The tool for SMEs in the face of a supply crisis to anticipate demand without undermining their liquidity

The Small and Medium Business It makes up most of our country’s business muscle, but it also holds the title of the weakest link in the chain of profound change that digital transformation has brought.

Although public administrations are activating initiatives to build a regulatory framework that allows SMEs to successfully apply the new digital tools, it is true that not all companies can – or have not yet known – benefit from their full potential without undermining their already depleted economic resources.

At this moment, technology and SMEs converge with disruptive projects starting to gain momentum in the market, such as the one launched in Valencia in 2019 at the hands of Alvaro Bernabe, Sergio Alemany and Jose Tomás Carrascoso.

Traditionally, supply chain costs have always remained in the shadows and have not been an area of ​​interest for small and medium enterprises.

However, with the arrival of Industry 4.0 and new technologiesthe need to optimize these processes and reduce their costs has grown significantly in recent years, the company explains.

[La guerra de Ucrania y la crisis de semiconductores siguen jugando al tira y afloja con la inversión en digitalización]

In this context, the three partners founded Empire SCM, a company specializing in the development of software solutions which focuses on demand and how SMEs can get ahead of their future sales, a key issue today given the shortage of supply and the difficulties – present and future – of these companies in accessing finance.

Since then, the startup has consolidated its project with clients such as Noel Alimentaria, Velarte or 3INA Cosmeticsin addition to achieving the confidence of investors of the rank of Angels, the investment company of Juan Roig and Draper B1.

The customer segment that Imperia targets are small and medium-sized companies, for the food and beverage, commercial and manufacturing sectors.

The customer segment that Imperia targets are small and medium-sized companies, for the food and beverage, commercial and manufacturing sectors.

Following the recent funding round, Imperia SCM is aiming to close this year with a team of 14 people and 31 customers, so that the national market is strengthened and the starting signal for its international expansion in Latin America, where it already has two clients. Looking ahead to 2023, the goal is to expand the workforce to 35 people.

But what are the keys to your disruptive project? Time flies for a startup and Imperia SCM, like so many disruptive projects, was affected by the outbreak of the pandemic. He arrived when his software was about to hit the market.

Covid: test and springboard

“We spent a year developing and testing the software and, just when we were about to go to the market, the covid came. We were lucky that Noel Alimentaria continued to trust us and helped us a lot with the design of the instrument. Other clients, from sectors such as cosmetics or pharmaceuticals, have dropped out as a result of the crisis,” explains José Tomás Carrascoso, CEO of Imperia SCM, to D+I.

Times were tough, but the project continued accurately identifying a widespread need among SMEs in our country which is now even exacerbated by global supply shortages and the fallout from the war in Ukraine.

In this task, the experience of its founders, which they value previous work in strategic and operational consultingwhere they were dedicated to the implementation of digitization projects and the implementation of supply chain management software in large companies.

This is how Imperia SCM’s value proposition is defined in the first step of every SME’s supply chain: sales, and is based on three main pillars.

Monthly usage fee

First, your software This does not include implementation costs. One of the main barriers to the digitization and implementation of this type of tool in SMEs is its initial cost.

The Imperia SCM model breaks down this barrier and allows this segment of companies to cross over monthly usage fee for Imperia SCM software and equipment services – the so-called all-in-one package.

Second, it emphasizes the ease of use of its software thanks to 100% integration with Excel solutions – the most common office automation tool in this sector.

“This minimizes the learning curve of the same as they will not have to leave their usual work tool to work with the software,” adds the CEO.

The founders of Imperia SCM in Marina de Empresas in Valencia.

The founders of Imperia SCM in Marina de Empresas in Valencia.

Finally, he highlights the service provided by the startup and that “offers a much shorter turnaround time than the competition and a 100% customer-centric service package’.

Imperia’s software enables “digitalization and flexibility for its customers to support their forecasting processes, giving them long-term visibility into their future salesa critical aspect to be able to anticipate demand and optimize its processes at this time of high volatility and stress in global supply chains”.

40% less costs

In addition, improving the reliability of the forecast can generate increase in lost sales (service level) and therefore an increase and positive impact on the client’s P&L.

Also note that your tool decreases “up to 40% of costs invested in repetitive and manual tasks thanks to the automation generated by the digitization of the process with the software’.

“The SME sector cannot choose to acquire niche tools to support their demand, production or procurement processes, due to the high cost and long lead times which suggest the tools available on the market”, concludes the CEO. And this is where this project with the stamp of Valencia seeks to grow in the coming years thanks to technology and digitalization.

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