CEMEX says digital drive is boosting its business

CEMEX says its Working Smarter business management programme to adopt digital technologies is giving it a new competitive advantage through higher value-added services, a novel operative model, and fast innovation across its worldwide operations.
Concrete Plants, Equipment & Applications / February 11, 2022
By Liam McLoughlin
 The Working Smarter initiative is helping CEMEX to leverage a remote workforce
The Working Smarter initiative is helping CEMEX to leverage a remote workforce

The initiative focuses on digitising mission-critical business services in the building materials group's finance, customer support, human resources and information technology operations.

CEMEX says Working Smarter is a pillar in its digital strategy alongside the CEMEX Go digital global platform.

Working Smarter's services range from finance and accounting back office, information technology, and human resources to commercial back- and middle-office services. The initiative is designed to bring all worldwide locations together into a unified CEMEX experience, supported by data analytics, artificial intelligence, and cognitive technologies to enrich the employee experience.

“Our digital strategy has already brought us very close relationships with our customers, as evidenced by our record-high Net Promoter Score index of 68 for 2021,” said Fernando González, CEO of CEMEX. “Working Smarter takes us one step further as the digital leader of the construction materials industry, not only in customer experience, but now also in our business management processes.”

As part of the initiative, CEMEX redesigned its shared services operating model, implementing virtual delivery centres that leverage a remote workforce, tapping into high quality talent pools independent of their location. CEMEX says remote work is made possible by its advanced collaboration and service management platforms protected by strong cybersecurity.

To accelerate innovation, CEMEX has signed separate multi-year contracts that range from 5 to 7 years that in the aggregate total US$500m with six service providers in the fields of finance and accounting, information technology, and human resources, replacing current expenditures with the new suppliers’ services at an optimised cost, effectively continuing to reduce the company’s operating expenses.

The partners include IBM, which brings increased agility and flexibility to CEMEX’s finance and accounting operations as well as in its back-office commercial services. IBM will combine the use of multiple global delivery centers with increased automation, advanced analytics, and applied cognitive technologies. It will also provide advanced IT security services and technology to help secure CEMEX digital infrastructure and strengthen the company’s cyber resilience.

HCL Technologies together with NEORIS, a digital accelerator subsidiary of CEMEX, enable end-to-end transformation in the Business and IT, leveraging hybrid cloud platforms and strengthening CEMEX’s application landscape with state-of-the-art automation for enhanced service levels.

Axians will enable CEMEX with end-to-end network management and transformation services, including the global deployment of SD-WAN technology to add routing intelligence, resilience, and flexibility to support the network-intensive environment of interconnected real-time operations.

Tata Consultancy Services, with its advanced HR platforms, analytics, and automation services, provide digital workplace solutions and collaboration frameworks to enhance the employee and workforce experience.

ServiceNow’s market-leading digital transformation platform enables CEMEX to seamlessly orchestrate service delivery between both internal and external service delivery organizations, reducing processing times and providing employees with a superior digital experience.

Avasant, a digital and sourcing strategy firm, is taking responsibility for ongoing management of the partner relationships with its January 2022 acquisition of CEMEX’s global vendor management operations in Monterrey, Mexico.

In planning and carrying out the Working Smarter initiative, CEMEX also partnered with Avasant to select and establish the relationships with the strategic service providers.

CEMEX says it expects to announce additional strategic relationships in upcoming months to expand the current scope and complete the deployment of its digital strategy. The Company estimates that the combination of these next-generation service contracts and its internal delivery transformation should materially contribute towards the US$100 million annual savings goal the Company has set once implementation is complete.

“Beyond the deeply transformational impact to how we manage our business and the competitive advantage it creates for the company, the Working Smarter initiative will be very accretive, with an expected four-fold return on investment,” said CEMEX CFO Maher Al-Haffar.

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