Carmen Montañez
Sales VP México
Softtek
/
View from the Top

Coiner of ‘Nearshoring’ Plans to Take Over the Americas

By Antonio Gozain | Tue, 05/24/2022 - 12:00

Q: What role does the automotive industry play within Softtek’s business portfolio?

A: We have 10 verticals, each for a different industry and one for automotive and industrial conglomerates. Our automotive vertical represents 50 percent of Softtek’s portfolio in Latin America, a sharp difference from our US and EU markets, because of exports. Softtek covers the entire automotive ecosystem, from OEMs to their entire value chain.

Q: The term “nearshoring” was coined by Softtek. How is the company supporting the nearshoring opportunities created in the automotive sector and what are the challenges?

A: The biggest challenge is talent. There are numerous, rapidly transforming technologies for which there are not enough professionals to meet demand. In the automotive sector, the decrease in sales is causing a reorganization as companies adapt to the manufacturing of new vehicles while implementing measures to become more cost-efficient and optimize operations. We originally identified nearshoring in Mexico, but it is also occurring in Latin America thanks to the region’s proximity and cost competitiveness in comparison to the US. Several of our clients are relocating some activities to the region and consolidating operations. The quantity of talent in Mexico is highly important in the STEM ecosystem but it is still behind India. We must support more technology to help our nearshoring clients.

Q: How is Softtek improving communication and integration between different levels of the supply chain?

A: We support different maturity levels. Our Tier 1 clients include global companies that are well versed in technology. For the rest of the ecosystem, we help companies to implement digitalization, integrate operations, and gain visibility. Digitalization throughout the supply chain has been key to the integration of other technologies. Not every solution has to be expensive, complex, and resource-consuming. Simple steps such as the elimination of paper in many operations and the use of RPAs add value and give companies visibility on other processes.

Q: What is Softtek’s role in pushing Industry 4.0 adoption, especially in the lower tiers of the automotive supply chain?

A: We perform readiness assessments for Industry 4.0, so clients know where they stand in six different variables: manufacturing and operations, legality and compliance, organizational strategy, plant management, product, and models of business. We tell clients where they stand and provide recommendations so they can map their journey toward transformation.

Q: How are OEMs transitioning from automakers to mobility solutions providers and what role does Softtek play in the sector’s transformation and digitalization?

A: Our clients are transforming from monolithic businesses to product-oriented, agile organizations that are more flexible when answering the demand. We help clients become product-driven and customer-centric and support the transformation of talent and technology to give them the flexibility to measure and predict challenges.

Q: How do Softtek’s solutions adapt to companies’ specific needs?

A: It depends on the need, but we have standard practices for some organizational processes, such as commercial, racking, or manufacturing. We have identified a list of areas of opportunity with each client that we use to theorize solutions. We have a portfolio of solutions for vertical industries and a cross-industry solution that includes the technological capabilities to facilitate transformation processes.

Q: How does “Softtek 4 Automotive” adapt to companies of different sizes?

A: Like all technology companies, Softtek is turning into a technology integration company. We have five great partners globally that allow us to provide solutions that are based on a platform, cloud, algorithms, tools, and technology. Most of our solutions prioritize automation, digitalization, and tech.

Q: The pandemic hit the auto sector hard. How do Softtek’s solutions help to forecast possible supply chain disruptions?

A: We help organizations with manual or rigid planning processes to adopt AI and digitalization, which creates a difference as far as predictability, forecasting, and integration with the chain to identify what will be asked from them and when. We utilize analytical rhythms and AI which allows for that decision to be made in a proactive and propositional way.

Q: How do solutions like blauLabs help the industry in its decarbonization process?

A: What cannot be measured cannot be improved. Our solution helps primarily by measuring energy consumption. Our platform allows clients to measure anything that emits a signal or provides information. Obtaining that visibility allows companies to decide on replacing, actualization, or discarding processes or equipment. We have energy-ready solutions that allow us to provide a systematic response.

Q: How does Softtek’s cross-industry expertise help it during digital transformation processes?

A: Our support and maintenance practices follow the foundations of manufacturing management processes to guarantee a constant process of the betterment of our services and portfolio. Manufacturing, in which we have participated for over 30 years, is one of the most important industries for Softtek. We acquired GE’s technology center in 1997, gaining a foundation of GE’s manufacturing practices that transferred to the company’s DNA.

Q: What are Softtek’s plans for the near future?

A: We have transformed from supplying services to integrating technology, which generates a necessity for continuously strengthening our capacities. We are also expanding our operations in Latin America. We aim to be the most important tech company in the Americas; we are already the top technology company in Latin America, and we want to maintain that position by expanding our capacities and by continuing to tackle the US market with solutions that make operations more efficient.

 

Founded in 1982, Softtek is a global company and the largest provider of IT services from Latin America, headquartered in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. With a broad portfolio of business-transforming products and solutions, Softtek helps Global 2000 organizations evolve their digital capabilities constantly and seamlessly, from ideation and development to execution.

Antonio Gozain Antonio Gozain Journalist and Industry Analyst