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Guest Comment: CEMEX's digital future

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Cement,

The Digital Revolution may be today’s buzzword, but the evolution of technology from mechanical and analogue to digital actually began nearly six decades ago. This was the start of the Information Age, when communicating differently via computers, cell phones, and the internet was introduced. However, the enormity and the totality of the effects of the Digital Revolution is evident. Today, the Digital Revolution is all about the globalisation of access and the normalisation of integration.

Technology was once limited to corporations fighting for the information and competition top spot. Now, with technology being accessible to most people, the name of the game is connectivity and innovation. From automating banking transactions and making shopping a near virtual experience, to the disruptive sharing economies introduced by AirBnB and Uber, technology has been seamlessly integrated into our way of life.

Technology in the form of artificial intelligence and robotics is reshaping the way work is done and organisations have come to realise that going digital is the key to staying relevant in the modern world.

The Digital Revolution and CEMEX

CEMEX is ushering in its own Digital Revolution with the introduction of its digital solutions flagbearer, CEMEX Go. Launched globally in 2017, this new digital platform promises to set the standard for customer fulfilment in the building and cement industry.

CEMEX Go is a CEMEX R&D, Innovation, and Business Development project, which is part of the global R&D collaboration network headed by Research Centres based in Switzerland. The technology was built with the support of long-time partners, IBM and NEORIS.

In the Philippines, CEMEX Go went live for the first time on 15 October 2018. “CEMEX Go is the embodiment of our customer-centric approach. It is the fulfilment of our promise to put our customers at the heart of everything that we do,” said Ignacio Mijares, President and CEO of CEMEX Holdings Philippines.

But, like any company that goes through digital transformation, CEMEX is aware that such a shift can cause a disruption, even in the relatively small confines of the workplace, and create anticipation among employees. The downward pull of technology has always been how it may replace jobs and displace people.

One step ahead, CEMEX has prepared for this inevitability by focusing on a more people-centric transformation. “It is not just about technology and automating processes. It is about how technology can improve quality of life. It has always been about people,” continued Mijares. At the forefront of CEMEX’s advancement, the company has launched a Digital Mindset Programme that can help its workforce adapt to and survive the Digital Revolution.

According Vina del Rosario, who is spearheading the branding of the CEMEX Customer Journey Experience that CEMEX Go falls under, “automation through the onset of technology may replace certain jobs but it will also create new ones. For everyone in the workforce, it means acquiring new skills to adapt to these new jobs. As technology emerges at an exponential rate, people need to evolve, too.”

CEMEX’s Digital Mindset Programme sits on a methodological triad of Emerging Technologies, Agility, and Design Thinking.

With business agility, the organisation can rapidly respond and adapt to market and environmental changes in productive ways. By employing the Agile values of Trust, Respect, Openness, Courage, and Empathy, CEMEX will be able to empower its teams with high standards of alignment, accountability, expertise, transparency, and collaboration.

Design Thinking, on the other hand, will propel the workforce to be highly results-orientated, while also being compassion based. CEMEX employees will be trained to solve complex issues by reframing the problem and tackling it in human-centric ways. By understanding consumer insights, teams are expected to perform effectively, while making the most efficient use of company time and resources.

Transforming technology starts with changing minds

A successful digital transformation begins with the reshaping of peoples’ mindsets, the creating of a new culture. In turn, each employee should realise how crucial their role is in this endeavour. Progress, after all, is not only for the company – but for ourselves, too.

With every employee adapting to change, CEMEX’s high-level vision will be easily translated into on-the-ground action. The key to survival is in how well an organisation rides the Digital Revolution. CEMEX, with its primary promise to empower its people and enrich the quality of life, is well on its way.

About the author

A banker turned public health journalist, Ana Santos has reported on HIV/AIDS, gender issues, sexual violence, and reproductive health rights across the Asia Pacific and Middle East region covering Indonesia (Aceh), Thailand, Jordan, Israel, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines. Her work has appeared in Rappler, IRIN News, and Marie Claire (Philippines).

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Cemex news US cement news Cement news 2018