We talked to Davi Pincinato of Smart Dispenser about its innovative platform and this is what he had to say.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Davi Pincinato: Thank you for asking. Things have been harsh in Brazil, but it has also been a great opportunity to see how fragile we are as human beings as well as to value our friends, family, and life itself.
Tell us about your career, how you founded Smart Dispenser.
Davi Pincinato: I consider myself as a person who is always happy but almost never satisfied. I am graduating as an electrical engineer this semester. I also have a diploma in international business management, lean six sigma greenbelt certification, and business strategy. My career started around thirteen years ago, helping in my family business. There I realized that I love situations where it is possible to optimize or do things more efficiently. And this is basically what we do at Smart Dispenser. We find better and more efficient ways to solve problems related to the facilities field. Daniel Barbosa, Diogo Abreu, and I founded Smart Dispenser in 2020 after an acquaintance complained about the shortage of paper towels in hospitals. From this scenario, we saw a good business opportunity, and when André Pinto and Ana Fiocco joined us, we became what I particularly see as a startup with great potential and an amazing team. Talking a little bit more about our team, Daniel developed an interest in electrical installations at the age of eight, when he used to tag along with his father at work.
At seventeen, I got a diploma as an electrical technician, working for SKF Brazil with maintenance and tools/machines improvement. For two years, I worked with product development at Bosch Brazil as an intern, where I got a great background with prototyping. At twenty-six joined the telecommunications board at Itaú Bank, working with web platform development and network infrastructure. Ana has a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and a specialization in Digital UX. She has more than eight years of experience working with product design and has worked for companies like Whirlpool, Bosch, e ABInBev, with projects from the consumer goods industry to livestock. Diogo, since childhood, distinguishes himself as having great soft skills abilities, such as problem management, responsibility, and leadership. At eighteen, he got a diploma as an electronic technician and is currently in the last semester of electrical engineering. He also has six years of experience doing academic research and working with consulting projects for multinational companies, where he discovered the project management universe and became a leader of innovation projects. André is our specialist in hardware and embedded systems. He is an electronic technician and is also in the last semester of electrical engineering at the University of Campinas (Brazil). He has been working for more than three years at Bosch Brazil with hardware and software projects for embedded systems, focused on IoT solutions.
How does Smart Dispenser innovate?
Davi Pincinato: We have developed an innovative platform that is capable of monitoring on the spot (such as paper towel dispensers, toilet dispensers, soap dispensers, etc.). By doing that, we know when the inputs’ levels are low, being able to avoid the shortage. Besides that, using predictive analytics tools from the data obtained, we find the most efficient route and time to refuel these spots, and from the consumption data and considering the warehouse capacity and company cashflow, we find the best time and amount to buy, managing the inventory. Moreover, purchase orders will be automatically generated, and our clients won’t even have to think about any problem related to these items anymore.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Davi Pincinato: The coronavirus pandemic was actually one of the reasons we were able to see the problems related to this field. We have started our activities during the pandemic, and we realized facilities management is a business that has a great opportunity (which handles about BRL 1 billion per year). Because of the pandemics, we had to adapt the way we get the necessary data to develop our project and keep in contact with our target users. There were many challenges in being present. Like most companies, we are also working mostly from home and had to interview people personally, following several health protocols or scheduling conference calls when possible.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Davi Pincinato: Yes, we had. We are not in full operation yet. We already have our MVP working, but there are many challenges and hard decisions to make. One of them was to almost start over our solution because we had not developed something based essentially on our target users and thinking, “What do we have to do so we will be able to deliver the best solution to our customers?”. One great lesson we learned was: You must know and understand your buyer persona and the market (as well as your company positioning) before starting developing your MVP. Planning and crafting a strategy is as important as executing it.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and Smart Dispenser in the future?
Davi Pincinato: It is hard, but I always try to do something that makes me feel happy and good in order to fight against stress and anxiety. I use to exercise or read a nice book. In the future, I want to keep solving problems. And I know there are many challenges that my partners and I will face.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Davi Pincinato: Currently, there are no direct competitors for us in Brazil. Some companies offer facility management solutions but not using all the potential technology and not considering all the opportunities to solve the problems already said above. Nevertheless, companies like Kimberly-Clark, Suzano Papel e Celulose and Melhoramentos may be potential competitors for us in the future. To stay in the game, in order to compete with giant companies like these, we will have to innovate daily and constantly deliver the best solution.
Your final thoughts?
Davi Pincinato: We want to thank Startup Info for this great opportunity to show our solution, and we hope we can be here again soon as a successful startup case.
Davi Pincinato: Unfortunately, we are still validating our systems as well as our platform. Our website is not available yet. But soon, it will be possible to find Smart Dispenser’s social media and check our website.
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