Southern SaaS 2019: Three Key Takeaways

Facteon’s Head of Industrial IoT, Reinaldo Silva, attended Callaghan Innovation’s Southern SaaS 2019. He shares the key learnings from the event and how these have shaped Facteon’s own Industrial IoT (IIoT) product offerings.

Takeaway 1: Your first customer is the hardest to secure

Our founding customers had a significant impact on Facteon’s product offerings. As a business with a rich history of designing and building customised production lines, delivering an Industry 4.0 and IIoT software solution for factory optimisation was a logical next step to add value for our customers.

To help manufacturers at scale, we needed one willing to adopt an innovative but unknown technology. We prospected a variety of customers until we found the right one. Resist the instinct to reel in the first bite.

For Facteon, our initial customers have shaped our product significantly. Many of the features we’re currently commercialising were suggested by these customers. With the benefit of hindsight, I can see that we chose the right founding customers, as our products will help manufacturers across industries and markets.  

Takeaway 2: Create a product that aligns with your business goals

It’s short-sighted to create a product that doesn’t align with your business goals. At Facteon, we enable manufacturers to do what they do better. This is core to every aspect of our business.

For that reason, we sought to develop a product that did just that. It needed to be flexible, yet robust. In working closely with manufacturers, we’ve found that there are challenges common across industries and markets. 

While we offer custom solutions, it’s important that our software and hardware products remain generic. This keeps the product modular and cost-effective for manufacturers of all sizes. Your founding customers should be able to influence your product, not dictate the shape it takes.

Takeaway 3: Know your target customer

This is a rather obvious point, but it’s easy to think you know your customer.

When did you last stand on the factory floor and ask:

What are your main challenges?

What are your pain points?

Asking these questions allows you to hear directly from your customers, in their own words, what their manufacturing challenges are.

A customer may say: “Since I can only check on production stats when I’m sitting at my desk, I run out of time most days”.

As a solutions provider, you interpret that as: “I need a Cloud-based solution that can be accessed on any device, at any time”.

By avoiding the trap of assuming you know what your customer needs, you’re able to deliver a solution that solves their manufacturing challenges.

About Facteon

An international designer, builder and innovator of world-class production equipment. As a long established and widely respected organisation, we operate on the forward edge of smart manufacturing, robotics, data science, machine learning technology and Industrial IoT solutions. We aspire to cultivate a smart manufacturing ecosystem in which machinery and software offerings interact seamlessly to maximise operational performance.


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Reinaldo  Silva

Reinaldo Silva

Head of Digital Manufacturing & Automation

Reinaldo leads Facteon's digital manufacturing and automation team that is responsible for the development and implementation of our portfolio of digital products along with the delivery of robotics and automation projects for manufacturing industries. He works closely with our Principal Engineer and our R&D team on the development and validation of our Portfolio Extension roadmap that combines digital and engineering concepts and the application of emerging technologies, such as computer vision and AI, to solve complex manufacturing challenges.