ECOPETROL (the Colombian state-own Oil & Gas company) in coordination with the Chamber of commerce of Cartagena.
The industrial maintenance sector was facing two main challenges:
- New and strong competition from foreign competitors increasing their presence in the region – mostly tier 1 suppliers.
- Lack of specialized services being offered and increasingly demanded by local clients.
The project involved industrial maintenance companies (mostly SMEs, services providers), client companies (large petrochemical industrial companies such as ECOPETROL), public institutions, and academia in a process of strategic analysis and change management focused on strengthening the local value chain. Among the different activities conducted:
- Benchmarking analysis to three European industrial clusters, interviewing advanced suppliers and clients in Tarragona (Spain), Maastricht, and Rotterdam (Holland).
- Strategic consensus and a clear vision for the cluster, through direct engagement with local actors (workgroups and public presentations).
- The defined vision was focused on specializing the SMEs’ current services, translated into practical areas of improvement: i) business strengthening, ii) customer integration, and iii) human capital formation
The roadmap included the following action lines to be implemented:
- Development of shared services projects among the leading large clients located in the territory
- Characterization and promotion of maintenance services provided by SMEs
- Enlistment of financial capabilities – seeking M&A with global leaders
- Technology Transfer Projects – international partnerships
- Business financing management
Significant progress has been achieved (2015-2020) in the implementation of these action lines, thanks to the financial and technical support of ECOPETROL, INNPULSA (govt institution), and the Chamber of Commerce of Cartagena, especially in the fields of improving the connection with markets and the specialization of the current portfolio of services.