Spotless tracking record takes SA technology off the beaten track

Technetium (Pty) Ltd

#TT1002016 Winner of the Award for Excellence in the Management of Technology

Category for small enterprises

Spotless tracking record takes SA technology off the beaten track

Across Australia, it’s South African tracking technology that’s helping to keep the bathrooms of major hotel chains spick and span. In the United States, that technology is being used to keep businesses compliant with required fire extinguisher inspection codes. Here on home soil, it’s helping to reduce the time hospital nurses spend searching for missing equipment, as well as to manage the movement of smartphones in and out of retail stores. It has even been used to check when wheelie bins in Johannesburg were last emptied.

This is all a far cry from conventional asset track-and-trace, and that’s deliberate. “Although we market ourselves as an asset management and tracking company, our business strategy is not to play in a space that is overplayed by everyone else but rather in spaces that are not addressed,” says Wayne Aronson, chief executive of Technetium.

The versatility of its tracking technology is what enables Technetium to play in such spaces. Its technology is underpinned by a core generic system that, with some careful customisation here and there, can be adapted for virtually any industry. “When we develop functionality for one specific industry, we architect it so we can port it across to other industries – and we do this at no extra cost to the client,” says Aronson.

No charges for changes

This is a key strength of Technetium. “We don’t charge for user-requested additions or changes to our technology. We allow our clients to ask for new or added functionality at no cost, and we do this regularly. In this way, our clients in effect then become our R&D department, and we benefit because our technology stays at the forefront and never stagnates.”

This strategy also puts Technetium in a strong position to identify new markets that could benefit from its asset-tracking know-how. Those spotless Australian bathrooms are a case in point.

“Our client, a cleaning company, wanted to add more value to their clients, which include a number of hotel groups, one of which owns one of the largest casino resorts in the world,” Aronson says. “The problem was that the existing process of capturing cleaning records was very laborious. Every cleaner would fill in a card behind the bathroom door every time the bathroom was cleaned, and all those papers would need to be captured weekly. Going back historically was difficult, bearing in mind that in Australia you need to hold paper records for five years.”

Technetium’s response was neat and tidy. It developed a barcode-based smartphone system for all the casino’s bathrooms, dramatically simplifying the record-keeping process – and adding lots more value into the bargain. “Our client’s client, the hotel group, received the usual cleaning report and a value-added report that drilled down into the data, offering them insights they didn’t have before, such as high-peak periods when the bathrooms needed extra work.”
Lasting loyalty

Not surprisingly, both Technetium’s clients and their clients, in turn, appreciate this kind of value-add, which builds high levels of loyalty. “Our clients’ clients rely on them, and they, in turn, rely on us,” says Aronson.

Although they have won a number of awards for their technology, there’s no room at Technetium for resting on laurels. “Complacency will be our death knell. We have to maintain a sense of urgency and be willing to push ourselves beyond our comfort zone, forever combing horizons to see what new technology is coming out and how we can stay ahead.”