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INESC TEC supports the digital transition of companies in the region between Douro and Vouga

INESC TEC applied its digital maturity assessment methodology to analyse and characterise the level of digitalisation of companies in the Douro and Vouga region. The work developed within the scope of the SAP 4.0 project, promoted by the Oliveira de Azeméis Municipality Business Association (AECOA) and the Business Association of the Municipality of Santa Maria da Feira (AEF), allowed evaluating the level of digital maturity of companies and draw a picture that will serve as a basis for the development of the strategic technological plan towards the adoption of digital technologies for the benefit of companies.

15th July 2022

Empowering companies to address the challenges of digital transformation, while developing a collective strategy of aggregation and qualification for the “Advanced Production Systems” is the main objective of the SAP 4.0 project, promoted by the Oliveira de Azeméis Municipality Business Association and the Business Association of the Municipality of Santa Maria da Feira , with INESC TEC as a technology partner.

According to Filipe Ferreira, Pedro Senna and Daniela Silva, researchers at INESC TEC, the first step to achieve this goal was to carry out a diagnosis to characterise the level of digital maturity of companies and the economic context of the region. “We developed and validated a methodology that evaluates the operating and management model of a company, in a detailed and multidisciplinary manner, based on six main dimensions: Culture and People, Strategy, Governance and Business Processes, Technologies and Information Systems, Processes and Operations, Products and Services, and Context, Market and Regulation,” stated the researchers.

The evaluation model considered the information collected through visits to companies in the region and the completion of a questionnaire that allowed to draw a scenario on the level of digital maturity of companies. “This work is an important starting point. Companies already had a notion of their level of digitalisation; thanks to this diagnosis, they now have a concrete outlook, and know that there’s a loot of room to improve”, said the researchers, adding that this portrait is useful to elaborate a technological roadmap for the companies’ digitalisation.

“INESC TEC will develop a strategic technological plan, which will include initiatives and opportunities for improvement to be carried out in the immediate, short and medium term, in order to boost the digitalisation of companies.” According to the researchers, and considering that not all companies are at the same maturity level and fall into different contexts, a roadmap will be developed for each of the sectors foreseen by the project – Production of Metallic Products (CAE 259), Production of Machinery for Industry (CAE 289) and Production of Equipment and Accessories for the Automotive Industry (CAE 293).

“Since we interacted with companies throughout the process to understand the main barriers and obstacles to digitalisation, we believe that the action plan will meet their demands, because the initiatives address the challenges they have identified beforehand,” added the researchers, revealing that the roadmap will be completed in 2023.

“AECOA is very pleased with the work developed by INESC TEC, considering a very ambitious and pioneering project in our region, focusing on the positive differentiation and qualification of the Advanced Production Systems field”. According to António da Silva Rodrigues, Chairman of the AECOA board, “the municipality of Oliveira de Azeméis is known for its economic strength and entrepreneurship capacity, and is part of the wider Douro and Vouga region; certain municipalities share common challenges and willingness to progress, because that’s the only way we can move forward”.

“This is a great project, and we’re proud to be a part of it, together with AECOA”, said Alferes Pereira, Chairman of the board at AEF. “This is a very ambitious and very attractive project. We aim to support this project and promote others, while supporting our companies on a daily basis. The differentiating nature of SAP 4.0 is associated with the participation of a technological partner like INESC TEC, which will contribute to improve the level of digitalisation of our companies,”, stated the Chairman.