GeoMax was developed from scratch to fill a gap Hexagon was facing — high-quality yet cost-effective products and solutions, says Alois Geierlehner, Director, Business Development
GeoMax provides a comprehensive portfolio of integrated instruments for surveying, mapping and construction industries. What are the current market trends and how are they shaping your business strategies?
Professionals in the surveying, engineering and construction segment face increasing competition. No geographic region or segment is immune to this; that is the reason why GeoMax is present in most markets. Users in developing countries no longer accept working with out-of-date technology just because they cannot afford highend brands. With GeoMax, we bring the technology these customers need and provide them with the support needed to take them to the next level of quality and productivity. In developing markets, we are seeing an increasing demand from customers outside of the traditional surveying market, for example, a foreman on a construction site conducts many tasks traditionally done by surveyors. What GeoMax offers them is a product that speaks their language and does not try to force them to become surveyors. We believe that the system needs to adapt to the user and not vice versa.
Geomax is also known for its state-of-the-art technologies in total stations, GNSS receivers, controllers and onboard software. Which are your best selling products and why?
Only a few players in our market are able to cover the complete range of technology from motorised and manual total stations to GNSS, and digital levels, software and a complete construction portfolio like we can. We see that customers do not just exclusively work with one technology and want their products to have only one source in order to optimise their workflows. We are currently growing along with our products. The strong market trend we experienced over the recent years was towards GNSS and robotic total stations. This certainly had to do with the trend that more typical total station users start with GNSS, but it was also strongly supported by the fact that the simplified software we offer opens up these products to a whole new group of users.
All total stations now come equipped with GNSS. How has this development helped the industries you operate in?
We have experienced this trend over the last few years, but I still believe we are at the start of this development, as it is concentrating mostly on the high-end segment. What we have seen is that more and more users are no longer exclusively using total stations or GNSS, but both. By bringing these two technologies together, you get the best of the two worlds. Above all, GNSS made a major step over the last years in terms of usability and being affordable to a much wider base of users. And a wider user base results in a bigger market.
Geomax also takes pride in its array of GNSS products that has a reliable and robust GNSS system that “works when you do” — even in extreme environments. What sets these products apart from your competition?
“Works when you do” means that the product does exactly what you need it to do for the task at hand and is able to withstand the extreme conditions you face every day. Right from the beginning when designing a new product, we eliminate those hypothetical cases that are irrelevant for most applications but would increase the price dramatically. If you pay for what you don’t need, you automatically increase the price you paid. Concentrating on providing products that work when, how and where you need them to, let us cut back on the thrills not needed and save in terms of material, production and complexity. With GeoMax, we understand that quality and low cost have to come hand in hand and should not contradict each other.
How does GeoMax fit into the Hexagon Group? What sets you apart from group companies like Leica?
GeoMax was developed from scratch to fill a gap Hexagon was facing. Compare it with the car industry. For example, the Volkswagen group not only holds Volkswagen but also Audi in the premium segment, as well as SEAT and Skoda in the value range and Bugatti in high-end. If budget is not an issue, we all know which car to buy. But there are clearly different segments of the market with different needs asking for different solutions. The aim of GeoMax is to provide these customers with instruments that enable them to fulfill their tasks and maintain their productivity while optimising cost.
Hexagon also focuses a great deal on integration and collaboration among group companies to address the total solutions market. How does Geomax fit in to this?
The oldest companies in Hexagon have a history of more than 100 years. You cannot build the knowhow and experience overnight. One of the biggest strengths of Hexagon is that we are able to share and utilise this knowhow among the different companies within the group. But this is not a one-way street — you will find inventions in other Hexagon products that made their first appearance in GeoMax.
We need to understand that the technology, regardless of what it is, serves the need to collect, process and analyse data, in order to deliver results and answer questions. And with questions becoming increasingly complex, it is no longer possible to consider the various technologies as independent. The process does not end with collecting points in the field. The companies united under Hexagon cover the entire range of data acquisition: from processing to visualising, and from analysing to maintaining them. Hexagon is able to cover this workflow — and this is where the strength of Hexagon can be found.
What does Geomax contribute, in terms of revenue, to the Hexagon Group?
Despite the worldwide economic crises and often saturated and mature markets, GeoMax achieved high two-digit growth — and this has been the case consistently from the very beginning. The initial strategy, to cover GeoMax segments not touched by other Hexagon companies, is working out extremely well and generates maximum benefit.