In this interview, we speak with Nikolin Ngjela, Co-Founder and Software Development Manager of LekoTech, a SaaS platform that helps businesses digitize their inventory of used spare parts. Nikolin discusses the origin story of LekoTech and how the company pivoted from an e-commerce platform to a SaaS inventory system. He also talks about the key features of the LekoTech platform, how it differentiates from other fleet management and e-commerce platforms, and the challenges faced in the early stages of development. The LekoTech platform not only improves the efficiency and accuracy of inventory management but also promotes sustainable and environmentally friendly practices in the industry.
Nikolin, can you tell us about the origin story of LekoTech and what inspired you to co-found it?
The origin story of our startup began with a vision to create an e-commerce platform for used spare parts. The initial goal was to make it easy for customers to find and purchase quality used spare parts online, while also providing sellers with a new platform to sell their products. Francesco Carbone (Swiss/Italian Project Manager) and Ledjon Agalliu (Albanian Electronic Engineer) had their first business meeting on October 2017. With similar values and a shared interest in developing a unique project, Elton Ngjela (CTO & Solution Architect) and me (Co-Founder, Software Development Manager) join and complete the co-founder’s team, and Lekotech was born.
However, as we began developing our platform, we quickly realized that there was a significant problem with the way businesses were managing their inventory of used spare parts. Many businesses had a manual and time-consuming process for managing their inventory, which was not only inefficient but also prone to errors. This made it difficult for them to keep track of their inventory, and they often struggled to find the right parts when they needed them.
To address this issue, we pivoted our business model from an e-commerce platform to a SaaS inventory system for used spare parts. Our new platform allowed businesses to digitize their inventory, making it easier for them to manage their parts, track their inventory levels, and quickly find the parts they needed when they needed them.
There were several factors that inspired me to co-found a SaaS for digitizing used spare parts. Firstly, I noticed that there was a significant gap in the market for an efficient and streamlined way to manage the inventory of used spare parts. Many businesses that dealt with used spare parts had a manual and time-consuming process for managing their inventory, which was not only inefficient but also prone to errors.
Secondly, I observed that there was a growing demand for sustainability in the industry. With the rise of environmental concerns and regulations, businesses were looking for ways to reduce waste and extend the lifespan of their products. By digitizing the inventory of used spare parts, we could make it easier for businesses to reuse and recycle parts, reducing the amount of waste and promoting sustainable practices.
Lastly, I was motivated by the potential of technology to transform the industry. With the advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence, we could develop a platform that could automate many of the processes involved in managing the inventory of used spare parts, making it faster, more accurate, and more efficient than ever before.
How does LekoTech’s software platform help to transform the core of the car industry and what are its key features?
Allowing us to digitize their inventory and operations, and creating this software platform redefines the way how the car wreckers industry, technology and people work.
Digitized Inventory Management: LekoTech SaaS platform can digitize the inventory of used spare parts, making it easier for businesses to manage their inventory levels, track the availability of parts, and quickly find the parts they need. This can greatly improve efficiency and accuracy, reducing the time and resources needed to manage inventory manually.
Automated Part Identification: LekoTech platform can identify the full applicability of parts which is one of the core elements of our solution, reducing the need for manual identification and increasing accuracy. This can help to speed up the process of finding the right part, making it easier for businesses to meet customer demand quickly.
Used spare part applicability refers to the compatibility of a used spare part with a specific make and model of a vehicle. This means a spare part can fit perfectly in many vehicles.
Integration with eCommerce Platforms: LekoTech platform can integrate with eCommerce platforms like eBay.com and Subito.it, making it easier for our car wreckers to sell their used spare parts online end expose their inventory.
Sustainability and Environmentally Friendly: LekoTech platform can help to promote sustainability and environmentally friendly practices by enabling businesses to reuse and recycle parts more efficiently. This can reduce waste, promote circular economy practices, and reduce the environmental impact of the industry. Car salvage is strictly regulated by the normative 2000/53/CE. Used Spare parts are often called also Green Parts and they have a huge inpact on the environemnt
Actually they are the perfect mode how something can be reused
How does LekoTech differentiate itself from other fleet management and e-commerce platforms in the market?
LekoTech platform for Car Wreckers differentiates itself from other platforms in the market by focusing specifically on used spare part inventory management, using part identification, having a user-friendly interface, integrating with eCommerce platforms, and offering customizable features. These features provide a unique solution to a specific problem and deliver a tailored user experience.
LekoTech can be an Industry Standard for Car Wreckers, We improve performance across car wreckers, automated operations and sales. We have not customized our software for one or two clients but we have set a standard for all of them together to use the same software.
What challenges did you face in the early stages of developing LekoTech and how did you overcome them?
In the early stages of developing LekotTech, we faced several challenges, including:
Limited Funding: As a startup, we had limited financial resources to invest in the development of the platform. This meant that we had to be strategic in how we allocated our resources to ensure that we could develop a functional and efficient platform with limited funding.
Limited Access to Car Wreckers: In the early stages, we also had limited access to car wreckers, which made it difficult to source quality used spare parts to sell on our platform.
In addition to these challenges, we also had to navigate the Covid-19 pandemic, which had a significant impact on the automotive industry and the market for used spare parts. Especially in the Italian market where we operate. Every car wrecker was closed for several months.
To overcome these challenges, we prioritized the development of key features that would make our platform unique and more efficient than existing solutions, building a strong team, leveraging technology, and adapting to the situation. This allowed us to differentiate ourselves from the competition and attract users who were looking for a more tailored solution.
What are the future plans for LekoTech in terms of expanding its services or entering new markets?
At LekoTech, our goal is to continuously innovate and improve our platform to meet the changing needs of the industry and our customers. We are always exploring opportunities to expand our services and enter new markets, while staying true to our mission of providing a unique solution for used spare part inventory management.
One area of expansion that we are currently exploring is international markets. We see significant potential in expanding our platform to serve businesses in other regions, and we are actively researching and analyzing market trends and demand to identify potential opportunities. We are currently exploring the markets in French, Spain, and Germany. Also In February, we had the opportunity to showcase our SaaS platform to the USA market in Florida to local Car Wreckers.
How does LekoTech ensure the security and privacy of its users’ data?
We take the security and privacy of our users’ data very seriously. We understand that data protection is a critical concern for businesses, especially when it comes to sensitive information like inventory management data. To ensure the security and privacy of our users’ data, we have implemented several measures and protocols.
What is your vision for the future of the car industry and how do you see LekoTech playing a role in it?
Our vision for the future of the car wreckers industry is one where sustainability and circular economy practices are at the forefront. We believe that the industry has a significant role to play in reducing waste and promoting sustainable practices, and we see LekoTech platform as a key enabler in this vision. We envision a future where businesses dealing with used spare parts can operate more efficiently, reduce waste, and promote sustainability in the industry. In addition to promoting sustainability, we also see our platform playing a role in increasing the accessibility and affordability of used spare parts. LekoTech can help to expand the market for used spare parts by enabling businesses to sell their parts online and reach a wider audience. This can increase competition and drive down prices, making it more affordable for consumers to repair their vehicles and reduce the need for new parts.
Finally, can you talk about any exciting upcoming developments or projects that LekoTech has in the pipeline?
As each industrial revolution has brought new changes to master, the fourth industrial revolution brought about digitization and connectivity. However, as the fifth industrial revolution rapidly approaches, the need for intelligence is becoming increasingly important. Intelligence is now recognized as the driving force behind industry advancements, shaping and defining the future of the industry.
Our lab is currently working on ML, Artificial Intelligence & Blockchain We are creating, engineering, and developing services for the future.
Within Engineering and R&D, we reduce the time and cost to produce and develop the next generation of intelligent platforms.
Through the Star Venture programme, which is funded by the EBRD – European Bank for Reconstruction and Development we had the opportunity to complete an intensive business diagnostic workshop by the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM), University of Cambridge analyzed the priorities, strategies, and core operations. Decrease the time and cost of operations as well as increase productivity and quality.
Enhanced Machine Learning Capabilities: We are working on enhancing our machine learning capabilities to further automate the identification and categorization of used spare parts. This will enable users to identify parts more quickly and accurately, improving overall efficiency.
Integration with Blockchain Technology: We are exploring the use of blockchain technology for tracking and tracing the used spare parts, which can provide an added layer of security and transparency to the inventory management process.
We have the support of Swiss Seco Found, Albania Ministry of State and Entrepreneurs, and the EU for Innovation.
On March 15th, LekoTech participated in the WMF International Roadshow Albania. What was the aspect that you liked the most and what do you expect from participating in the WMF Italy in June?
We were excited to participate in the WMF International Roadshow Albania on March 15th and honored to win the second place. One aspect that we particularly liked about the event was the opportunity to showcase our SaaS platform to a new audience and receive feedback from the judges and other industry experts.
Looking ahead to our participation in the WMF Italy in June, by attending the event, we can connect with potential customers and partners who are interested in our platform. Also, we believe that the event will provide an opportunity to network and build relationships with other players in the industry. This can help us to identify potential collaboration opportunities, and stay up-to-date with industry trends and advancements.