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Estudio Cactus: The startup that makes apps for Maersk and Porcelanosa

Developing software solutions for the ceramics and logistics sectors

News - 23/04/2020

After solving the problem of accessing the port of Casdtellón through an application, these three graduates from the Jaume I university, have become an international reference for the management of this type of facilities.

From the very heart of Castellón's center, a young company is making a name for itself in the international logistics and transport scene. Jorge Juan, José Gutierro and Pablo Aguirre, the three associates from Estudio Cactus, have just returned from Gothenburg, where they visited the port terminal for containers of APMT, the subsidiary for the stevedoring of the most powerful shipping company in the world: Maersk

The goal is none other than, throughout this year, to develop and implement the new system to manage the access to this port facility, something that will allow the company to save precious time in the safety protocols that are required prior to accessing it. On the other hand, the commercial director, Pablo Aguirre remarks that the terminal's operators «will have access to all the data of the visits, in real time».

On top of managing the access to this enormous terminal, thanks to the application, the logistics management team of APMT on this swede port, focused on containers and that services the entire country, will know, at any time, who's inside the facility, whether it be one of the thousands of carriers that visit the terminal everyday to pick up cargo or an electrician fixing a malfunction inside the facility.

The trip to Sweden marks a big advance in the internationalization procress of this young company, however, this was not due to chance. In 2017, Estudio Cactus developed an application to streamline the entrance of visitors to APMT's terminal in Castellón's port.

Carriers, in order to access the facility, had to go through safety protocols that spanned «between 30 and 45 minutes», as pointed out by Aguirre. Now, thanks to the application, the process is much faster, carriers need to watch a video and answer a short test, this way time is saved at the gates. Pablo adds that «It also has the advantage of being able to do it the day before, at home, sitting on your couch with your phone».

Castellón, pioneer

The success of the application in Castellón, opened the port of València and Barcelona to Maersk as well. It was also implemented at Vado Ligure (Genova) and after development is finished, it'll be used in Gothenburg. Estudio Cactus expands steadily, they've already made contacts in the facilities in Port Said (Egypt) and Quetzal (Guatemala), for whom they'll also develop the application.

They always work for APMT; keeping the same application as the basis of their work, it changes depending on the safety requirements specific to every country. José Gutierro, engineer and lead of the web and software development of the company points out that «safety criteria is more strict in northern Europe, they are more concerned about it there in stark contrast to here or of course Italy, where you can find a worker breaking 3 rules at once».

FROM THE PORT IN CASTELLÓN, VALENCIA AND BARCELONA, TO GOTHENBURG, ALL THE WAY THROUGH GENOVA, PORT SAID AND QUETZAL

This novel application already has more than 4.000 users on Spanish grounds, but it still has a long way to go in a Multinational company with almost 90.000 employees, most of them deidcated to sea maritime transport. Estudio Cactus considers the project to be more important in terms of prestige rather than revenue, even though it's still very important, as Jorge Juan recognizes. This venture also opened a new line of business for a company that had been working primarily wih the ceramics sector since its foundation in 2016. The three associates come from different professional sectors: Juan is a technical industrial design engineer; Gutierro is a computer engineer and Aguirre is a journalist.

Graduates from the university Jaume I, they leaped into entrepeneurship almost four years ago, developing Click & Render, their fist application. A 360º space configurator: «you can change the appearance of the room, choosing the finish using just your eyes» Aguirre points out. Not having to utilize your hands is already novelty all by itself but the cherry on top is that «you can have this application on your phone; as far as we know, no other does this». Thanks to this, RAK Ceramics, from the United Arab Emirates and the fourth biggest ceramics company in the world, with over 81 million square meters of ceramics in production in 2018, bought the application to showcase their clients what they could achieve on different spaces with their finishes and products.

Even though this product greatly exceeded what almost all real state development companies employ to show how homes will look before being constructed, it took 2 years to sell. After this, the team designed and developed the frist application for Villareal FC. It was in March of 2016 when they launched the application Submarino Amarillo, which is how they team is known. Shortly after they travelled to Riazor, to try and secure a contract with Deportivo de La Coruña, but the spanish League offered this service for free to all the professional teams and so this aspiration was truncated.

Ceramics, market niche

Ever since, contracts for the ceramics sector have been the market niche of this company, that's been growing slowly but firmly every year. Most of the projects they carry out center around the development of spaces for the catalogues of different ceramics companies.

Amongst these, a notable piece of software is the tool Porcelanosa Partners, an application that allows the interior finishes company from Villareal to showcase massive product catalogue that ranges from tiles to bathtubs, going all the way through bathroom furniture not just to real state development companies but the final clients as well. Gutierro reminds us that «It was completed in 2018 and it's still active… not having once gone down». The project also includes 360º visualization of the different rooms in the home for sale.

This project «opened a lot of doors to us and allowed us to hire workers, said Aguirre who emphasizes the startup has formed «a great human team» with them. With clients from Sweden,United Arab Emirates, India -where one of the most important and powerful marble extraction, manipulation and commercialization employs them- and the United States, where they designed the webpage for luxury pillow manufacturer Softline. Even though they're very much focused on the Maersk project, they haven't forgotten their roots in the ceramics, their plan is to keep bringing in more clients through word of mouth «and keeping working the same, focusing on the personalization of our projects», the three of them conclude.

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