Tecno Logica Retail is one of the most famous retail technology providers. Having reached its 30th birthday, it joined the Retex group. As stated from Riccardo Spitale, founder and CEO of the company, it is historic tradition to drive change.
Retex. Riccardo, after thirsty years, is everything different?
Riccardo Spitale. A lot is, but not everything. Actually, the conditions for change but not be affected by it, instead, are the same as ‘my’ 1989.
Legend: RX for “Retex”, RS for “Riccardo Spitale”
RX. Good, the start is the correct one. When you say “innovation” it is easy to find banality.
RS it is such. Hence, Tecno Logica began with installations for the CRAI affiliates, we were aware that we would not have been able to solidify ourselves without change. But given that the needs and interests of distribution would not change. I do not count the years of development, definitely various decades, which have been invested in our applications for back-office. But, in the end, the process of buying and selling, controlling entering merchandise, traceability and promotion are always the cardinal areas to focus on.
RX associating structure with flexibility and personalisation. It is not easy.
RS The issue is not with the number of counters to manage. From a bakery to our HQ to the hypermarket, we have satisfied the needs for stability, despite external changes, of almost 1500 companies of all sizes. Due to the different needs of everyone we had to elaborate a vast applicable coverage which is easily adaptable. siWe have never been single-engn, this has allowed us to always seek the bets solution without neglecting business needs. We have been rewarded for this.
RX How so?
RS Maintaining our clients. With already a high number of sales points managed in all of Italy, the percentage loss is almost irrelevant. It only happens with certain clients which change ensign, and during the transition meets a retailer oriented on centralised solutions But for us, the opposite matters: the affiliate which changes ensign whilst maintaining the ensign Tecno Logica.
RX Does innovation also come by through good habits?
RS Yes. We have had confirmation even in this delicate case of electronic billing. When the law came out we thought about the opportunity for clients to improve and simplify the process, rejecting the idea to use two different applications as was done in the past for public administration. This was instead the tendency of many suppliers: to direct themselves towards the use of an external portal or system.
RX For which reasons?
RS it has been like this for the majority of our competitors, because it means low investment. Only the most common accounting systems providers have made an exception. We refused to make the client manage two applications. We did not want that between the generated receipt and the agency’s transmission there were other steps, with increased complexity, between support staff and management time. With the added difficulty that, despite predictable, of the limited support from the business consultants.
RX the exact opposite of good habits to say the least.
RS Certainly. The service model which Tecno Logica’s clients are used to is the opposite. Simplicity of use of is centrepiece to our programming and development methods. We dedicated al lot of time to the development of our already active applications for the back office, investing the necessary amount even for the certificates of our staff. The aim was simple as it was ambitious: from the termination date, our clients would not even have had to be aware of the changes. Instead, they would have simplified the management. And this is what happened.
RX what do you predict for Italian distribution, at least in the medium run?
RS One thing above all: within the next three years, the sales system will have to become online. The sales point needs to communicate with the central system, to limit as much as possible what can be done offline. Looking at promotions and at loyalty programs, then, it all becomes more evident.
RX Finally overtake the flyer, correct?
RS The flyer has massive costs and decreasing efficiency, and promotion transversal no longer makes money. Every retailer will need to promote on the single card, with offers aimed at individual preferences and personal purchasing methods. To do so, the priorities of those who work in stores need to change and those in HQ: simplicity in the first case, of vast elaborative effort in the second.
RX Internet at the sales point then?
RS Internet at the sales point is essential. Tecno Logica will make it a good habit.