“I am an industrial engineer and there was a time when I realized that the industry suffered from a lack of traceability. We saw that we had the ability to enter this league, to solve these problems and that we could also do it in the automotive sector. So, we made the decision to start on Everest and we went straight to Ford ”, this was the beginning of WiTraC, the Valencian company directed by Javier Ferrer.
They wanted to enter Industry 4.0 and they did it in style. Since then, they have not stopped growing and, in fact, they have just received the Innovative SME award from the Autonomous Community cluster (AVIA). “They let us test our technology at their facilities in 2013. Thanks to that opportunity, we began to develop it further”, says Ferrer, who assures that companies in this sector must have technological partners to help them be more efficient and ” ride this tsunami of Industry 4.0. ” However, he regrets that WiTraC has more foreign clients than national ones. “We want to send that message that Spanish technology is now ripe to be used,” he says.
In addition to the award they received last week from the automotive cluster, WiTraC already has several recognitions. The most prominent is the ‘Best Startup in Smart Manufacturing’ by Impact Growth, a recognition that was earned by competing with companies from the most powerful regions and areas of the world in this category, such as Tel Aviv, China, Silicon Valley and London.
In addition to Ford, its clients include other large companies such as Mercadona and Porcelanosa. But how does a ‘startup’ get into a large company? “It is not easy, but there are two ways: listening a lot and understanding their problems in their language and, secondly, adapting to their real needs”, responds the businessman. «If you are good, fast and adaptive for a client, the client listens to you. Once he listens to you, he trusts your methodology », he adds.
Faced with the prevailing idea that large companies work better, Ferrer argues that the concept of ‘SMEs’ is an old and outdated nomenclature. “We have less than 50 employees but we are doing things that help companies with more than 1,000 employees. We believe that a small company can do great things if it is agile and adapts “, he says.
WiTraC has more than 50 clients and, according to Ferrer, they will continue to grow. “We have magnificent ‘partners’ from integration companies such as Orange, Vodafone, Atos …”, he explains. Although he prefers not to give billing information, Ferrer points out that they are already selling several units of millions of euros a year. «Last year we sold for a volume of more than a million and a half euros. This year we hope to exceed five million but it is an estimate, “he predicts.
For the next fiscal year, the company plans to double the workforce and have more than 100 employees. In addition, it is covering more than 15 countries and finalizing the opening of several delegations. «We are going to open delegations in the Basque Country, Madrid and Barcelona. The idea is to do it as soon as possible, in less than six months. It will first be in the Basque Country, since it is an industrial benchmark, ”adds the engineer.
“Here we are fortunate to have Mercadona, Ford, Consum and Porcelanosa, among others, as economic engines, but it must be recognized that the Basque Country is a national benchmark for industry. In addition, we must have a presence in international hubs such as Madrid and Barcelona ”, says the Valencian entrepreneur.
The company was founded by José Pons and Javier Ferrer in 2013 and in 2016 it joined Lanzadera, Juan Roig’s accelerator in the Marina de Empresas. To better understand the scope of the technology developed by the company, it is enough to resort to specific cases that it has experienced with some of its clients. “A client saved 20 million in six months by lowering the ‘stock’. Another company saved more than one million euros in the first month avoiding losses, leaks and theft “, says Ferrer, who is convinced by his own experience that” technology is attractive and pays for itself “.