DigiTally

Founders: Patrick McDermott
 
Number of Staff: 8
 
Start Date: 2016-08-19

 

Tell us what your business does?
DigiTally enables food businesses to generate their food gross margins up to 72% faster by digitalising the manual collection of Food Inventory Data. Eliminating the use of pen and paper counting and error-prone excel sheets, the DigiTally App and an intuitive online reporting dashboard gives clarity to your key metrics at a glance.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
Based in Tuam, Co. Galway DigiTally was founded in 2016 by Patrick McDermott (CEO) & Artur Leonowicz (CTO) – two very experienced professionals with the knowledge of how stocktaking is undertaken and what methods should be approached to ease the process. The idea came from speaking with food retailers especially deli operations, who had difficulty in counting their stock partly because it had no barcodes. It lead us to wonder, what other businesses buy ingredients and sell recipes and have the same problem. As a result, we learned and realised it was contract catering, the hospitality industry, restaurants, and cafes that have a similar problem.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Yes, I have been running my own business for the last 16 years, Stocktaking.ie, I love the independence of having my own business.
What planning did you do before you started up?
I spoke to a lot of people who all had different ideas and they told us about the problems they were experiencing. There’s no substitute for getting face to face with people finding out what their problems are and then developing a solution.
Which entrepreneurs do you admire?
Gene Brown from the City Bin Company, he’s developed a fantastic business in a non-sexy industry and has created a software solution which has gone global.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
The challenges we face were mainly finance based and due to COVID. Financing and fundraising for a business take 3 to 4 times longer than expected and can be expensive. Then with Covid, a lot of your customer’s temporarily close and you are wondering, how do you increase sales? We were lucky we had a plan B to overcome these challenges where we focused on smaller customers rather than just the larger ones and this is enough for us to have month-on-month growth.
How have you promoted your business?
Initially, we started to target the influencers within the sector. So, if someone was highly respected within their field we targeted them as customers, and then their peers were noticing their success with DigiTally and further enquiries and conversations were created. We completed a number of case studies and testimonials, and then build the business with our customer success stories. It also generated a lot of social media content and engagement online.
Where do you see the business in 3 years’ time?
A lot bigger! We started off from zero. We believe that in 3 years’ time we will have a 5 million turnover and that there will be 20 plus staff. DigiTally is a young, motivated, and driven company, growing fast with a strong network of clients and potential consumers in the food industry who can now focus on reducing food waste and increasing profitability, quickly.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
I would suggest start off by doing your market research, talk to people, don’t develop something thinking that you know what the solution is, have it based directly on what your customers are telling you, and in saying that just because one customer says it, doesn’t mean that all customers want it. Be very careful with that, don’t be led by one specific customer, and then after that look for the big fish in that sector and look to secure them.

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