Share IT Smart is a Romanian-born software developer that integrates IT and consultancy services to offer process optimization solutions to companies in automotive, electronics, ship building, shipping and logistics.
What inspired you to set the basis for Share IT Smart over two years ago and what is your main activity?
Yes, we are a young company, although I belong to the ‘elder generation’. We started more than 10 years ago, while I was working for multinational companies. That time, our first product, QClot, was launched, a platform meant to help us get rid of the boring stuff, such as checking invoices, programming ramps, a lot of reports that were time-consuming.
It is a software which was written with friends in the evenings, after 10-11pm, during holidays and which took 4 years to make. We are still using it. Five years ago I decided to leave the multinational companies and start on my own to do what I knew best, how to improve certain processes in companies. I became an operational consultant. The first years were difficult, but we have grown steadily since then. In December 2018, I set up the first company, a mix between IT and consulting and I took on a partner with the same objective: to share what we have learnt.
More specifically, what gap was there in the market and unmet needs of logistics managers?
Ten years ago, the cloud was not ‘fashionable’, there were not great applications to connect clients with suppliers and transport operators and allow you to monitor the flow of merchandise and control the invoices and reports. This is how the first idea appeared: what it would be like to create a platform meant to reunite everybody, a sort of Linkedin, industrial Facebook, an interactive platform.
Meanwhile, the IT industry boomed, and today our ‘old’ soft is still on the market and going well. Then, after we had started with consulting, we noticed that a lot of processes were not covered by digital solutions or the solutions were not adjusted to the client’s needs.
Can you please give us some examples of tools available and what type of company could benefit from using them?
Our aim is to help our clients to obtain efficiency and reduce costs within their business processes. For example, with QClot you can significantly decrease the time spent on checking invoices, you can ask for quotations and receive the best price offers in a few minutes. Using its statistical instruments, you can improve the transportation routes and reduce the costs.
Our ETplan soft is dedicated to the employees’ transportation and by using it you can reduce your costs with smart reporting and statistical analysis. With another application developed for an important client in the naval industry, we managed to plan and monitor the efficiency of the shipyard equipment utilization. And after only 4 months they registered a gain of EUR 400,000 and let go of 20 of the rented equipment. We developed a storage soft for a Japanese client, QC-wms, meant to avoid errors such as wrong labeling and incomplete delivery. In the automotive industry, the errors have a significant cost.
Do you feel the local entrepreneurs enjoy a fertile regulatory ground in Romania? They have unicorns like UiPath to emulate.
Firstly, we developed the applications in house, too slowly, but now we work together with local IT companies and develop externally. We have noticed that the companies have started to develop innovative solutions only in the last five years. So far, most of the companies have developed ideas on request, for external clients, have learnt a lot and now they come up with new solutions and high potential for growth on the market. Perhaps even greater than UiPath.
Nevertheless, we have not reached our full potential as an IT industry. It is true that this industry has been supported and perhaps encouraged more than others, but we still do not have a Silicon Valley.
In terms of financing a technology start-up, is it easy to access capital nowadays?
Yes and No, meaning that nowadays, it is easier to access EU investment funds, “business angels” and it is clear that they are looking for Romanian IT as well, they see it as a good, reliable investment.
On the other hand, we, the entrepreneurs, move slowly when it comes to accessing these funds, not all of us, anyway. The younger ones do not have these limitations, they risk more and go further faster. We, ‘the elder ones’ turn to bank loans which are difficult to take in this strict banking environment. But, these things are changing, the dynamics is great and more people will learn to finance their ideas, to share the risk and find the best finance for them.
The growth in sectors like e-commerce and logistics is obviously unstoppable. Does digitalization go hand in hand with this trend?
Big companies are pragmatic, want a short ROI, an easy transition to the digital era to reach their business target, hand-to-mouth implementation if possible. The pressure on the employees is great to make the transition from paper, pencil, excel to sophisticated IT tools.
Therefore, we have to adjust, to develop complex applications, easy to use and implement. Fairly simple, but harder to do. This explains why digital transformation catches on by word-of-mouth recommendations rather than professional marketing campaigns. Most of our clients now focus on optimization, hence they are ready to bandwagon any time the tool that they seek has a track record of success.
What are your plans and priorities for the next two to three years?
We currently work for big global companies whose production sites are in Romania, and South Africa but aim to expand to fully external clients, in Italy, Hungary, and I hope in the US and Asia, as well. In parallel, we are looking to set up operations in Hungary, Bulgaria and Serbia in the near future. These are located nearby and we believe that there, we could replicate easily what we have done in our country, a mix between IT and consulting and thus, to share our vision with more and more people “Share It Smart”.
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