Technology has changed the way we function daily. From smartphones to computers, to the web, and now even to the metaverse and beyond. We live in an ever-changing world, all to make our lives simpler and easier. Steve Jobs was a pioneer when he first envisioned the Apple Computer. Jobs had an uncanny knack for knowing what the public needed before they knew they needed it.
In a way, John Ricci, CEO of Danavation is a bit like Jobs. Ricci is a visionary and knows that the retail industry can be a whole lot better if they adapt to new tech solutions to make their operations run more smoothly and efficiently. In effect, Ricci knows what they need before they need it too, as Jobs did.
Ricci’s outfit, Danavation Technologies Corp. founded in 2018 and headquartered in Vaughan, Ontario Canada, is a North America-based Internet of Things (IoT) technology company known as a leading provider of micro e-paper displays to organizations across the continent.
The company’s Digital Smart Labels™, powered by IoT automation technology and software Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) enables companies across various sectors to automate their labeling, pricing, product information, and promotions in real-time. This enhances data accuracy and improves performance by removing high labor costs and low productivity associated with traditional labor-intensive workflows.
“Danavation has introduced its solution to retailers across North America including big box and boutique grocers, while also targeting new markets including healthcare providers, manufacturing and logistics companies, warehousing distribution, military, animal shelters, hospitals, pharmacies, furniture companies, office resellers and more,” states Ricci.
In addition, the features and benefits of Digital Smart Labels™ are endless, such as 10-year battery life. They are also easier to read and more energy-efficient than LCD displays and reflect light like paper to offer high resolution and contrast, easy visibility, and vibrant color displays that can be read in direct sunlight. They also offer radio frequency transmission, as well as saving the environment from the enormous amount of wasted paper on a yearly basis.
Digital Smart Labels™ are designed to enhance the retail shopping experience, replacing traditional paper with digital displays that are truly unique and are the way of the future.
“Dealing with labels is a time-consuming task, and you have all these really smart people who could be doing a lot more with their time to help the business grow,” says Ricci. “Especially with the labor shortages, it’s archaic to still have staff spending hours sticking labels, worrying about printers and ink, and dealing with file management. Putting a Digital Smart Label™ system in place provides you a clean and efficient method of maintaining a good pricing strategy, staying competitive, and showing your customers you mean business.”
In 2019, an investor friend of Ricci’s took interest in the tech side of the company and helped it to go public on the CSE in January 2021. Danavation was spun out from Ricci’s other business, Dana Industries which began in 1993. It is now a separate entity.
Danavation designs and engineers its hardware and software internally, making us an in-house entity when it comes to engineering and development,” states Ricci.
“This allows us to keep our software costs low because it is our design, and we don’t rely on anyone on the outside. We also have three OEM facilities that manufacture for us allow- ing us to have a tight grip on our supply chain and our price points. We are the only player in this business that’s grounded and founded in North America and that’s what makes us unique. And when you deal with us, we give you one thing that no one else can give you: “home-field advantage.” This home-grown approach also allows for more effective customer service, onsite technical support, and 24/7 availability.
Today’s customers are getting younger. They rely a lot on technology, and they’re very sharp and price sensitive. As a retailer, you must find a way to impress and engage them.
Ricci explains, “Say a customer is standing in your store looking at a product. browsing their phone to make sure you have a competitive price. Someone across the street has the product at a better price. But you have the advantage of having the customer in your store. Now, it’s up to you to convert the standing customer to make that purchase. A strong digital presence will help you achieve this.”
Danavation has produced a system to make remote installations possible. A complimentary do-it-yourself kit is prepared so customers can install the Digital Smart Labels™ system themselves easily after viewing a series of short videos.
Danavation is capable of digitally transforming businesses that can range in size from one store up to 10,000 stores across many locations. Recently, the firm installed its system in LCBO’s flagship store. Now, the previously tedious labor-intensive process such as printing the pricing labels and manually changing them at the shelf, is seamlessly done electronically.
“The techie people are important in our company. When we see a customer, the IT team is the one that pushes for the installation of a Digital Smart Labels™ system within their organization. And that’s great because then they can help convert “old school thinking within the company to the new dynamic ways of doing things that will ultimately help them save time and money in the long run,” says Ricci
WE ARE THE ONLY PLAYER IN THIS BUSINESS THAT’S GROUNDED AND FOUNDED IN NORTH AMERICA. AND WHEN YOU DEAL WITH US, WE GIVE YOU ONE THING THAT NO ONE ELSE CAN GIVE YOU: HOME-FIELD ADVANTAGE.
The Danavation team is also hard at work on new software innovations for retailers to help them engage their customers at the retail shelf level to encourage purchases and increase order size. From the recently launched Digital SmartBlade™, a larger format Digital Smart Label™ that extends perpendicularly from shelves, offering consumers relevant promos in real-time while increasing revenue for retailers (who can rent out the ad space to brands), to augmented reality and QR codes embed- ded into the labels that give consumers more info about a product. Danavation’s innovations facilitate an enhanced shopping experience.
Looking forward to the future, Ricci says, “Things are very bright for the company. We have a solution partner in Mexico. We’re heading to the Middle East and Africa, and we’re planning to open an office in the US later this year.”