?
Certainly, a highly skills technical job including relationships with customers and partnerships. I like the idea that I can help people to achieve their projects.
6. How Has Your Company Positioned Itself To Be A Major Player In The Machine Vision Industry And What Does It Have To Do To Stay There?
Euresys has rapidly developed consciously a strong presence not only in Europe but also in USA and Asia by opening a sales and support office in Texas and in Singapore in 2001. It was to cover the most active MV regions and positioning the company as a major actor, close to its customers.
Since then Euresys always take care of listening to the customers requests in order to develop and improve products that fits with the market requirements. We also attached a lot of attention to the partnership with our distributors who act locally every day to convey the best Euresys image.
Another point of attention to maintain our position in the market is to be able to deliver on time and in volume highly reliable products. This point is critical when you supply customers developing machines based on vision components that are shipped worldwide in the field.
7. There Is A Recognised Skills Shortage Within The Industry – What Are You Doing To Recruit The Right People You Need?
In Belgium, Euresys invests in developing partnerships with universities and colleges. We also participate in university forums and we organize company visits. It gives visibility toward new graduates and visiting our well equipped labs is always attractive!
For senior profile we mostly use headhunter companies. Nevertheless, it is important to spend a lot of time with them to explain our business and industry. This is one of the key for them to cast the right profiles.
8. Will There Be Further Consolidation Within Machine Vision Industry This Year, As The Larger Players Acquire The Specialist Smaller Companies?
The consolidation of the local distributors has started. I think it will continue. Nowadays the business has to be considered European-wide and no more focused only on one country.
On the other hand, we nowadays discover more and more well funded European startups bringing to the market great new products. The acquisition of these startup is obviously a continuous opportunity for large companies to increase their technological portfolio so this process will continue.
9. Short-Term, What Are The Main Difficulties The Industry Might Face Over The Coming Year?
A relative slowdown is expected this year in Asia but after 2 years of very high growth increase one can conceive that it is mandatory getting one’s breath back. In Europe, the market is still dynamic at least for the MV components we are involved in. There is a lot of company working on new projects giving us new opportunities. The main drawback is that after the economic crisis in 2010 the lack of human resources in companies continue to slowdown the completion of the new projects in Europe and so the MV business growth.
10. How Do You See Machine Vision Industry Developing Over The Next Decade?
I see only positive signs for the future of the MV industry.
Technically, the processing power increases while the size and power consumption of any processor is reducing. It will give more opportunity for our industry to develop compact products for the embedded market. In addition, thanks to the high processing capabilities, these products will be able to benefits from all new image processing algorithms to target new applications.
“A relative slowdown is expected this year in Asia but after 2 years of very high growth increase one can conceive that it is mandatory getting one’s breath back.
In term of market, we notice that more and more consumer products are using cameras leading to more possible business for our industry. It is also important to consider the automotive industry that is installing more and more performing ADAS systems-based on lidar but also on cameras with powerful image processing.