Tone Stanovnik, CIO and founder at Spica International, founded the company Spica Global in the USA.
»Our main goal is to help companies achieve higher productivity. Another era of economic uncertainty is approaching, and companies are trying to lower fixed costs or transform them into variable ones. Therefore, productivity has become imperative. Efficient time management is one step toward higher productivity. We entered the US market with our cloud application My Hours which is a perfect solution for contractors, used for tracking time spent on individual customers,« says Tone Stanovnik.
Špica International is one of the biggest and most successful Slovenian IT companies. Their core business encompasses supply chain management and time and attendance management. In 2018, they increased their income by 7.4 % and reached the EBIT margin of 11 %. Their headquarters in Slovenia has 50 employees, and they have additional 50 employees working in their companies across the former Yugoslavia. Last year they entered into a partnership with a UK company IBCS and started spreading their business around Central European countries: Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria. Their next step is the West.
»Two initiatives have helped us enter the US market. The first is that Gartner listed us as one of 20 representative vendors for workforce management applications in the world. They were impressed by our use of geolocation, especially inside buildings, where precise and automatic time and attendance management works without traditional time clock terminals. The other initiative is the change in the IT business model that provides IT cloud solutions. Our advanced cloud solution works on Microsoft Azure, so Microsoft helps us sell our application in the USA,« says Tone Stanovnik.
Špica's application calculates working hours and also sorts them by projects or clients. »Companies can improve their productivity by simply managing the time of their employees better. It is not just about measuring the time when one comes to work, but also what employees do when they are at work. In times of economic decline, companies try to transform fixed costs into variable ones, while employees want more freedom in planning their time. Consequently, the number of contractors, e. g. freelancers in the US or sole traders in Slovenia, is quickly increasing. They can work on several projects for different clients, or develop one solution and sell it to several clients at once. You need efficient time management solutions to manage all these business relationships; and this is exactly what we successfully sell in the USA", adds Mr. Stanovnik.
Strategic partnership with the British company IBCS will help Špica enter the Central European region between the three seas - Baltic, Black Sea and Adriatic. They want to join other Slovenian and international companies who are gaining significant regional and global reputations. In the region, these companies provide equal service quality in the field of supply chain management, time and attendance management and access control. What business model will Špica choose to conquer the tightly regulated German market? "We haven't decided yet. We are discussing several possibilities, one of them is also franchising," answers Tone Stanovnik.
Špica is ready for the upcoming turbulent years; not only are they expanding their portfolio of services, they are also changing their business model.
»Customers do not have to think of IT as an investment anymore - they have to think of it as a subscription or lease. A company does not have to invest large amounts of money into IT; it rents a service and gets billed periodically. This model pays off well for customers, because there is no need for additional hardware or other investments on site. On the other hand, service providers need more capital, since you have to wait for income to arrive, and when it finally does, it comes gradually. ROI on the side of a service provider is definitely longer. In this business model, a service provider has to struggle through the tough "fish" times to succeed and prosper after the break point is reached. In recent years, we have been striving to increase the company's capital, so now we can offer our clients the lease model,« explains Tone Stanovnik.