The Romanian entrepreneur, Eugen Saulea, founder of ESSA Group, is investing in a new field – digital inventory – and announces the launch of DANTEM on the Romanian market, which he will develop alongside Czech businessman Petr Adámek. The first phase of the newly created company is set for an investment of about 100,000 euros, and the forecast of the two partners in terms of turnover is approximately 5 million euros in the first year of activity.
“Our goal is customizing the services for the domestic market. The assets inventory is mandatory in Romania and, usually, it is done at the end of the financial year. This process is too low-tech locally, with manual counting and pen labeling being the most common methods”, said Eugen Saulea, who owns the largest player in the market for trade marketing and sales services in the country today, ESSA Group, a business that reached 16.5 million euros in 2021.
“In order to expand in a country like Romania, we needed a strong partner, with extended experience in serving large retailers, and Eugen is ideal for us. The Romanian market seems to be extremely dynamic and full of life, with a huge potential for growth. In the Czech Republic, the outsourcing of digital inventory services is already an established field and we, through DANTEM, cover most of the market. We are looking forward to reproducing this business model in Romania as well “, says Petr Adámek, co-founder of DANTEM, a business that reached 9.5 million euros in 2020, present in the digital inventory segment, with subsidiaries in several European countries.
In the DANTEM branch in Romania, Eugen Saulea and Petr Adámek will be equal shareholders: the first bringing the human resources and logistics already existing in Romania to this new business, through ESSA Group, the latter contributing with the existing equipment in the Czech Republic and the accumulated know-how over the years.
The decision of the Romanian entrepreneur to develop the inventory technology on the Romanian market was taken because the inventory process is a complex one, consuming a lot of energy and generating errors when it is not properly organized and coordinated. Currently, there is a big gap between the classic inventory implemented in Romania and the one implemented in the Czech Republic.
The Czech model eliminates human error and requires 50% fewer resources. For example, ESSA participates in the inventory processes of its partners and each listed item is manually counted. Subsequently, forms are filled in for each area inventoried and, finally, all the information is consolidated in a digital format. The Czech model also uses store partition technology up to the micro level (shelf segments), calibrates the number of scanners needed to complete the inventory in the proposed calendar, alerts the inventory coordinator when a duplicate scanning or skipping product segments occur and exports the final inventory report in a format that is easy to compare with the written data held by each store. At the moment, through ESSA, Eugen Saulea selects and hires staff for all retail categories, which are then leased to retailers for a certain period.
“We have a long-term cooperation with about 150 customers, most of them being multinational retailers. The Czech Republic, where we started the DANTEM business, is the best market for us today. But we are developing in Europe through the branches we own in Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Croatia and, now, in Romania. In other words, with our teams present in these countries, we can serve customers from all over Europe “, adds Petr Adámek.
DANTEM’s business plan predicts, among other things, investments of half a million euros in 2022 for the development of these European subsidiaries, but also in new technologies and IT equipment.
Regarding the new entity in Romania, the first six months will require the direct support of the “parent” companies, respectively DANTEM from the Czech Republic and ESSA from Romania. And with the attraction of new partners, respectively the increase of the business volume, the transition towards the development of an own structure of customer service, field management, field control and execution will be decided, with acquisitions of new tools necessary in the inventory process.