The Center of Excellence (CoE)—Votorantim’s intelligence, innovation, and technology center—develops solutions in the areas of information technology, finance, accounting and taxes, human resources, real estate, innovation, and data use (analytics).
In 2021, the CoE officially adopted a hybrid work model (a combination of remote and in-person work) for its nearly 900 employees working in the cities of Curitiba, Lima, and São Paulo. To optimize the use of offices, a check-in app was created to help manage the space.
To care for people, the CoE improved its quality-of-life program by increasing the number of discussion events, creating virtual therapeutic spaces, and offering counseling to all employees. In the area of people management, the CoE maintains InPulse, an individual development program created internally to understand the challenges faced by employees and create plans to help them overcome these barriers. InPulseincluded 100% of employees and was recognized with the Abe Award in the Performance Management category from the Peruvian Chamber of Commerce.
To promote diversity, an important issue for the CoE, the center created the Women in Action program, which trained 34 professionals on topics such as self-knowledge and bias, and created a group of ambassadors, made up of men in leadership positions, who are responsible for welcoming and supporting women in their activities.
The goal of the CoE is to lead the innovation process to produce original, effective, and integrated solutions that can address common needs of companies. The products are developed in three segments: people analytics, industry, and digitalization. In 2021, the CoE worked on 20 initiatives—some of them have turned into products that are already available to companies outside the Votorantim portfolio.
In people analytics, the highlights are Flight Risk, an algorithm that can predict, with 94% accuracy, which employees are likely to leave the company and when they might resign, helping managers and human resources areas retain talent; and Critera, a health and benefit management tool used by companies in Votorantim’s portfolio to manage a combined total of 21,157 employees. An assistance module for pregnant women was added to Critera, through which a woman can follow her baby’s development and learn tips for a healthy pregnancy.
To support the portfolio companies in industrial segments, the CoE developed Sykn, an algorithm focused on loss prevention that identifies risks and waste in business transactions. This solution was acquired by one of the largest food companies in the world and, at the end of the year, was being tested by two other companies in the infrastructure sector. Another tool with commercialization potential is Harpi, an artificial intelligence (AI) solution that automates the purchasing of goods and services, thereby enabling procurement areas to make decisions with greater levels of predictability and compliance. Another AI tool, Registration Intelligence, simplifies procurement processes by identifying redundancies and waste. Together with the portfolio companies, the CoE also developed Smart Sensors, a model for predicting energy prices that, when installed in production lines, enables the remote management of industrial complexes, and Digital Smelter, which simulates scenarios for optimized metal production planning.
In the area of digitalization, the CoE maintains a marketplace of information technology services that includes registered professionals who can be identified through a system that matches the needs of the customers with the skills of each professional, simplifying the hiring process. A similar solution, also being tested by the portfolio companies, is IzCheck, a web platform that analyzes data to ensure compliance with legal standards in due diligence processes. This tool streamlines the consultations with suppliers and registration processes, making them more effective.
Votorantim Cimentos is testing a CLC prototype—a customer relationship management system equipped with data intelligence for strategic marketing that can identify customers who are likely to remain in an online commercial transaction to the end. Despite being used in a minor business segment, the solution resulted in a 40% increase in sales through the e-commerce channel.
An important step in the CoE’s governance strategy was the creation of a supervision committee, with the participation of the CFOs of the companies in Votorantim’s portfolio, to work on its continuous improvement in partnership with the portfolio companies.