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Below is our recent interview with Hidetoshi Hayashi, Co-Founder at Smart Shopping:
Q: Can you provide our readers with a brief introduction to Smart Shopping?
A: We, Smart Shopping, Inc., are a Tokyo-based start-up providing price comparison website of daily consumption items (B2C business) as well as inventory management solution with the latest IoT scale SmartMat (B2B business).
The company was found in November 2014 by two co-founders Takayuki Shiga and myself, with the strong passion for “zero click shopping”, envisioning to bring innovation for daily shopping experience as well as inventory management.
Q: You’ve recently launched the full-fledged solution services using an IoT device “SmartMat”; can you tell us something more?
A: SmartMat is the latest IoT scale we released in October, enabling real time inventory management and auto replenishment, achieving the human-less inventory management and more efficient vendor inventory management
SmartMat has weight sensor and measures the remaining weight of items on the mat for the preset frequency (e.g. once in 1 hour).
In addition to real time inventory management, users can also easily establish automatic order system (e.g. Email, Fax and Web order) when the remaining weight/% falls behind the preset threshold.
With our solution, users will have imminent benefits including, (a) reduce inventory management and labor cost, (b) eliminate order error, stockout, (c) visualize proper level of inventory, and (d) monitor inventory wherever they are.
In early December 2018, we also announced the auto-reorder service with Amazon Dash Replenishment in Japan, which makes you free from the daily pain surrounding the replenishment such as “why no stock when necessary!” or “taking meaningless time for order”. Once you simply put daily consumption goods on the mat, you can make auto reorder from Amazon.co.jp when the residual unit of the measured products falls behind the preset threshold.
Q: Can you provide some real word use-cases that we can expect to see? How does it improve productivity?
A: Although we just started the full-fledged service offering of inventory management solution with our IoT scale SmartMat in mid-October 2018, we already have approximately 50 business clients and partners mainly in Japan.
Fuji Xerox is one of our clients, and they installed SmartMat at their showroom in Tokyo. Before installing SmartMat, they did not have clue to monitor which catalogs are more popular and worthwhile putting more focus, when sales representatives brought their customers to the showroom.
With our SmartMat solution, they will have clear data as to when and which catalogs have been picked up, enabling them to decide the marketing focus areas.
Q: What advantages does SmartMat have over its competitors?
A: So far, there are virtually no similar solutions in Japan and other regions to our knowledge although we saw similar electric scales that are 1) not versatile, 2) expensive, and 3) just focus on measuring the weight.
With our intelligent and experienced engineers, we have made massive upgrades on our core function as well as interface over the past few months, focusing on how best we can increase the usability of our solution with SmartMat.
Q: What are your plans moving forward?
A: Our ultimate goal on inventory management solution is “Make Inventory Issues a Thing of the Past!” and bring “Innovation for Inventory Management”
In terms of overseas expansion, we have already started marketing in the U.S. as well as the Southeast Asian countries, including Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
We are currently under discussion with selected distributors and direct clients in these regions, expecting to penetrate into these markets by the end of 2019
SmartMat has been already certified in the U.S. China, Taiwan and Japan, and we expect the coverage area will be expanded including EU, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Korea next year.
On software, as our core value stems from the agile software development by our internal engineers, we plan to launch the analysis function of the optimal inventory level as well as increasing number of connectable web-order platform in addition to Amazon Dash Replenishment service.
As nobody in the past has monitored the real-time inventory or consumption data (rather just relied on the theoretical data (e.g. WMS or POS), we envision to utilize our collected data for digital marketing for mid-to-long termActivate Social Media: