Mexican company Sistemas Agro App has developed and introduced SMATTCOM, an app that aims to allow produce professionals to more easily navigate the supply chain.
The app’s features include a price monitor; messaging within commercial networks; searches based on market, country and product characteristics; and notifications of matching traders. Products displayed in the app are sorted by variety, as well as quality, size and packaging, says Walter Arriaga, SMATTCOM technological advisor.
“Currently the usage of SMATTCOM is free and unlimited for everyone, so members can learn which set of features matches the best with their necessities and their working style,” Arriaga says. “Over time, we will gradually introduce ‘functional bundles’ with differentiated costs, including a free basic service for those who really don’t need that many features.”
Believing that the produce industry could best achieve its full potential through technological innovation, Sistemas Agro App’s CEO and founder, Sergio Alejandro Roldán Vázquez, developed SMATTCOM as the company’s first product. Sistemas Agro App began developing SMATTCOM in 2016. It came out with a functional version of the app around the end of July 2017, Arriaga says, but the product had its “Big Bang” at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit event in New Orleans in October 2017.
Arriaga says SMATTCOM offers produce professionals three primary advantages: to expand their networks, gather information about market prices in real time and become aware of business opportunities. The app functions as a social network, so final transactions and agreements do not take place within it.
“Currently, our catalogs contain markets and products from U.S., Mexico and several Central and South American countries,” Arriaga says. “But to add a new country or region, all we need is a few interested users and a list of relevant markets and products to put things in motion.”
The user interface is navigable to both speakers of English and Spanish, and the company intends to add new languages in the future, Arriaga says. Prices are in the currency of the market where producers place their offers. When asked if SMATTCOM replaces the roles of brokers, Arriaga says, “SMATTCOM strengthens connections between producers, intermediaries, distributors and end customers. The effect is that all of them, without exception, potentialize their opportunities. No producer has an infrastructure large enough to get his/her product all the way to the end customers.”
“We must not forget that the free fluctuation of prices is the correct formula for this type of product,” Arriaga says. “If all the participants assume their role, we have an ideal scenario to establish the correct price. In this model all participants add up, regardless of their size. The difference is the level of information available for everyone to make their decisions.”
In the future, Sistemas Agro App plans to support producers, distributors and wholesale customers in a more structured way, Arriaga says. Individual tools and complete suites could help producers monitor planning and production, distributors move product in and out of diverse markets and wholesale customers manage a range of offers and suppliers.