Born in 2017 and today present in industries such as mining, construction, transportation and logistics, Samtech defines itself as "the technology partner that puts the future of your company under control". It is precisely this collaborative spirit that makes it one of the main partners of M2M DataGlobal.
This was stated by Samtech's Infrastructure, Operations and Security Manager, Claudio Palacios, for whom M2M DataGlobal is a company with which "you can feel sure of what you are doing and that it will work".
How was Samtech born and what is its current profile?
Although the initial core of the company was fleet control oriented to the mining area, we later diversified. Today, we are a company more oriented to the technological area, we call ourselves a technological partner. We are oriented to be a partner of our clients, to accompany them in their solutions and problems, to be more than a service provider, but to be an ally.
Is working with a proprietary platform a relevant differentiating factor for Samtech?
Yes, we work with our own platform that we created 12 or 13 years ago, and today in certain services we syndicate that as a plus, because it allows us to be flexible in the face of needs, to make modifications or things that, clearly in other cases, when one depends on an external system, it is more complex. The platform is 100% ours, managed and administered by us.
It has some disadvantages, there is a maintenance issue, it requires human resources ("man hours") to keep it working, but yes, it has the plus of the flexibility that we give to our clients, that if something needs to be done, we do it, we do not complicate it. Obviously, due to the volume of clients or service, one tends not to be so flexible, because clearly one has to try to maintain a line and that this is the same for all clients.
What is the long-term assessment of the consolidation of this tool?
12 or 13 years ago, there were no platforms like today's, where one can hire or maintain a service. At that time, there were no such solutions and many of us who started out did our own. Along the way, some have migrated to the new ones, which are quite good and, to a certain extent, relieve some of the burden. In the end, it depends on the services offered by each company. If you are doing better in GPS monitoring, it is probably the best option. In our case, we are doing a lot of development in other services, such as telemetry, which are not 100% GPS control, so it also allows us to diversify and have flexibility.
What does Samtech mean when it offers the concept of "predictability"?
Predictability is oriented to use information to obtain data or anticipated information of behaviors and events that could be anticipated. It is to predict certain behaviors and behaviors, it is not a certainty. We are advancing in this field with some models that allow us to analyze data and obtain certain information that gives you trends and allows us to give a pattern to anticipate certain behaviors, mainly oriented to road safety. Today we are oriented to this by a request in the mining area, where road safety is strong, with a model of accident forecasting, which allows us to support in reducing or at least giving some idea of behavior.
How has the company evolved and is it planning its internationalization?
The company started at the request of a mining company, allied with a transportation firm with which we worked. In the course of time, we started doing business, looking at other aspects, always focusing on being flexible and making things very tailor-made. From there, we became better known, the company began to grow, to strengthen the commercial area and to diversify the areas. We entered the areas of transportation and cold chain. Today, after several years, we have diversified into many areas. Expansion is starting. We are opening channels in Colombia and we are also looking at other countries, with conditions similar to those we have here in Chile, possibly Peru. They are on the same path. The idea is to offer solutions oriented to asset control, fleet control and telemetry. The company has made changes in recent years at the managerial and structural level, which allow us to carry all these changes and growth in a good way. We have tried to keep our soul, to remain a friendly, close and flexible company, but focusing on delivering a robust and adequate solution to what the customer needs.
Samtech is characterized by a powerful development of customized applications. Would you consider it one of your secrets or main assets?
There are several components. It may be this flexibility that we have had, but in the end it is a set of things. The company has diversified and grown, based on the commercial area, which has been looking at different niches, has bet on offering different services. In the end, these are bets that go hand in hand with our development and engineering area. We are committed to go hand in hand with the customer in this path of being this partner. We work together. We do many things ourselves directly and we also rely heavily on ourexternal partners, who support us in the development of devices and electronics. We also rely on others who also help us to implement these solutions. We do not do 100% ourselves, but clearly our development and technology area is a strong heart that we have tried to maintain and strengthen.
Of the work verticals in the areas you manage, is there one in which you have a greater presence that differentiates you from the competition?
We are in several. We have focused and bet on integral platforms. We have at least four integral platforms with large mining companies, in which we work together with others, because we are an integrator of different suppliers. We are committed to being a company that, more than installing a GPS, is dedicated to having an integral platform for the control of assets and equipment, and monitoring safety issues. This is an area that I believe we are strengthening. I also believe that our strong card has been after-sales, being there with the client and that, in some way, I have seen and heard it. That's what they prefer. More than giving them a good solution, it is that we are also there, that in case of any problem you can assist them and give them a quick selection.
I chose DataGlobal for the same reason, because you know that they are there, that if you have a problem they will come and respond quickly. You choose the service and everything behind it.
The company's general manager, Cristián Barrientos, said that "the pandemic and the risks of contagion have generated an acceleration of processes". Do you have any specific example that you would like to highlight of how Samtech's solutions have prevented people from being exposed to the virus?
Although traceability solutions exist and we have them, which aim directly at identifying the history of close contacts in the event of contagion, the processes that were catalyzed were not directly along these lines. Solutions associated with digital access controls in mining, which minimize the interaction of people; machinery control systems, which avoid personnel around the work of leveling an earthmoving work or validation systems based on mobile applications on personal phones that avoid physical contact, are examples of projects that increased their demand due to the pandemic.
In addition, we developed an indicator (Samtech Transportation Index) to see how the pandemic has impacted mobility behavior. On the other hand, some companies have accelerated their processes or asserted themselves based on technology that allows them to have better traceability and online information. In this last pandemic period, we have had more work than in the last few years. We have had a large number of requests and we have participated in hundreds of tenders. The market has been very busy. I think it goes hand in hand with the same thing: many companies have had to jump on this bandwagon of going digital, of monitoring their equipment online. Before, they probably did it in the field, which today is not so easy. That has supported and accelerated their entry into this world of asset and equipment control, and management tools that allow them to be aware of what is happening with their fleets and their people.
How does M2M DataGlobal contribute to making Samtech's services more reliable?
A few years ago we started working together with M2M DataGlobal. I have felt 100% supported by them. You feel that you are with someone who really is a partner, someone you can count on, with whom you can feel confident about what you are doing and that it will work. Today, in eight of the projects in which we are participating, we rely on them. Finally, I have a service that I worry little about, because I leave it in their hands, because the equipment and the lines are working and, if there is a problem, they inform me.
I feel very relaxed, because I have a diversity of products and different solutions with them. Today, it is hard for me to look the other way. When they call me from the competition, I tell them that I don't need something different because today I have a good price, good service and friendly people. In the end, that is what I have always tried to maintain with them. That affinity is what makes everything work super-synchronized. That companionship and sense of security gives us peace of mind that our services are being handled well together with them.