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Digital Transformation is an Opportunity for Innovation: Recap of LLamaCon Mexico and Brazil

By Angelica Iglesias  September 26, 2019

Recently, LLamasoft had the opportunity to have insightful conversations with more than 200 attendees to LLamaCons in Brazil (Sept 5) and Mexico (Sept 12).

LLamasoft’s VP of Customer Success in Latin America, Rafael Vasquez, led a survey asking, “What does digital transformation mean?” The common results were Digital Transformation is an Opportunity for Innovation in Latin American Markets.

  • Digital Transformation in Mexico: Evolution + Innovation + Connectivity + Information + Interaction
  • Digital Transformation in Brazil: Technology + Insights + Business + Opportunity + Mobile + Analytics
  • Digital Transformation at Executive Roundtable in Brazil: Innovation + Opportunity + Data + Agility+ Maturity

Latin America is Ripe for Innovation

According to the study “El panorama de la innovación en América Latina”, advanced companies in the region continually innovate in their corporate culture, where 80% have a team dedicated to innovation. These companies exhibit a growing collaboration with start-ups. On average, they have 15 partnerships with start-ups, compared to the average of 7. These types of companies focused on innovation are moving toward an open, collaborative model that adopts cutting-edge technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Latin American companies have developed a capability for innovation to survive and thrive. During the events, they discussed supply chain challenges related to sourcing, network, transportation and distribution that they must face with a complex and volatile business environment. They shared how they are finding solutions for complex problems.

Grupo Bimbo, a Mexican food and beverage company, talked about using LLamasoft technology to achieve transformational objectives and optimizing a complex supply chain across six countries. They are leveraging their mastery in supply chain, using LLamasoft technology to analyze the optimal location for a new facility, considering the potential policy shifts due to new trade agreements between Mexico, United States and Canada.

Brazilian customers explained how they are making better decisions to reduce the “Brazilian cost: Taxes Complexity, High Transportation Costs, Excessive regulations”. Ipiranga, Brazil’s largest oil and gas distributor, explained how they managed to improve their transportation strategies and reduce the inbound transportation costs with LLamasoft.

Saint Gobain presented the results of the analysis used to identify opportunities for logistics synergies in the north and northeast regions in Brazil through better transportation strategies to reduce costs, mitigate risks and improve service. Natura, Brazilian cosmetic company, presented how they are including tax considerations in their network optimization analysis, to make better decisions and save millions in revenue.

PepsiCo shared how they apply network design to connect long-term strategic and near-term tactical decisions across the end-to-end supply chain. They discussed how they evolved as a design organization, starting as a few modelers delivering ad hoc projects, growing into a sustainable practice providing continuous decision support.

Estafeta, logistics services company in Mexico, presented the challenge they had for balancing costs with services, a lack of visibility of their supply chain, a static network based in operational assumptions and the absence of transportation and infrastructure metrics. Their land infrastructure is composed of 400 routes that connect 2,500 cities in Mexico and their air infrastructure includes 13 national and one international airport, one international and 10 national daily flights. Estafeta used LLamasoft to conduct a series of analyses to identify efficiencies and find the right answers to their obstacles. The first of those studies is related to their network optimization, which shows promising results.

Sustainability is a Leading Goal in Latin American Companies

The Mexico Stock Exchange shared how they created a sustainability index “IPC Sustentable” and since 2011, are measuring how the leading Mexican companies are contributing to environment, social responsibility and corporate government factors. They are witnessing Mexican companies being more engaged with sustainability goals. That trend becomes reality with Latin American customers. Grupo Bimbo was recently recognized as the “greenest company in the region”. They are transforming biodegradable and compostable packing solutions, among other initiatives. Natura is incorporating optimization analysis considerations related to CO2 emissions in their supply chain including in the distribution centers, sourcing, transportation and last-mile analysis.

LLamaCons in Latin America have become important events in the region, providing invaluable insight to attendees on how companies face common trials in tax systems, volatility, unexpected policy shifts, the need to constantly innovate and reinvent business models to remain competitive and the impact of currency exchange rates on business, etc. LLamasoft has extended its industry base and elevated the use of its products in the region. Formerly, LLamasoft’s footprint in Latin America was mainly composed of food and beverage and logistics companies. In recent years, agribusiness, retail, oil and gas, automotive and diverse manufacturing industries are using LLamasoft with the mindset to evolve the use of the technology from network design to business analysis to make informed decisions.

Latin American customers and partners will meet in Florida on June 17, 2020, for a special edition of the region’s LLamaCon, followed by the global sessions June 18 -19, 2020. Stay tuned for more information on next year’s event!