It all began in a small computer store in Bormujos, a town located on the outskirts of the Andalusian capital and with 20,000 inhabitants. Without university training then, but with a head full of projects, ambition and a lot of self-confidence, Alejandro Costa, with 23 years, began to develop an idea that, 15 years later, has crystallized in C & G Solutions, one of the largest technical service networks in Europe. It's about a hospital of technological devices where 300,000 pass to the year patients of the main brands and companies: Toshiba, from which they manage after-sales service for Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg; Samsung, Asus, FCC, El Corte Inglés, Telefonica or Correos, to which PDAs repair.
That small shop in Bormujos is today, in the nearby municipality of Bollullos de la Mitación, also in Seville and 10,000 inhabitants, an international company with 134 local workers, 15,000 technicians deployed all over the world and a turnover of 20 million, depending on the closing of last year. Products from 84 countries on four continents are arriving at the plant.
Costa, who is now 38 years old and is CEO of the company, remembers that it was more difficult to break the psychological frontier of Despeñaperros (the natural barrier of Andalusia with the rest of Spain) that of the Pyrenees. "They gave us bones that were hard to chew and it cost us a lot to give us meat," he recalls now, when he has been a finalist in the Alas Awards for the Internationalization of the Andalusian Company granted by Extenda, Andalusian Agency for Foreign Promotion, in the category of Company Exporter
But the digestion of those bones, some impossible and those who learned to say no, has emerged a technology company that is based on innovation to compete with the lowest wages of competing countries.
Each of the products entering and leaving the plant or the delegations is recorded in a before and after video to guarantee the manufacturer and the user that they are returned without defects generated in the repair process.
A system of artificial intelligence own, called Ariana and that has become one more product of the company, facilitates the "triaje" (adopted term of the French that is applied to the process of selection and classification of patients used in the medicine of emergencies). "With the enormous database that we have and the artificial intelligence developed, 90% of us know what happens to the device only with the description of the symptoms," explains Costa.
With the diagnosis, the laptop, the mobile phone, the printer or any other element, enter the chain of repair, automated to win as much time as possible at each step. "Call product to man, which means that it is the device and the parts that move. Nobody crosses, we avoid displacements and we gain in efficiency ", explains the head of the company.
They are two of the keys to be competitive against countries with lower wages. The other is the personnel policy. C & G is nourished by workers and students from the area, to whom it gives the first work experiences and to whom it loyalizes by involving them in the company and with conciliation facilities. "We take that very seriously. I've never been late for a meeting. The planned times are respected and we adapt ourselves to the needs of the people ", affirms Mamen Blanco, director of Talent, Development and Corporate Culture. The direction is parity, but the template, although it is changing, is mostly made up of men. "There are very few women in this area"Laments Blanco, who faces a global problem of female staff deficit in technological careers.
Another of the competitive bets of this company is the reuse of components of rejected devices. "You can get to take advantage of 90% of a printer," says one worker while repairing one with pieces of three others. C & G recovers the material that customers or companies discard for repairs of some units provided they are in perfect condition. "It's like having a scrapyard and a workshop in the same place," explains Alejandro Costa.
Batteries, operating systems and hard drives are the main repairs that reach the plant. But the categories are endless. "That's where the creativity comes in," explains the executive, along with the team that reviews circuits on a board to determine where the fault lies.
With all this gear, C & G has achieved a loyalty of the companies that ensures that throws a recurrence of 90% in the billing, that is to say, that nine of each ten companies return to trust in their services.
Lenovo could be added to the portfolio of new clients, with whom they have discussions, and in the expansion plans they do not rule out leaving the limited company model to go public. The potential market continues to grow. Not only for users who choose to repair units before changing the model of mobile or laptop, but mainly by companies, which have begun to resort to the payment of fees for the provision of the technology they need and that usually requires renewals and updates every four years.