Mon. Dec 16th, 2019

«Technology is changing in companies processes, structures and cultures»

The business landscape is immersed in a process of great changes, largely generated by its intensive technology and by the innovative use of its solutions. More than 80% of organizations recognize that they can not be competitive if they do not address this transformation. Thus, to survive and thrive in the digital world, companies are deploying new tools and processes, and developing in their employees skills aimed at better addressing the changing needs of customers. Digital transformation is a strategic imperative and for this reason, LA Reason organized last Wednesday, in collaboration with Philip Morris, a round table under the title "The technological revolution in the Enterprise." Five executives of multinationals and relevant Spanish companies participated. Among the speakers were Manuel Alcoba, director of the Digital Channel Factory of Bankia; Alberto del Sol, Corporate Director of Marketing and Innovation of Vodafone; Juan José Alonso, «Lead Innovation manager» in Mahou San Miguel; Javier Arboleda, «Service Senior Manager» of Hyundai Motor Spain, and Gonzalo Salafranca, Director of External Relations of Philip Morris Spain.

This revolution has supposed internally "learn things and unlearn many others," warned the manager of the snuff shop. In the case of tobacco, there have been practically no changes for 500 years, "Philip Morris is aware of the damage to public health that his product entails and, for this reason, the company decided, a decade ago, to bet on research and the development of alternative less harmful products, "he said. The commitment to innovation and science have made this project a reality. In 2014 IQOS was born, the first technology for the heating of tobacco, which led them to completely change the vision of multinational. The company has incorporated a team of professional biologists, chemists and engineers, among other profiles. In total, 400 professionals working in their own innovation centers in Switzerland and Singapore with a very clear mission: "Replace the cigarette with products without combustion", a better alternative to one of the products with the highest marketing rate in the world .

A turn like this "convulses the company," confessed Salafranca. Manuel Alcoba, director of the Digital Channel Factory of Bankia, said that in this type of mutations "it grows from the outside to the inside", as he subscribed. Its task is to optimize all the channels that connect the client directly with the bank without personal intermediation, such as the application for mobile devices or the online banking portal. The consumer "is very sensitive to very small nuances," he said. And so, when we wait in front of a loading screen, the seconds seem like hours. As the first bank that made all payment methods available to the customer (Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung, PayPal …), in Bankia they devote a large part of their resources "to complying with a spiral of high demand". Thanks to the use of new technologies, they are "close to achieving the perception of immediacy", which is so important for the current digital client.

Alberto del Sol, director of Marketing and Innovation at Vodafone, also agreed to focus the efforts required by the technological revolution on "being very quick when it comes to reacting". The mobile telephony operator has about 14 million customers "who seek instantaneity and who use the mobile for everything". For this reason, it has a team dedicated entirely to continuously "listening" to social networks to warn incidents. Sometimes, he said, "they come to the technical service before by a tweet that by the customer service report itself." The technological transformation affected Vodafone to the point that Del Sol revealed that the following dilemma was posed: "Should we focus on the infrastructure or give an optimized customer service?". The answer is "both", although its objective is "not to remain a mere infrastructure manager. Adapt to each technology from the very beginning "to carry out projects (in this case, rates and products) in the shortest time possible. This technological transformation is driven by the consumer, and in this respect all the speakers agreed.

Juan José Alonso, «Lead Innovation manager» of Mahou San Miguel, argued that people are the asset and, at the same time, the engine of a cultural mutation that, of course, ends up affecting the business model. «We note a change in customer behavior that, in our case, is due to the rise of craft beers». The market for this drink until now had been very rigid, but "the customer is talking and what he says is" I want more variety and that you surprise me ". This has not only transformed our products, but also the company. "

At Hyundai Spain they are also aware that "the customer must be the center of everything we do," as Javier Arboleda, "Service Senior Manager" of the South Korean manufacturer in Spain, pointed out. And so, faced technological changes (there is a shift towards the electrification of the automotive sector) and cultural (the progressive increase in the use of car sharing to the detriment of the private). Continuous University In the unstoppable development of the sector, companies and workers require a much more complete training, which covers the enormous need for an adaptation to the new tools. However, technological disruption means that many universities can not keep pace with companies and that training is not adequate for the jobs they currently require. While in other countries the flow between the Administration and the private sector is more natural than in Spain, where there is still a long way to go. "We were always clear," said Arboleda, "the university has to approach the company and the industry." . Although it has not happened for years, "now the university tries to invite people with the knowledge, the technique and the material means that companies provide. We all feed back together. "

Alonso witness, who pointed out the need for a "continuous university" through which "we must train the employee to acquire new skills or" skills "; be more agile and flexible ". All in all, the main change that must be assumed has to do with the culture within the organization, and not only with the use of new technologies. That is, to transform the organizational culture. On this line of debate, Salafranca picked up the glove: "We are diverse and we must work in close collaboration. Leave the silos and work for a project ». The cooperation between areas of the same organization is also vital for Alonso, who said he had a clear maxim: "The departments isolate".

Del Sol advocated this "transversal cooperation" among employees, since "they are also clients at the same time", so it is convenient to establish a "circular strategy", in which there is a team whose function is to participate in the experience and access "previews" of the products. The "empowerment" of the employee, who must be part of a "multidisciplinary team", should also be sought, Salafranca wanted to claim. In short, the technological transformation is not only that the company works with digital tools. The idea is to build solid and stable foundations on which the new technology company will subsequently rest. It means preparing the organization so that its adaptation to new technologies is as effective, quick and easy as possible. This implies a profound adaptation that affects processes, systems, culture, structure, people and even the business model. In the end, summarized Arboleda, "we all have to recycle."

(tagsToTranslate) technology

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