Interview with Marco Cartolano, CEO of iThanks
February 3, 2022
Interview with Marco Cartolano, CEO of iThanks, the first digital assistant against food waste
Food waste, especially when it comes to large-scale distribution, becomes a crucial issue. Think, for example, of how many products remain on the shelves of supermarkets and are inevitably destined to be thrown away as a result of the expiration date.
iThanks was born precisely with the aim of combating the waste of all these products, through technology. iThanks is in fact an innovative digital system, which allows food distribution operators to automate the processes of checking shelf deadlines, improving the entire management of stores.
What iThanks does
iThanks offers an all-in-one solution for store department management:
– analytics on departments, product lines or a single product
– control of the trend over time of the most requested foods
– optimization of shelf product control processes
– optimized management of deadlines and therefore reduction of Rejects and overdue
– reduction of the working time of the controls
How iThanks works
Using iThanks is very simple:
– enter the products to check in the platform and create your database
– iThanks warns you when you need to check a product, taking into account its expiration date
– update the expiration of the products that iThanks tells you
– be guided between the departments by the assistant: iThanks knows where the products are and on which shelf!
– view the analytics
To learn more about this wonderful ecotechnology, we had the opportunity to interview Marco Cartolano, CEO of iThanks. Read the interview now:
Ciao Hello Marco Cartolano, nice to meet you and thank you for the time you are dedicating to u. iThanks: can you tell us what it is and how to start using it?
Hello and thanks to you for this interview. iThanks is the first digital supermarket assistant that controls and automates the process of food due dates. Improving the performance of the points of sale and above all reducing waste.
It is possible to monitor and manage the deadlines of the products through the application that is installed directly on a point-of-sale device, halving the control times by operators who will no longer have to plan this type of activity, because the app will communicate the products to be verified.
How and when did the idea of iThanks come about?
The idea comes from a lack that I find in my work as a store manager in the large-scale retail trade, that is, the need to manually check the expiration dates of products on the shelves, an inevitably time-consuming and inefficient process.
So, in 2019, thanks to the collaboration of my friend and partner, Andrea Gasco, we founded our innovative start-up.
How long did it take to shape the project?
We started in 2018 from a normal spreadsheet in excel and we participated in the MIP of the Metropolitan City of Turin developing the business plan and in a second time we created a first version of the algorithm and tested it on some brands through a web app
How is the market responding?
After a first moment of difficulty due to the pandemic at the beginning of 2020, we managed to make ourselves known by several important national brands of large-scale retail trade. Starting from small entrepreneurs who gave us the opportunity to test our software.
The issue of safeguarding the planet has now become the prerogative of every civil state. Technology often seems to be pointed out as one of the reasons for pollution and whatnot: how do you fight technology, with technology? I am referring of course to your pay off: “become part of eco-technological innovation against food waste” here, what do you mean by Eco-Technology?
The technology was created to help the planet, in our case, by reducing food waste and CO2 emissions from discarded food and reducing pollution from plastic, cardboard and other materials from food packaging.
How did you launch your project? Have you used Crowdfunding campaigns?
No, we have developed everything with our own strength and having professionals who believe in our project help us.
The future: future services?
The first goal we had for 2021 was to also involve consumers, through notifications on the smartphone, of discounted products in stores close to their expiration date, to try to dispose of these products as soon as possible avoiding waste altogether. From here was born the partnership with lastminutesottocasa, a showcase app, acquired by the French group UP Day that are developing this project with us. For the future we have many beautiful ideas on which we are working, the goal is to be able to reduce food waste in large-scale retail and beyond.