An Interview with Dave Boylan - Area Sales Manager Nothern Europe
An interview with Dave Boylan, Area Sales Manager of Innovative Sensor Technology IST AG, regarding the sales areas of Nothern Europe (especially UK and Ireland), and about his job at IST AG.
Dave, about a year ago, you started your position as Area Sales Manager for the sales regions UK and Ireland at IST AG. You’re based in Ireland - what’s the reason why IST AG decided to have a person on-site for these regions?
The move is aimed at strengthening IST AG’s position in a strategically important market and providing optimal support for local customers. As well as driving sales activities and working closely with channel partners to create demand for our products, I also work alongside customer project teams in Switzerland, creating and implementing new customer engineering projects for custom sensors and providing local support.
How is the business going? Are there any special challenges that you are facing in your sales areas?
I already see, that having a local presence, enables customers to benefit from our high technical expertise, many years of experience, and personal advice and support. What is unique from mainland Europe is that most customers on these Islands can be easily reached in less than an hour flight and a short drive. The biggest challenge for me actually, is to travel to my company’s headquarters in Switzerland, as it takes almost 10 hours.
Do you think the market in UK and Ireland is different from the other European countries? If so, what are the differences?
I see new diverse applications in the industrial and medical technology sectors, Internet of Things and smart home/city applications, as well as for data loggers and HVAC. Industry-lead research driven by companies around Cambridge and Oxford Universities brings a unique perspective to local product design. Government-lead research particularly in Ireland, with the Tyndall Institute, has spurred new product development in companies working in the medical devices, pharma and agri-food industries.
What is the next step to increase sales in the North European market?
As well as driving sales activities and working closely with channel partners to satisfy demand, I am working alongside IST AG teams in Switzerland, to help create and implement new marketing initiatives by supplying local support. For example, we had an exhibit stand and a talk at the Sensors & Instrumentation show in Birmingham in September for the first time. We had many visitors and left with many good leads.
A few months ago, you took over some more sales areas as Area Sales Manager. What areas are these?
Benelux and Scandinavia. Both regions are business synergetic with the UK and Ireland, and I can combine business meetings with a short hop to the headquarters in Switzerland before returning home.
How do you manage to cope with the different customers in all these countries?
Having a sense of humour is a must! Seriously though, as in all other IST AG regions locations, the company is also dedicated to establishing long-term partnerships for customer-specific solutions in Northern Europe. The time was ripe to establish direct sales coverage from outside the factory. I enjoy the cultural differences, especially doing business and their ‘directness’. However, fermented herrings is definitely off the menu!
Are there specific differences in the product areas (Temperature, Flow, Humidity, Conductivity, Bio) the different regions are interested in?
No not really, but there is a new trend here to shrink away from sensors with embedded algorithms, providing conditioned signals (for example, accelerated ‘artificial’ response times). I have many more requests here for bare sensors with no electronics or conditioning, so that folks can measure the ‘genuine’ physical parameters themselves and build their own circuits to extract the signal.
What do you think about the future potential of the business for IST AG in UK/Ireland and the Northern European countries? What market developments do you expect?
I see growth in Aerospace and Defense, particularly in Britain. Sales growth will come from selling more standard products through the channel, and winning new custom sensor projects with key customers. The bigger the reach I have, the better the business will develop.