The small Valencian company Dart Solutions is specialized in preparing oppositions and with the pandemic, it has digitized at a forced pace. Its director, Marcial Terráez, explained yesterday in Valencia that 30% of his students prefer attendance, but that a growing 70% already study online.
And the trend is that this figure is increasing, so you need more specialization in digital skills. However, this businessman says that "he would like to hire a computer scientist and I can't, I guess that happens to many other companies but I try to subcontract, I look for freelancers, but they don't know my field of work".
Terráez participated yesterday in a round table together with other small and medium-sized Valencian entrepreneurs who have collaborated or have been trained in the Acelera Pyme Office of the College of Industrial Engineers of the Valencian Community (COIICV). There they revealed the difficulties in finding labor to help them in their digital services, where they now know that they have to focus to compete. Yours is one of the three SMEs that have received support for their digital transformation in this project, both through workshops, laboratories, masterclasses and consultancies.
Paula Iranzo, a member of Vanyou, the first camper van rental e-commerce in the Valencian Community and another of the SMEs that have participated, explained how she is already resigned to the situation: "The same thing happens to us, and the worst is that the one who knows the business best is you, so you have to learn from everything". Social networks, marketing, communication are some of the areas in which they explain personal lack.
But it also happens with manual work, very artisanal and that few people can develop. Silvia Conca, director of the online store for children's products Estrellita la Valiente, explained it, for whom replacing her seamstresses on maternity leave is almost, almost, an odyssey.
"In our case we have an easier time subcontracting, but we need labor and there is a great shortage, and although they are trying to promote VT, there are no seamstresses," said the Valencian businesswoman.
With a more transversal vision, the CEO of WiTrac explained that talent "seeks above all to feel happy". His company, specializing in logistics traceability, has 50 engineers and experiences in its meat the struggle for technological talent that is already experienced in Valencia.
"Although we want to be at the level of European cities and we have already touched Madrid and Barcelona, but our real competitor is Malaga. Technology companies, since the pandemic, have been looking for places like this to come to work," he explained.
At the meeting, the dean of the COIICV, Nieves Romero, reviewed the X-ray of the company that has participated in this first year of the project. He assured that they are "all kinds of SMEs, from self-employed to companies with several dozen employees, and from sectors as diverse as fashion, footwear, crafts, pharmacies, construction materials, furniture, training, tourism, opticians, orthopedics, agencies or insurance companies, since it is a totally transversal program that contemplates the entire value chain within a project”, he summarized.
The SMEs of the Valencian Community are located in the national and international context, slightly below the national average in the use of ICT, with special relevance in cloud services, electronic commerce, active presence in social networks, and use of ERP and CRM systems, the basis of business digitization, according to the latest report The State of Digitization in the Valencian Community, signed by the Treasury and Economic Model.
This report was cited yesterday by the general director of the Network of Technological Institutes of the Valencian Community (REDIT), Gonzalo Berenguer, who explained that "investment in key digital enablers, such as Big Data, robotics and Artificial Intelligence, is still in the Community. Valenciana below the national average, and well below the European average”.
Likewise, the general secretary of the Valencian Innovation Agency (AVI), Olivia Estrella, stressed that the key for SMEs to overcome these difficulties in digital transformation "lies in cooperation between the different agents of the innovation system, which represents the only guarantee to offer companies the information and resources necessary to successfully undertake this transition, and where a paradigmatic example is Inndromeda, which brings together more than 40 organizations between universities or technological institutes”.
Agro-food firms also called yesterday on the shortage of talent in key skills. The Business Federation of Agrifood of the Valencian Community (FEDACOVA) warned of "the fragile situation" that the agrifood industry is going through after a first semester in which it has seen "the difficulties aggravated", due to the rise in energy costs, logistics and raw materials and the economic hangover from the pandemic.
“Right now, the value chain is making an effort to survive so as not to put quality, food safety and investments at risk. The industry wants to continue guaranteeing these product quality and safety factors, as well as continuing to offer added value through environmental, economic and social sustainability”, FEDACOVA points out.