Three months have passed since we announced the AIG, an appearance inspection device utilizing C-DreAm and AI. The response has been overwhelming, not just domestically, but also from major overseas companies inquiring about the device.

Initially, the goal was to automate the entire process of refurbishing used products, rather than automating individual tasks. This approach was met with skepticism and criticism, such as “Why bother with such a complex task?” or “Just make people work more and reduce costs.”

However, we believed it was crucial to digitize the subtle know-how of connecting each stage of the process and develop it as company knowledge before the labor shortage becomes a critical issue. By demonstrating the possibility of full automation to our customers and receiving feedback on where automation is most desired, we planned to refine the automation process further.

Especially for appearance inspection, the results greatly affect the resale price. Human inspection has variations, and customers highly value accuracy. Therefore, we decided to separate this process from the start and developed AIG, a device using AI to guarantee stable and accurate appearance inspection results.

Since the public announcement of C-DreAm, many major used smartphone dealers have been working on automating the refurbishment process, but the biggest unresolved issue has been the automation of appearance inspection. It was surprising that, although major leading companies recognized this, they had not yet solved the problem.

When we demonstrated AIG to these companies, they were amazed by its performance and expressed interest in purchasing and even selling it overseas together.

This response confirmed that our approach was correct. However, merely selling a large number of AIG units would only lead to a temporary increase in sales. While it would be gratifying given our current capacity, we started to consider whether we could create a more sustainable and unique business model for CDREM.

We decided to return to our original idea and centralize our expertise in appearance inspection. By collaborating with other companies that lead in other functions, we aim to become a comprehensive SaaS company that can provide entire or individual functionalities to customers as cloud services.

We named this Circular Economy as a Service (CEaaS), and we believe it could be a significant transition for our business.

Until now, we have been a BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) company, undertaking other companies’ tasks and returning the finished work. However, with CEaaS, we want to be involved from the time customers buy or trade-in used smartphones and sorting them. We hope to monitor and control product distribution in all work areas, undertaking necessary tasks as needed.

CEaaS does not yet exist in the used smartphone industry.

We have determined that the next higher-level business model we should aim for is CEaaS, and we hope to realize it in the next one or two years.