Interview with: Magdalena Slavejkova, HR & CSR Manager at Cementarnica USJE
Published on: December 11, 2020
1. What digital transformation steps your company has adopted in the last period?
One of the four strategic priorities of TITAN Group, where our company Cementarnica USJE belongs, is the continuous improvement through the introduction of innovative solutions and innovations that increase the efficiency of our operations. Recently, many of the innovations we are introducing belong to the domain of digital technology, which is actually a global trend in many industries, including the cement industry.
One such novelty is of course the digital system platform SAP which has enabled us to completely reorganize and modernize the way we work in terms of processes, systems, technologies, and services. At the same time, this system is an integrated tool for the whole company and a unique platform for communication through standardized electronic reports that significantly facilitate our work and save us resources and time.
Another important step in the process of our digital transformation was made with the introduction of the mobile application TitanUp, available on Android and iOS platforms, as well as through the company’s website. This application provides our customers with 24-hour access to the ordering system, monitoring the process and delivery status of the products, as well as checking the financial and material data related to the orders. The results show that after only 6 months from the start of the application, more than half of the customers are using the application, and over 77% of all transactions are done through this application.
This application facilitated our overall communication with our customers and put through all orders without physical contact, which proved to be especially important in the current conditions, when physical distance is one of the key preventive measures against Covid-19. In this way, through the digitalization of the processes, we have actually increased the level of protection of health and safety at workplace, which is our constant priority in which we as a company constantly invest in all segments of our work process.
Of course, in order to protect the health of our employees, we have introduced special work protocols, in accordance with the regulations adopted by the competent institutions, which, among other things, enable remote work, which of course imposed the need to introduce digital tools and platforms for communication with employees at all levels in the company.
2. What were some of the biggest challenges you have come across and how have you addressed these challenges?
Digital transformation is not a simple process, especially in industries such as ours. However, when you have a clear goal and support, which in this area also came from the members of our Group, then all challenges can be overcome. In addition, the challenges posed by the Covid crisis have necessitated a much faster response to the introduction of digital technologies than previously planned. This certainly left room for possible mistakes, which we, thanks to the great commitment and commitment of our colleagues in the IT department, managed to eliminate.
One of the biggest challenges was the acceptance of change by employees and customers. People are used to getting things done and communicating “live” and sometimes find it difficult to adapt to digital communication. We, as a company, do everything in our power to facilitate this transition. We have invested in state-of-the-art hardware and software solutions and conducted various types of training that enabled our employees and our customers to accept the innovations. At the same time, we continuously take into consideration all their suggestions and proposals in order to improve and adapt the digital tools to their habits and needs.
3. How the digital transformation has helped your company in such uncertain times?
They say that every crisis can open new opportunities at the same time. If this view is accepted, then definitely the Covid crisis has accelerated the digitalization of many processes in companies, including ours, which is certainly a kind of benefit.
Our general approach in times of crisis, such as the current crisis caused by Covid-19, is to act in a timely and decisive manner in order to protect our key resources, and that is primarily people – employees, our customers, businesses partners and collaborators and of course people in the community, their health, and safety. For that purpose, since the onset of Covid-19 in our country, we carried out all the necessary preparations and instructions for the way in which in the new circumstances all the processes in the company will take place, as well as the cooperation with our customers, business associates, and partners.
The digital tools and technological solutions, the introduction of which we have been working intensively on and investing in the past period, have helped us a lot with the implementation of these measures, especially in the area of communication with our employees, customers and our business partners.
At the same time, we have remained a constructive partner of the community in efforts to limit the pandemic and reduce the undesirable consequences on human health. As a socially responsible company in these delicate times, we are in constant communication with competent institutions. As a result of that communication, our assistance in the form of several donations came: 50,000 euros for the purchase of medical equipment for the Infectious Diseases Clinic and the CGH 8mi Septemvri, as well as more than 15,000 euros in donations in materials for the protection of health workers at other clinics in the Clinical Center in order to help fight the pandemic, because public health is our shared responsibility.