We talked to Dino Sergiano, founder and manager at Validactor about product serialization and here is what he had to say.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Dino Sergiano: We have been following strict safety rules at home and the office. We haven’t lost any friends or relatives, but we should not ease the way we rearranged our habits. This is the final mile towards victory against the pandemic, let’s be safe
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Validactor?
Dino Sergiano: I have spent the last 25 years serving in some of the most important Fortune 500 tech companies worldwide. At a certain point in my professional life, I decided to do something on my own, something able to leave its mark on the current economy. We decided to fight the market of false production worldwide. Counterfeiting is a plague that affects the entire world economy. It is a threat to final customers, manufacturers, and the whole distribution chain. The existing anti-counterfeiting solutions are either too expensive or too complex and/or extremely difficult to deploy. Validactor has squared the circle, by developing an easy use, yet secure and powerful solution.
How does Validactor innovate?
Dino Sergiano: We make extensive use of a secure database and proprietary algorithms. We randomly serialize each product unit. Unit data is accessed via a graphic shortcut: the ubiquitous QR Code, which we have renamed VACode. Product data is stored in our reliable database and is easily accessible by any smartphone. By scanning the VACode on the product’s packaging or on the item itself, the customer reads product data from the database and thus checks the current product’s status. By serializing product until we activate a series of functionalities that include anti-counterfeit, product recalls, diversion management, product geolocation, and customer engagement just to name a few.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?
Dino Sergiano: Strangely enough, the pandemic somehow helped Validactor to position itself in a reshaping commerce world. The need for safety increased worldwide. Customers became more curious to know deeply what’s inside the product they buy and the risk of buying fake or badly made food is not tolerable. Customers have developed a new need for knowledge. Let’s use the ubiquitous face masks as an example. Are we ready to wear face masks without knowing anything about who made them? if hygiene rules have been followed, how they have been stocked and distributed? and so on. Well, we are also able to serialize each manufactured face mask allowing the customers to query its characteristics.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Dino Sergiano: At a certain point, we decided to only work from a home office after a strict lockdown was imposed. Fortunately, the technology has helped us (and anyone worldwide), so we started working around the clock, sometimes in pajamas but we never missed a videocall or failed to answer a customer request.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Dino Sergiano: Zoom, Meet, and all the alike are the new tools we use daily. Daily video call with the teams are regularly scheduled but we are extremely flexible no video call is mandatory. We leave full autonomy to our teams. We also make intensive use of internally developed tools such as big data analyzers and parsers, our Validactor platform, and all the standard office tools
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Dino Sergiano: In the anticounterfeit world of existing services, we have built our special niche. We do not feel that we have any direct competitors (even if there are a lot of them) because of our special offering. Price ranges are low by strategic decision, we are aiming to bring product serialization to any manufacturing company worldwide, and to do this our services must be inexpensive, easy to deploy and use, reachable and usable by any final customer through their cell phone. We are making this happen.
Your final thoughts?
Dino Sergiano: We look forward to the end of this pandemic ready to explore a new world of opportunities. But at the same time, we are conscious that we will find a different world. A lot of companies will be out of business, the majority of those who survived will be in financial and economic danger. We are ready to help them, finding and building the appropriate customer solutions that will suit anyone’s need.