Brazil’s manufacturing industry was losing its share of GDP. According to the Institute for Industrial Development Studies (IEDI), this participation, which already exceeded 25% in the 1980s, has been reduced to just over 10% at the beginning of the current decade. Resuming the importance of this sector, which is very broad, requires a series of measures, including those related to the economic and political structure of the country. But there is also an essential component: digital transformation.
I want to focus on that now. It is, so to speak, my “beach”, the field in which I work. At COGTIVE, a startup of which I am one of the founders and currently serving as CEO, we develop software for the shop floor in the factories of the manufacturing space. We serve pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, clothing, food and beverages, chemicals, plastics, electronics, and automotive.
The routine and accumulated experience of living these activities allows me to say: digital transformation is no longer a “difference”. For companies that are engaged in manufacturing, it is a matter of survival.
Some countries have already realized this a little more. A survey carried out by the Brazilian Agency for Industrial Development (ABDI) three years ago indicated that in countries such as the United States, Germany, South Korea and Israel, manufacturing 4.0, that is, with a high technical level in production processes, it has been reached by 15% of its industrial sectors, while in Brazil it has reached 2%. It is true that at that time we had the covid-19 pandemic, which accelerated digitization in some sectors, but in industry it is still far from being necessary.
So I’ll be clear: digital transformation becomes mandatory. And of course, when we talk about digital transformation, we are not referring only to the digitization of processes, procedures and paperwork. Nor automation of machinery and equipment. We are talking about a stage on another level.
Digital transformation is investing in solutions where robotics, artificial intelligence, and even the Internet of Things are not available because of luxury, prestige, or refinement, but out of necessity. ICT innovations have become essential for us to have smoother operations, with less waste and less prone to bottlenecks, interruptions and delays. Solutions brought to market by startups and other IT projects fill this need.
It is true that these developments should be within the reach of companies. This includes solutions that are as simple to operate and maintain as possible, within the complexity that surrounds them. By the way, it is for these two reasons, that digital transformation is necessary and that it is within everyone’s reach, that is why we work tirelessly to combine disruptive technologies with user-friendly interfaces, helping our clients to increase their efficiency.
After all, investing in more production lines, in more factories, only makes sense and benefits the company and society if it is accompanied by an increase in productivity and efficiency. At this time, and in the short and medium-term future, digital transformation is the critical step to enable the required productivity and efficiency.
The message that I am conveying here is valid for companies of all sizes. By the way, this is another barrier we must overcome: digital transformation is not just for big companies. instead of him. Despite being so dependent on productivity and efficiency, small businesses need to incorporate technology solutions that deliver these gains.
By the way, these solutions may develop sooner than you think. It is not necessary to resort to importing technology to drive the digital transformation of your business. Like many Brazilian startups, COGTIVE brings world-renowned solutions to the market. So much so that now, at the end of 2022, we are settling in Chicago, United States, to serve the industries there.