"Everyone has a common focus: to capitalize to good effect on a company’s data, one of its two most valuable assets along with its employees."
The leap towards attaining optimal services lies in technology. Not only is the Business Technology boss, Juan Pablo Soca, convinced of this; Montecon’s senior management is too. Hence the company’s investment in a digital transformation which results in a more efficient and productive management, at an internal and external level, with an emphasis on the end client.
Montecon decided to join this technological revolution at the end of 2017. Back then Juan Pablo had started travelling in order to learn about what was happening on a global level and to come up with ideas for the company. And that is what happened. In short, this transformation implies the transformation of processes in order to make them digital, in other words, go through a computer, the Internet or a mobile device.
This big change allows for the development of multiple projects, from the automation of processes to the analysis of predictive scenarios. In the first case, “a robot that processes mass information that is usually dense”. In the second, constructing a model of container behaviour to be able to make predictions. “Everyone has a common focus: to exploit a company’s data, one of its two most valuable assets along with its employees”.
What is Business Technology (BT)? The natural evolution of IT (Information Technology) sectors. “Before, IT teams functioned as service providers: of technology, of development and of infrastructure, among others. What we are looking for now is to integrate technology teams into the company’s own needs”, he explains. This means “that they should participate in the strategic discussions of the company and be an active part of the solution”.
"Every port and terminal, every actor in the chain is going to need a technological solution."
And so does the port industry, even though at first sight it may be associated with manual jobs and heavy lifting. “They may seem like two separate environments, but they are not. Every port and terminal, every actor in the chain is going to need a technological solution. It is true that a systems engineer may see themselves more in a different kind of industry, like a software factory. It is hard to picture oneself in a port, but there are undoubtedly a lot of challenges because problems happen daily and the solutions must be very creative”, he acknowledges.
A clear example of the creative problem- solution interface is, for example, the implementation of an automatic chat system that lets Montecon provide 24/7 customer service, without it having to be in office hours. But if one is talking about a project that stands out for its innovative character, not only for the company but for Uruguay in general, one has to mention Blockchain (a database distributed among various participants) which Montecon was invited to join.
This international network was created by IBM and Maersk, and top shipping lines from all over the world are part of it. “It is going to give a platform for all of the actors in the supply chain to exchange information. 48 per cent of global information is on that network. For Montecon it is a competitive advantage, as no Uruguayan institution is in a Blockchain network. And, as they say, it is what is going to cause the new industrial revolution”, says Juan Pablo.
"Montecon has always been very keen on technological investment. Management has detected that it is a relevant field for the leap in service improvement."
In order for projects to be carried out, the BT team needs top management to be receptive, and that is what happens in Montecon. “The dynamics between the company and our BT sector is unique, ideas can come from the ground up and keep going, which is something very positive. We have a criterion of evaluating investment and return. Nearly every one of the projects must have some kind of return: if it is not in money, it is time, quality, security or focus on the client”, warns Juan Pablo.
"Montecon has always been very keen on investing in technology. Management has detected that it is a relevant field for the leap in service improvement, making it more efficient. When those results are proven, it is much easier”, he says.
Montecon is the main public-area operator in the Port of Montevideo, not only for containers but also for general freight and freight projects. Its clients enjoy a seamless service that is world class.