What is digital transformation in agriculture?

Blog Digital Transformation Agro
 

Surely you have heard of Big Data, Machine Learning, Industry 4.0, or Digital Transformation, terms that have emerged as a result of the technological revolution we are currently going through. A large number of people believe that digital transformation consists of implementing a management program, a CRM, an ERP or a BPM, but the reality is that it means much more than that.

 

Digital transformation involves the development of a process in which technologies are used to optimize the performance of the organization, increasing the scope to ensure better results. It can also be defined as the incorporation and integration of new technologies in all areas of a company in order to improve processes, increase competitiveness and provide new added value to customers. This transformation requires a structural change in organizations that gives an essential role to technology. In recent years, digital transformation has become practically a necessity, making a company’s success largely dependent on its ability to adapt to an increasingly digitized market.

 

In this sense, digital transformation has impacted several industries, one of the most relevant being agrobusiness. In this sector, digital transformation is a key factor to generate the necessary change to be much more efficient and productive. It is important to mention that the digital transformation process is not exclusive to large companies; any organization, regardless of its size, can carry out a digital transformation project in the agribusiness industry.

 

Some examples that can be mentioned in this sector are transformations that involve the use of electronic devices for the organization and control of activities in the field, business intelligence applied to the different stages of the process, systems that allow remote access to data, even controllers of consumption of various resources such as water, electricity, fuels, agro-inputs, among others.

 

What are its benefits?

 

Among the main benefits of implementing digital transformation in agriculture, we can mention that it offers new business opportunities thanks to data analysis, providing a rapid response capacity to the changing environment in which these organizations operate; it enhances and improves both internal and external communication, promoting collaborative work among members of the organization and increasing the possibilities of interaction with agricultural customers or consumers, improving their customer experience and their relationship with the brand; and it reduces costs through the optimization of organizational processes.

 

Macrotest has a product specially developed to optimize processes in agriculture. It is a platform for intelligent crop management, called AgroInt, which minimizes the impact of pests, diseases and weeds, through immediate and continuous access to records allowing geolocated monitoring from the cell phone; and the application time on production is very low.

 

Digital transformation represents a bet on the future through the generation of new working methods that take advantage of the full potential of digitization. This process of change can be carried out more easily if it is accompanied by digital experts who design a comprehensive plan and advise on the entire implementation to optimize resources and generate a competitive advantage.

 

In Macrotest we have the experience and knowledge of our professionals in the problems of the agribusiness industry that will allow us to identify the ideal transformation process for your company. Contact us to start walking this path towards the digital transformation of your business!

 

What does it mean to be a partner in R&D&I projects?

partner innovation

The development of the most innovative projects in terms of technological applications is highly complex and usually requires the collaboration of different actors who contribute their particular skills and knowledge to achieve the most disruptive results.

This collaboration scheme involves the joint work of two or more organizations in specific projects, an alliance usually known as “partners” or technology partners.

Partners are usually highly innovative companies, and can be start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises, large companies, and even multinationals. In some projects, in addition to the participation of companies, partnerships with research centers and universities can also be made. This ecosystem is ideal for exploring and exploiting new ideas for innovation, contributing to the development of innovative services and solutions of the highest quality and reliability.

In general, these are companies that have highly qualified teams and are committed to research, development, innovation and digital transformation, providing complementary capabilities and technologies for the purposes of the project they develop under this partner scheme, which allows accelerating project times and introducing great improvements in the results. In many cases, they even work with a global network that combines the work of actors distributed around the world.

The philosophy underlying these collaborative projects is to jointly build business solutions, generating synergies and making the most of what each of the parties can contribute in terms of capabilities, experience, technology, networking, financing, and other resources. These projects generally focus on research, development and innovation (R&D&I) applicable to the most diverse sectors of activity.

This way of working occurs when projects could not be developed by a single company, necessarily requiring cooperation between different actors, or when collaboration between companies is clearly beneficial, facilitating and enhancing such projects.

In Macrotest, throughout our journey investing in innovation, development and research, we have generated valuable alliances with different partners, which has allowed us to achieve great results based on the synergy of teamwork.

We invite all those companies and institutions that want to explore joint work opportunities to contact us to continue growing together!

What is the professional role of the Project Manager?

project, manager, software, projects

What is the professional role of the PM?

Surely you have heard the role of Project Manager mentioned at some point, or you might even have seen it present in companies that are not exclusively dedicated to software development. In simple words, Project Manager (usually known as PM) or “project manager” is the role that is in charge of planning and executing a project. In this way, his main responsibility is to manage the work team linked to the project in order to achieve the predetermined objectives.

What are their main competencies?

Unlike other professional profiles, the PM does not need to handle specifically technical knowledge, but must have different skills and qualities linked particularly to the management or general administration of the project. Among the most important ones, we can highlight organizational capacity, leadership and planning, as well as negotiation, communication, motivation, customer relations, problem identification and control of all the details associated with the project. Although it is not necessary to have technical knowledge, it is important that the PM has specific skills related to the digital world, such as handling the main languages, data analysis and content management. In this way, the efficient performance of this professional will make a fundamental difference in terms of project costs, meeting the deadline in deliveries, task organization, management of team members, and adaptation of the project to those external factors that must be considered.

What is the importance of PM in R&D&I projects?

R&D&I projects are usually complex and characterized by the presence of frequent changes that tend to generate some uncertainty. In this type of projects, it is required to carry out an adequate planning and management of unforeseen events that may affect the proper functioning of the project, causing that in many cases it is necessary to replan. These are the main reasons why the presence of this role in R&D&I projects is essential to achieve the objectives. In this sense, all the skills and knowledge that a PM has are important in the management of this type of projects, highlighting those related to adaptation and the ability to cope with the changes that projects may undergo while they are being executed, mainly generated by budget, scope or schedule modifications.

One of the most important assets we have in Macrotest is the ability of our PMs to face the uncertainty of R&D projects and to be able to manage each of the projects in the right way to achieve the objectives. We can accompany you in this challenge and work as a team with your company. Contact us and let’s start planning your project!

Scrum… is it the best working methodology?

scrum, work, methodology

 

Is talking about agile methodologies the same as talking about Scrum?

It is common to hear this question because scrum is based on the principle of continuous improvement, in short, the essence of agile methodology. However, there is an important difference, but let’s start by first defining what we mean by Scrum.

Scrum is a framework that enables collaboration between teams for project management. It is a process in which a set of best practices are systematically applied to work collaboratively and achieve great results.

It is mainly used in the software industry, although there are currently many companies in other sectors that implement it, especially those inserted in a dynamic business environment. In this sense, with the use of this method, teams learn through experiences, adapt to changes (often unforeseen) self-organizing and reflecting through daily meetings where obstacles are analyzed. This methodology considerably improves control over the course of the project.

So the main difference with agile methodology is that agile is associated with a broader “mindset” or set of guiding principles, while Scrum uses a specific set of rules to get the job done. As a tool, Scrum establishes the steps to implement the application of agile methodology principles in the realization of projects.

What are the characteristics of the Scrum method?

As mentioned above, this method is the most suitable for projects immersed in highly dynamic and changing environments, which require a significant reduction in development times, but of course without neglecting quality. Its main characteristics are:

  • The development strategy is incremental (instead of complete product planning and execution, regular partial deliveries of the final product are made).
  • The quality of the result is based on the tacit knowledge of the people in the self-organized team (rather than on the quality of the processes used).
  • The different phases of development overlap (rather than being carried out one after the other in a sequential cycle).
  • It includes a series of meetings, tools and functions that, in a coordinated manner, help the team to structure and manage its work.
  • The teams are led by a Scrum expert (Scrum master) who helps to manage the processes, optimize their transparency and ensure delivery flows.

It is noted that Scrum is adaptive, iterative, incremental, fast, flexible and efficient, designed to deliver value quickly and throughout the project. It is very popular today because its principles are applicable to all types of teamwork.

At Macrotest we use this method to incrementally develop projects, substantially reducing risk, bureaucracy and working closely with the responsible users. We are waiting for you to develop your projects and bring out the full potential of our teams to provide you with perfectly functional and adaptable solutions.

Artificial intelligence… is in our daily lives?

artificial-intelligence

 

Artificial intelligence… is in our daily lives?

The reality indicates that, almost unnoticed, artificial intelligence has gone from being in movies and scientific breakthroughs to being present in our daily lives. But first let’s define the term. According to Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein, artificial intelligence is “the ability of a system to correctly interpret external data, to learn from that data and to use that knowledge to achieve specific tasks and goals through flexible adaptation”. In simple terms, we can say that when a machine mimics human functions and behavior, such as learning, perception, problem solving and reasoning, we are talking about artificial intelligence.

Since its appearance in 1956, artificial intelligence has become very popular, mainly as a consequence of the increase in the amount of data and advanced algorithms used today. Without going any further, Internet shopping and the advertising we see when browsing, the searches we perform on the web, the translations that are generated automatically and the virtual assistants on our cell phones are some concrete examples of the presence of artificial intelligence in our daily lives.

What are the most common applications of this technology in different sectors of the economy?

Among the most common applications in the business world, the following stand out. In the health sector, it is used, for example, to survey the symptoms presented by patients and thus contribute to clinical diagnosis and identify genetic factors that could in the future lead to the development of certain diseases. In the transportation sector, the first driverless cars could be used to improve traffic flow, optimize traffic flow and avoid possible collisions. Autonomous driving can also be applied to other types of transport, such as rail transport, bringing significant improvements in speed without neglecting safety issues. In the manufacturing sector, artificial intelligence can be reflected in robotized processes and predictive maintenance of machinery. In the financial sector, artificial intelligence finds its main applications in security and also in financial market predictions. In the agricultural sector, predictive analytics are also widely used to improve productivity and reduce environmental impacts, for example by minimizing the use of fertilizers and pesticides, and even of such a precious resource as water. Finally, in the commercial sector, artificial intelligence makes it possible to predict sales, as well as to guide customers in choosing the most appropriate products or services according to their specific characteristics and needs.

As you can see with these simple examples, the applications of artificial intelligence in each of the sectors are diverse and are expected to multiply in the coming years. At Macrotest we are here to advise you on the implementation of artificial intelligence in your company. We have a team of highly trained professionals who will help you find the best solution for your business. Contact us!

Blockchain: what is it and what is it for?

what-is-blockchain-and-use-for

 

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain has become the technology that will revolutionize the business world and the way to generate reliable digital transactions. In Spain alone, numerous companies are carrying out innovative projects, with an expected impact on GDP of more than €20 billion by 2030. 

However, despite its great expansion in recent years, few professionals have a clear understanding of its possible applications.

Blockchain consists of a set of technologies that allow maintaining a distributed, decentralized, synchronized and very secure record of the information that computers and other devices work with. In this sense, it fulfills the function of a public record in digital operations, allowing to identify each user and device in a unique way, storing and tracing that identification at all times. The authenticity of the Blockchain is not verified by a third party, but by the consensus of all participants in the same network of users. This is its main advantage, since it allows recording a transaction on the web in a verifiable, unforgeable and transparent way, without the need of a third party to corroborate its validity. In addition, Blockchain technology has the potential to reduce costs, accelerate both domestic and international transactions and reduce the risks of fraud through online authentication.

The potential of this technology is practically unlimited. While it is the financial sector that has used it the most, its functionality also applies to everyday uses for organizations focused on sharing and protecting the use of data.

Can any type of company use this technology?

At the industry level, any company could benefit from its potential applications from the total traceability of the product, from the moment it is created until it is acquired by an end user. At the consumer level, this technology together with the IoT (Internet of Things) allows certifying the origin of the product, which is particularly useful for example in food or medicines. In this sense, in addition to minimizing the possibility of fraud, the main benefits of the application of this technology lie in improvements in inventory management, faster identification of problems, and accurate tracking of the different products within the supply chain. Blockchain technology has important applications in other areas such as energy, health, transportation, insurance, automotive, as well as for public agencies that can offer services to citizens in a more agile and secure way (for example, electronic voting).

If you are looking to empower your company, optimize, provide security and reliability in your processes, in Macrotest we can advise you on this project. We have a team of professionals highly trained in blockchain and ready to solve and generate new opportunities.

Agile methodologies: what are they and their benefits?

As globalization and digization processes to advance, companies need to respond more quickly to market needs, developing new business models and new work methodologies.

From Macrotest we understand that it would be very useful for companies to inforporate agile methodologies that allow them to carry out effective and fast processes, to address new projects and obtain good results.

What are agile methodologies?

They consist of management methodologies that allow to adapt the way of working to the context and nature of a given project, based on flexibility and immediacy, and taking into account the demands of the market and each client, having as a fundamental pillar the collaborative work of the team.

What is lead agile innovation?

Lead agile innovation is a method that combines the establishment of steps in a project with the agile methodology of work, allowing to obtain visible results quickly, to work focused on the client, to  generate feedback and to respond in a timely manner to changes.

This work dynamic is based on the establishment of four steps that allow the generation of projects focused on innovation: 

1.Understanding the problem:

Is the starting point in an innovation project. Using this methodology, companies can define what the initial problem is in a specific way. It is important to understand that the next step can only be initiated once the initial problem has been validated with the appropriate methods. 

2.Generate ideas:

The objective of this step is to create an MVP (Minimum viable product). Depending on the problem posed in the previous phase, the approach to generate ideas will be chosen, either internally with the  collaborators, or incorporating suppliers and/or users to the process.

3.Develop a concept

Once the idea is defined, the concept must be developed. This involves different steps, depending on the company and the industry it is in. In most projects, the technical feasibility must be evaluated, a business plan must be generated and the market must be analyzed and tested. The result of this stage will be a prototype that complies with the previous steps. 

4.Develop:

From the generated prototype a functional one is elaborated, to finally move on to the development of the final product. 

Carrying out our projects under these methodologies allows us, together with our partners, to create highly competitive products and services in a market increasingly marked by digital transformation. 

If you are looking for a technology partner to help your company grow in this context, don’t hesitate to contact us!

How to manage a project successfully?

The crisis generated by COVID-19 has accelerated the digital revolution in all business sectors. The irruption of information technology in all aspects of our lives has changed the paradigm of business management.

This new stage will have many challenges for companies and this will involve embarking on new projects. For this, work teams will need solid foundations to achieve the objectives they set themselves, which implies methodical and organized work plans. 

What to take into account when organizing a project? 

  1. Determine the scope: first of all, define the desired and result and what is needed to achieve it. For example, if you want to increase the amount of sales by a certain percentage (the final result), the actions to be implemented will be sales promotions, marketing and commercial strategies, content that attracts customers, etc.  
  2. Create a project outline: once the scope has been established, it is time to visually project it to the team. This can be done through a document available to everyone, showing an overview and the status of the project, where the progress of the project will be added. 
  3. Planning: each action or step of the project should be detailed here, along with its tentative completion dates, making it more understandable for the entire team.
  4. Assigning roles: when assigning roles and responsibilities, not only create a list of collaborators for each objective, but also take into account how to distribute resources in order to be efficient and obtain optimal results. 
  5. Review the project with the team: finally, it is important that everyone works together in the project management, determining if all tasks were assigned correctly and with the necessary time according to the collaborator. 

It is true that the management of a project is not simple, it is necessary to consider the time variable as well as to adjust to the assigned budget and the expected quality. Even in many cases, in the initial stages of a project, it is detected that in order to be carried out under the expected standards, the company must make large investments in infrastructure or personnel, causing the project to be abandoned due to lack of resources.

In these cases the solution is given by the outsourcing of services. In Macrotest, we have partners and a synergistic team with extensive experience in management and implementation of IT projects, both in the Latin American and European market.

If you are starting or accelerating your project and want to join our line of partners, do not hesitate to contact us!

The benefits of R&D in the pharmaceutical industry

The pharmaceutical industry encompasses manufacturing activities, preparation and marketing services of medicines, depending largely on R&D&I for its growth. 

This sector is constantly forced to review its business model strategies in order to maximize the income from its patents and to optimize the creation of new drugs, making investment in R&D&I essential to avoid becoming obsolete in a highly competitive market.

Thanks to the investment in innovation in this area, the creation of new drugs, the increase in life expectancy and the large number of diseases treated, significantly improving the available treatments are made possible. 

Likewise, investment in research and development in the area of pharmaceutical production not only improves the health of the population, but also, in the medium term, other aspects are detected, such as savings in health spending (by reducing hospitalizations) and the reduction of operating costs in the health sector. 

The pharmaceutical sector, based on innovation, has positioned itself at the forefront of the production model in many countries. With respect to the Spanish economy, it is one of the most important industrial sectors, being the fourth largest pharmaceutical market in the European Union in terms of sales and employment. Likewise, a large percentage of Spanish pharmaceutical production is exported to other countries such as Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, among others. From an economic and social point of view, the contribution of this industry is remarkable, highlighting the good results in job creation derived from large investments in R&D&I.

In Macrotest we are convinced that the fundamental factor for the economic development of different sectors lies in the commitment to R&D&I, especially in the European market, where a great increase of this activity can be observed in recent years. That is why together with our partners we carry out multiple projects to boost their businesses and collaborate with the economic progress in different regions, both in the European and Latin American markets. 

If you are looking for a strategic ally to promote your projects through a highly qualified team in R&DI processes, do not hesitate to contact us!

How to manage a project successfully?

The crisis generated by COVID-19 has accelerated the digital revolution in all business sectors. The irruption of information technology in all aspects of our lives has changed the paradigm of business management.

This new stage will have many challenges for companies and this will involve embarking on new projects. For this, work teams will need solid foundations to achieve the objectives they set themselves, which implies methodical and organized work plans. 

What to take into account when organizing a project? 

 

  1. Determine the scope: first of all, define the desired and result and what is needed to achieve it. For example, if you want to increase the amount of sales by a certain percentage (the final result), the actions to be implemented will be sales promotions, marketing and commercial strategies, content that attracts customers, etc.  
  2. Create a project outline: once the scope has been established, it is time to visually project it to the team. This can be done through a document available to everyone, showing an overview and the status of the project, where the progress of the project will be added. 
  3. Planning: each action or step of the project should be detailed here, along with its tentative completion dates, making it more understandable for the entire team.
  4. Assigning roles: when assigning roles and responsibilities, not only create a list of collaborators for each objective, but also take into account how to distribute resources in order to be efficient and obtain optimal results. 
  5. Review the project with the team: finally, it is important that everyone works together in the project management, determining if all tasks were assigned correctly and with the necessary time according to the collaborator. 

 

It is true that the management of a project is not simple, it is necessary to consider the time variable as well as to adjust to the assigned budget and the expected quality. Even in many cases, in the initial stages of a project, it is detected that in order to be carried out under the expected standards, the company must make large investments in infrastructure or personnel, causing the project to be abandoned due to lack of resources.

In these cases the solution is given by the outsourcing of services. In Macrotest, we have partners and a synergistic team with extensive experience in management and implementation of IT projects, both in the Latin American and European market.

If you are starting or accelerating your project and want to join our line of partners, do not hesitate to contact us!