What is expected from Operations in companies? It’s simple: lower costs, efficiently produce new and dazzling products and services, and, at the same time, delight customers – all this without a magic wand… and from Portugal.

In the current Operations landscape, companies face unprecedented challenges. It’s not enough to simply manage operations; It is essential to know how to reinvent them. The key to competitiveness lies in agility and a culture of continuous innovation; To this end, mastering operational concepts and tools is essential.

The current technological context is revolutionizing the way companies buy, transform, and distribute their products or services. With the current challenges, new demands also arise in the configuration of talent, particularly in the technological field and digital literacy, as well as in process analysis and problem-solving.

If, for decades, command and operations control models resulted in an era of relative stability and predictability, today, this is no longer possible. There are obvious reasons: the growing logistical complexity - whether due to the interdependence of global supply chains or through volatility in demand - combined with a context of rapid technological advancement alongside the convergence of macroeconomic and geopolitical obstacles, generating strong instability.

In this context, there is no other solution than to bring new elements of competitiveness to the operations of our companies. The multidisciplinary mastery of operations is fundamental to the competitiveness of any organization.

Examples such as Machine Learning (ML), which has been revolutionizing service levels in logistics through the intelligent management of stocks and warehouses based on a deep understanding of consumer data and the particularities of global sourcing.

Or Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data Analytics, which support the analysis of large volumes of data, identifying emerging trends and contributing significantly to Operations and the consequent improvement of time-to-market.

Likewise, new Automation and Robotics systems allow us to accelerate production and packaging processes, with considerable optimizations in manufacturing and product availability.

These are just a few examples of innovative processes using technology at the service of Operations, which directly influence the ability to anticipate, meet, and exceed market expectations and which are, therefore, fundamental in the competitiveness of organizations and the national economy.

Competitiveness in Operations results from the ability to effectively integrate several multidisciplinary areas and their combined performance, from economics to engineering, or mathematics to marketing. In addition to the endogenous knowledge of companies (internal – product, processes, production), it is essential to develop exogenous knowledge (external – market, technologies, trends). Only in this way is it possible to identify opportunities and create innovative solutions for the company and consumers (from need to seed ).

Executives must prepare for the current paradigm shift. We also must think again about productive activities in Portugal, modern and technological reindustrialization, where knowledge that allows innovation is the real leverage of the economy.

It is true that to create an ecosystem favorable to the reindustrialization in Portugal, we will need to focus on several challenges, namely: simplifying procedures and eliminating obstacles to growth; implementing taxation, and the existence of financing conditions that boost a system that encourages entrepreneurship and reinforce strategic sectoral elements, clusters, developing the mark-up of national products. In addition to all these, we must, above all, inject knowledge into our economy and companies - we must guarantee excellent engineering and management. And this is the best risk management measure we can take in value chains. These are measures of resilience but also efficiency and prosperity.

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