Posted at 9:53 AM
Ed. note: This post is part of a series highlighting the upcoming Hannover Messe Trade Show April 25—29, 2016. This series will highlight U.S. exhibitors that will participate in the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology.
Guest blog post by Glenn Schatz, Director of Business Development for Link Labs
This is your first time at Hannover Messe. What factors influenced your decision to participate this year?
With the United States making its debut as a Partner Country, we thought this would be a great opportunity to reach both the European market as well as our domestic customer base. With all of the noise in the run up to an election year, it is easy to forget that so much great and innovative manufacturing is still happening in the United States. Link Labs is proud to be part of this US manufacturing renaissance and, despite being a young company, takes great pride in being a global leader in the Internet of Things industry.
Why is the Digital Factory pavilion a natural home for you?
While the "Internet of Things" is a relatively new phrase, telematics, and industrial sensing, controls, and automation have been around for a long time. At Link Labs we have taken newly available wireless technology and built a platform that is optimized for this market. It was a challenge to decide which pavilion to exhibit in, as we have customers in a variety of industries, including agriculture, building controls, automotive, healthcare, retail, and utilities, but at the end of the day the companies on display in the Digital Factory pavilion, as well as the people who are visiting this pavilion, are the natural audience for the connected devices Link Labs enables.
What do you hope to accomplish at Hannover Messe?
About 30% of our customer base is in Europe, and while Germany is the largest European trade partner with the US, a lot of the Internet of Things market has been focused on France and the Netherlands due to some action by local mobile network operators in those countries. Given the market potential in Germany for our technology, as well as the current market gap, it seemed like a natural fit for Link Labs. Additionally, since many of the other exhibiting companies are in markets that Link Labs serves, it will give us a chance to better understand what challenges we can help them meet in their existing processes and solutions.
When and how did your company begin exporting?
Link Labs has been exporting since the very beginning. One of our earliest customers was based in Spain, and we have customers all over the world. One of the nice things about doing business in the 21st century is that the ease of communication, logistics, and travel, makes shipping products globally and being able to support a global customer base not much different than any other domestic business challenge. Of course the time zones and language barriers sometimes make things more interesting, but at the end of the day businesses are similar all over the world.
What impact has exporting had on your company? What advice do you have for other American companies looking to start exporting?
One of our biggest challenges is understanding local regulations. If I could give one piece of advice to any company that is looking to start exporting is to find a customer who is familiar with local regulations and looking to be a partner in helping you export to their country. Be wary of any company who wants you to be the expert on their regulations.