Manufacturer: Itautec S.A.
Design: Itautec S.A. (Edson Danta Dias)
Product: Tira Teima Net
Year of manufacture: 2004
Awards: if product design award 2005 (Germany)
Description: Tira teima net is a small wireless query point, designed to serve department stores and supermarkets, usually large environments where the sale is made without the presence of a salesperson. By reading the bar code printed on the product packaging, it provides information on price and product features.
Basic dimensions height: 250 mm x width: 153 mm x depth: 110 mm
Weight 300 g
Predominant: materials steel plate
Manufacturing Process: laser cutting and welding
Itautec is a 100% Brazilian company owned by Itaúsa – Investimentos Itaú S.A. – one of the largest private groups in the country It is divided into three business areas: solutions and automation (banking, business and self-service), computers (PCs, servers and notebooks) and services (technical assistance, infrastructure and educational centers). In the banking automation Subarea, it has occupied the position of sixth largest global manufacturer since 1998.
With two factories in Brazil – Sao Paulo and Jundiaí (SP) – and operating subsidiaries in Europe (Spain and Portugal) and Latin America (Argentina, Ecuador, United States and Mexico), Itautec currently employs over 5,000 direct employees and had a gross revenue of R$ 1,644.3 million in 2006.
The company is a leader in the country in research and development (R&D). In 2006 alone it invested R$ 45.7 million in the area, focused on innovative products and services, new management methods and manufacturing processes, the search for greater productivity and reduced waste. This continued investment led to Itautec today offer cutting edge technology in the sector it operates, resulting in products that serve the most demanding markets, generating new business opportunities with real opportunities for growth and maximizing profitability
Itautec was created in late 1979 with the goal of opening a new market niche for Itaú group, taking advantage of the opportunities created with the approval of the National Information Technology Law (1976).
Early in its activities the company made its position clear in the search for the lead in banking and commercial automation, developing its first project in a record time for the season: between April and August 1980, it launched a complete solution, including hardware, software and applications. It was a self-service terminal, kiosk-shaped, containing a video monitor to interface with the customer. The very structure of the group’s banking network was used to implement and demonstrate the quality and performance of its products; in 1981, the Central Agency of Banco Itaú was opened, with the Automation System developed entirely by Itautec.
Soon after the implementation of the automation system on its own network, began performing successive automation contracts with other banking networks in the country, such as the Bank of Brazil (1982), Citibank (1983), among others; a while later also started to meet demands abroad, such as the Banco Português do Atlântico (Portugal, 1987).
In the area of business automation, in 1986 it opened the first automated store in the country with barcode – Real supermarket, in Rio Grande do Sul In the following year, also computerized the first Sonae Group shop, in Portugal.
Committed to an innovative and proactive market positioning, Itautec usually launches its products in Computers and Automation fairs, in Brazil and abroad, such as Comdex (USA) and CeBIT (Germany). Was a pioneer in launching several products in the domestic market, such as: microcomputer, “touch screen” terminal on a commercial scale, fax machine, scanner etc.
As part of its evolutionary process, sought to strengthen its relations with major global players in the technology sector, aiming to provide advanced technology products and ensure the company’s growth in the markets in which it operates. Thus, established partnerships and agreements, for technology transfer and sale of products, with companies like Canon (1989), AL Electronics (1990), Intel (1992) and Texas Instruments (1992). Other such agreements have generated new associated companies, such as Itec in 1993 (result of a joint venture with IBM), or even altered the structure of the company itself, as occurred with Itautec Philco-fusion, by taking stock control of Philco, from 1994 until 2005.
Since the 1990s, when it began to also export products and components, the company has sought new mechanisms to strengthen its market position. Adopts the strategy of participating in national and international awards, winning awards, seals, honors and titles of company of the year with various organizations such as Telecom (1992); Anuário Informática Hoje (1994); Microsoft e Intel (EUA – 1997); Infoexame (1998 e 1999), Global Finance (EUA – 2001) and INFO (2002) magazines; iF Product Design Award (Germany – 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005). And in 2006 alone it received five different awards, namely: BP Meeting event, PC World, TopFive, EFinance and 19th Museu da Casa Brasileira Design Award.
From the year 2000, the company stepped up its growth strategy for international operation. Installed multiple business units abroad, a process associated with acquiring foreign companies. In 2003, acquired Riva Computing, a Spanish company specialized in software development for retail, and more recently in 2006, Tallard Technologies Inc., which distributes products and Information Technology services in North America and Latin America.
DESIGN AND ITS INTRODUCTION IN THE COMPANY
From the beginning of the company, design had been considered an important aspect. It Initially used external consultants, both to define some guidelines as to develop special products. The training of internal staff took to the progressive strengthening of the culture of design in the company.
Today the design division has a team of three product designers and one visual communication staff, and is part of the Mechanical and Design Development Management, working in direct interaction with ten mechanical engineers and three modelers, plus a stereolithography machine (which makes rapid prototyping). Reports to a Superintendent of Development. This team, responsible for the company’s projects, receives the briefing from the product development staff, which is prepared along with
the Marketing and Sales departments, by identifying a need, niche or opportunity.
In the product development process, from the start of the design, designers, software and electronics engineers interact, forming multidisciplinary teams where designers seek to understand what is inside each product, its interfaces, ergonomics aspects, how and where it will work. From there, they create and then check it, coordinating the set of products, components and making the necessary adjustments.
THE TIRA TEIMA NET
identifying an opportunity
The growth of the retail sector, mainly supermarkets and department stores, has been associated with a progressive approach to automation of activities such as the prices and inventory management and control tool, and also aiding in the interface with the consumer. One of the basic components of this evolutionary process was the barcode, also associated with the movement towards the internationalization of the economy, which has sparked a revolution in retail management for the past 15 years.
Associated with the barcode, various types of optical readers, or scanners that perform the process of decoding the barcode, reading and processing the data contained therein, have been developed. In fact, the readers are part of a system of products that include: equipment for data collection, decoder, interfaces (between the consumer and collection equipment; between the decoder and the computer that will process the data) and central computer.
Operating in this segment and following the ongoing technological and management developments, Itautec could not help but include competitive products associated with the expansion of the use of the barcode in its portfolio. In 2003, it received a request to develop a query point for a department store, to provide consumers with information on pricing and features of the desired product. One of the main guidelines for the project was that it had a narrow form, enabling its attachment in the columns of the shelf itself.
The deadline, both for the project and for its execution and implementation in the store, was short. Given this, the path considered more appropriate was to develop a solution that would allow the use of laser cut metal sheets, eliminating tooling, reducing costs and enabling the fulfillment of demands at different scales. For the display with the decoded information, acrylic sheets were used. As it had to be wider, for readability, from a formal point of view, it was decided to make it salient, so as not to compromise its setting, following the briefing. The inclination and the silver frame were complementary solutions to highlight it further and facilitate concentrating the focus of the vision.
From the electronic point of view, wireless technology is employed, which simplifies and makes it a more economical installation. In a microcomputer, which is called server, where all products sold by the store are registered, you can connect up to 200 Tira Teima.
The participation at iF and the results
Participating in awards integrates the company’s strategy to strengthen its image by receiving seals and certificates along with internationally recognized bodies. Thus, on its own initiative, Itautec has been submitting products to iF Design since 2002, and has received awards since then: Terminal WebWay Slim (2002), TES – Terminal Emissor de Senha (Electronic queueing system – 2003), Mini Cash (2004). In 2005, for the fourth consecutive year, it was awarded with two self-service products – Tira Teima Net and Mini PoS.
In the case of Tira Teima Net, the product was the subject of several articles in newspapers, magazines and the internet, and has been featured in exhibitions (Brazilian Design Biennial 2006 and Secrets of Industrial Design at FIESP) and lectures (Sebrae).
Regarding the performance of the product in the market, currently 20% of the production of Tira Teima Net is for export; the equipment has already reached many countries, especially Portugal, the USA and Mexico. From the beginning of 2007, new requirements of the consumer protection agencies, establishing maximum distances for the placement of query terminals in major retail chains, further increased the demand for Tira Teima, due to its price differentials and ease installation.
THE DESIGN AS A STRATEGY
The design is of utmost importance for Itautec. For the company, good design is not just a beautiful product, but for easy understanding, interaction and accessibility, ergonomic, functional, easy to manufacture and service, also following the latest market trends and technological, software, materials and processes advancements.
This vision covers the strategy of corporate image throughout the Itaú Group, one of the first companies in the country to develop its brand and visual identity system following the design concepts, strongly associated with marketing, aiming at a competitive leadership position in the market.
For the company, the iF Design award gives the product and the brand prominence in national and international markets, and increase its credibility, putting it on a par with products from developed countries, which have good design. “The Brazilian design, with the exception of a few segments, is globalized, and we are very well accepted and respected abroad; the awards help to project our image in the markets in which we operate and that makes us to be constantly consulted,” says Edson Danta Dias, designer at itautec.