When we launched pilot testing two years ago, we had no idea how businesses would react to our system for managing employees and their security. Today, after successfully completing the research, we are happy to start commercial implementations. We present an interview with Sebastian Młodziński, our new CEO, who tells about why he decided to invest in the company and what has been enhanced in our device.
The last two years have been really busy for TIMATE. Can you outline the company’s itinerary?
First of all, TIMATE carried out the pilot testing. In other words, we checked how our system would operate in practice. The testing was scheduled and performed thanks to the grant from the NCBR (the Polish National Centre for Research and Development). In May 2019, we opened a new chapter by setting up TIMATE Sp. z o.o. (limited liability company), we started building sales structures and right now we are beginning to commercialize our system.
Have all the research implementations been completed?
All goes according to plan. We completed most of the pilot implementations, while some are still in progress. The projects were closely related to R&D. The implementations carried out as part of the research are now producing the expected results and get transformed into commercial goals.
Many companies came over to engage in pilot implementations. In your opinion, which one was the most interesting project?
True, several dozens companies from different sectors were interested, e.g. automotive businesses, logistics operators and manufacturers. We selected about a dozen. We wanted the implementations to vary, so we chose enterprises with different infrastructures and different needs.
I guess that one of the more interesting and spectacular pilot projects, concluded with 100% success rate, was the one carried out at the Polish company Mazur, specializing in the production of swimming pools and spa equipment. It is an enterprise with huge experience in the market and well-recognized all around the world. It employs a great number of people and operates two cutting-edge production halls. In a word, the company provides ideal conditions for doing research on the TIMATE system.
Through pilot testing you wanted to find out what the entrepreneurs would think about your system. What have you changed on the basis of the user feedback?
At the moment, the system covers several basic areas and focuses on measuring the use of the working time, security, task delegation, remote work and monitoring of selected and designated zones. The entrepreneurs who tested TIMATE usually reported the need for such modules. That’s why we have checked and enhanced them. Right now, I can say without a flicker of doubt that they are ripe and ready for commercial implementations.
In addition, we have also developed a function for offline task performance which will come useful during business trips and remote work. Though it is outside the network area, the device can still record the employee’s activities. When reconnected to the network, collected data are transmitted to the system.
Sebastian, your TIMATE adventure started not so long ago. You were the first person who decided to invest in the company. How so?
It is not that I am a very recent addition to the company. The negotiations about my joining the team lasted for a year and it was still before the establishment of TIMATE Sp. z o.o. I had been observing the project for a long time and I really liked it, because the product itself is unique and revolutionary. And it is not just my opinion, major companies from all around the world agree on this. This is a system where both devices and software cooperate in order to measure and count what has seemed impossible to count until now.
Yes, the feedback about the system that you have received from businesses is very positive. But TIMATE is not yet so widely recognized. It was first a start-up and you did invest in it at that point in time. Weren’t you afraid of the risk?
Let me tell you a story. My job at TIMATE is not only to manage the company, but also to get money from investors. I remember that when I was on my way to Warsaw to have the first investment meetings, I braced myself for at least a few days of hard work. I thought it would take that much time, but I needed only two hours. Two hours to raise the funds necessary for starting operational activities. This is the best proof of the great potential that TIMATE has. With start-ups there is always risk. You just have to compare how much you can lose with how much you can actually gain.
You have gained your investors, so that chapter is now closed. Right now TIMATE is on the lookout for distribution partners. Who will be your collaborators?
We will do the selling exclusively through a partner network. Our list of partners is now almost complete, we just need two more. We are at the stage of advanced negotiations with three candidates and the contract is ready for one of them. We are talking to leaders and they are not only Polish businesses.
Who is the target user of TIMATE?
Our first customers will be companies employing blue-collar workers, e.g. manufacturers with production halls and complex logistics. Obviously, our system can also be effectively used for office work, but the measurement of the working time use by office employees is perhaps less relevant than the performance measurement at a production plant, in a factory or in logistics. The need to streamline the processes related to manual workers is paramount.
We have also decided that TIMATE will not be available for sale to everyone. We’ve set a certain limit and we don’t want to cross it.
What is that limit?
The number of employees. We have agreed on a sales model which assumes that we can deliver our system to companies which employ at least 500 people. It is a conscious choice on our part, resulting from our capabilities, resources and a sort of optimization that we have carried out within our present network. It does not mean we close our doors for smaller enterprises once and for all. Right now it’s only reasonable to start with the big fish, but in the future our partners will also include small and medium companies as potential customers.
TIMATE is a new thing in the market. Does it help in your talks with partners and customers? Or to the contrary?
True, TIMATE is a pioneering innovation. New things always cause fear at a subconscious level, because they imply new knowledge that needs to be gained and changes to the status quo. But for us it is a pleasant surprise that so many businesses have been interested in our device. TIMATE is a system that has a great potential and entrepreneurs can see its benefits very clearly.
What are your priorities in the nearest future?
Right now it is crucial for TIMATE to create a solid partner network and ensure effective distribution of our products. The priority is to get through the commercialization smoothly and gain efficient partners in Poland and, later on, also in other countries. For now, we have completed two commercial implementations, one of them on an impressively large scale.