MyTechMag had the opportunity to interview Vitor Ayres Angelelli, Head of Operations at Neogrid North America. From talking about challenges in the industry to offering the best collaboration solution, Vitor bares it all in this candid conversation.
What are the challenges faced by Neogrid customers and how are you addressing the same with your unique solutions?
Vitor: I think the essential things that are occurring now are changing everything. Scenarios are changing, the rules are changing, the engagements are changing; all in life is changing everything. So, when everything’s changing at the same time, it isn’t easy to know if you’re doing the right thing or not. It isn’t easy to see if your strategies are working or not. So, we are in a volatile process, and I think that we can help the customer is to bring visibility to the forefront. On the front and bring it to them.
Neogrid has acquired brilliant companies in the recent past. And how will you say like how are these acquisitions working in favor of the company and how are you implementing the latest technologies to your offerings?
Vitor: Yes, for us, this is the new era of Neogrid, and it is the United States that is instrumental in the acquisitions we’ve done so far. For example, we have a company that creates user artificial intelligence and information on marketing price plus internal customer data to define the best price position they can get from their customers. So, we are implementing this solution as we speak. In the middle of 2021, we bought a company, and we already have a massive campaign to introduce this solution to electronic markets here in the United States. That is the first step before continuing to move forward, which includes more steps and expansion. We’re also doing a campaign with another company named “Arker”, a TPM solution. We are utilizing and collaborating with these new companies to accentuate the speed we already have and merge with the speed they have to further the evolution. They have the products like they have innovation, resulting in them having something ready that the market is looking for.
What are some of the company’s differentiating factors that sets it apart from the rest?
Vitor: So the trick is to be in front of your competition and to find a focus. You need to focus on a niche market, especially when introducing something. It would help if you were very focused, had a narrow vision, and were close to the customer. So, I think the technique that we’ve been using for the last few years is implementing a perfect relationship with the customer and open conversation where we can understand precisely what they are feeling, know what the feedbacks are, what the improvements are because you don’t need to try to reinvite the wheel. You can ask the customers what they are looking for. And then, if you list the same thing more than once, now you have a feature, then you have something to sell. You need to nurture their relationship as much as you can. This is the winning strategy.
Why is collaboration between retailers and manufacturers in the supply chain so important, and how are you simplifying the same?
Vitor: We’ve been fortunate to build several relationships, as this is a fundamental rule of thumb. When I was talking about the relationship between two companies, a supplier and a customer, we must understand that they must do the same thing. They need to understand their customers, which are the retailers. They are selling to retailers so they can sell to the final consumer. There is something in the middle, and that relationship needs to be in good standing. There is a lot of friction between retailers and manufacturers because they are trying to pull the same cord; they’re trying to go on the conflict in different directions. The retailer is trying to sell as much as possible for the lowest price possible but with a larger margin. And with that, the manufacturer is trying to do the same thing but in the opposite direction. Thus creating a conflict in the relationship. And I think the information can be balanced, and it can be exactly the ideal point where everybody can win without sacrificing the other, which is what we call a win-win relationship. So we are trying to have this win-win relationship with our customers, the manufacturers and retailers, but way more focused on manufacturing and helping them to increase the relationship with their clients, which will be the retailer in that case. Information is the answer that can solve it because the last relationship is with the customer at the end of the day. We are a facilitator of this. We make that transaction easier.
How does your data assist the manufacturer and becoming more efficient and how does that lead to collaboration among business partners?
Vitor: We aim to get data that is much more meaningful. So, the data that is meaningful on demand in price is stock. They are like the heartbeat. We always have information that is much more grounded and rooted in real things than everything else. For example, it’s like watching a football game, and then you have the statistic of how many yards the quarterback just threw. That is essential information. This is what he’s paid for. But you also can analyze how many steps back he took, how many sacks he may’ve taken, like a lot of other things, a lot of other KPIs that will help you. But believe it or not, many companies do not even operate with the basics. They are really on the top of the tower but still unable to see anything. What we try to do is to give the basics first, like saying, “Hey! You need these five sets of information which tells you the stock information and price!” So, in demand, this is just the beginning for you. But we are constantly working with the customer to get even more. How can we get more information on this side, quantify the amount of products you’re losing, and how is it that pretty much every other KPI that we believe is interesting, we always bring into them and try to bring with it new technology. So imagine ourselves like a telescope.
We are like the telescope that can bring information, but just bringing a lot of data doesn’t mean anything. So, we try to transform this data and insights since insight is incredibly pivotal.
To understand your solutions and products better because you happen to share a few case studies where clients have benefited from your solutions.
Vitor: One prominent case we have is the pharmaceutical company Bayer in the United States. They use our solution to know exactly how the demand is and how is the forecast of said demand. How is the position of stock the on the market? And based on that, they can create what they call “The Forecast”. So how much do they think that they will sell? And that information is crucial because they take this information and send it to the production team to know what they need to produce. So based on what I think I’m going to sell is what I will produce. And then, you can look for metrics if this is happening or not. And what is the gap between both sets of information? This allows you able to fix the forecast and move forward, and it’s like a continuous improvement in the process. We do this with Bayer in the United States as well. We also do a process with Best Buy, which is the same exchange of information.
Where do you personally see Neogrid in the near future?
Vitor: Yeah. I think that the world is passing to one change right now, which is the polarization of the world. We used to have a more globalized world, and I think that that is something that’s going to change for the next few years. I can see how Neogrid has the capability of being the first and the biggest software company that understands the three big areas of the occidental part of the world, which is South America, which is North America and also Europe. Because we have offices in those three points. We are bringing innovation for those three points. And I believe that we can feed each other on intelligence and innovation that will be able to put Neogrid in a spotlight to be the company which is bringing more and more innovation for the customers, plus a company that understands the three points of the this new side of the world.