In the match between paper and pencil versus AI, Romania is still betting, in many directions, on traditional solutions, but precisely because the need for technology exists, it gives technological service developers the opportunity to innovate, launching new functionalities. This is also the case of the Optima company, which came up with a solution for the digitalization of fixed asset inventory and stocktaking services.
It is normal to reach the moment when we move from paper and pencil to digital solutions that further translate into the optimization of all the resources involved – budgets, time, human resources. The complexity on site of certain organizations requires such efficiencies. Let's think of a bank like CEC Bank, which has 1,000 branches and tens of thousands of fixed assets, or OMV, which also has extraction areas - wells, or a large retailer with national coverage, with millions of units in stock. It is an area that will obviously grow. Only looking at the larger surrounding markets, for example, Poland, we notice that the digital inventory, both of stocks and assets, is outsourced to the extent of 80%, while in Romania the share is 20%", says Gabriel Chiva, owner of the company Optima, a business with a turnover of 2.7 million EUR in 2021.
Optima started its activity 15 years ago, as a developer of its own software solutions, and following requests from customers in the first line of business, it developed the second one, fixed asset inventory and stocktaking services.
Currently, the Optima team is in the process of implementing a research project, together with Babeş-Bolyai University, amounting 7.2 million RON (over 1.4 million EUR), through which it develops a platform for the prediction of the evolution of some business indicators in commercial processes, based on AI (Artificial intelligence) and Big Data. "The pandemic has emphasized the role of technology from a support tool to an integral part of companies' strategy.
For example, we are already at the point where we have to make predictions for the evolution of some business indicators, depending on environmental factors, in commercial processes."
According to the entrepreneur, the development of this platform is the result of the fact that, at present, most companies make many decisions mainly based on the experience of some managers, being difficult to exploit the entire amount of information held by the company and which could have a major influence on these decisions.
This analysis, he adds, can become possible using applications that exploit the data accumulated over time, to obtain additional information such as the identification of trends or models (patterns) that are of particular interest in decision-making, something that can be made using the Machine Learning component of AI, applied to large data sets (big data). "There is a need in the business environment for such solutions", Chiva explained, adding that including on the market of outsourced inventory solutions and services, large organizations need to see the real-time image of all goods and their movements from purchase to scrapping, to make quick decisions that have a positive impact.
"The main software solution developed by us is that of Asset Management which manages in one platform, in cloud, all the operations carried out on an asset - from acquisition to scrapping - and the inventory is carried out digitally through barcodes or RFID tags through which all goods are identified much more easily. With the help of this platform, a lot of information about assets can be collected and stored, such as their location, the category they belong to, their condition, photos or other useful information. And following the implementation of the digital inventory solution, the annual cost related to the inventory decreases by 50%-60%", said Gabriel Chiva.