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Article originally published in La Tercera
”"Aaron and Edwin traveled to New York just to try to convince their first client. And they succeeded. Currently, this startup dedicated to injecting big data and machine learning into the logistics chain of large companies had a turnover of US$1.5 million in 2019 and is has operations in five countries."
A customer’s request to develop a logistics system opened the door for Aaron Cassorla and Edwin Vargas to create Omnix, a new Formax Group startup, where they were both partners. However, the retail company that hired them at the time (2017) said that the product needed improvements. Indeed, they listened to their client, and finally opened the service that currently optimizes the companies’ supply chain and makes decisions to ensure that operational continuity is not interrupted.
“We realized that managers spend a lot of time solving their company’s problems, in addition to the actions to push sales and the little space to devote to management,” says Aaron.
However, the software had a focus on companies that handle large volumes and for the founders that was a headache, since a company that invoices close to US$100 million, would not look with much interest at a service that puts the bulk of its business in their hands. Moreover, by 2017, the product was only in its infancy. But the conviction of this startup – which closed with a turnover of US$1.5 million in 2019 – was such that they went in search of that difficult first client.
The opportunity was at Grupo EFE, a Peruvian retailer that had just been bought by U.S. investors and was changing all its computer systems. Overnight they left for a convention in New York in hopes of finding them. “We didn’t have tickets. Only then we learned that they cost $2,000. It was a giant event and we had only one day to meet them,” recalls the founding partner.
Fortunately, they found Grupo EFE and convinced them by the proposal. Executives agreed to come to Chile to get to know the product in detail and, after some meetings, things went well for the startup, managing to close their first client. From then on, Grupo EFE referred other clients and thus expanded Omnix portfolio to 12, with contracts of five to 10 years. Nowadays, these companies have had a minimum savings of 20% in its operations and 17% in its sales profits, according to Omnix.