In 2010, Efacec continued to grow internationally and consolidate the Portuguese market through several events with significant economic, environmental and social impact, such as:
Focussed on the strategic objective towards international growth and optimization of businesses with major economic and social impact:
• The official inauguration, on the 19th of April 2010, of Efacec Power Transformers Inc. (PTInc.), Efacec’s new power transformers factory, located in Effingham (Georgia- USA). The ceremony included the presence of both of Efacec’s Shareholders, the José de Mello Group and Têxtil Manuel Gonçalves and its Board of Directors, high representatives of the governments from both countries, particularly the Governor of the state of Georgia, Mr. Sonny Perdue and the Minister of Finance of the Portuguese Government Mr. Teixeira dos Santos, as well as the highest representatives of several Portuguese and American companies.
With a global investment amount of nearly USD 180 million, this is the largest project ever in the history of Efacec. The factory was concluded by the end of 2009 and operations began in November of that same year. At the same time, Efacec has been developing an intensive selection and training programme for this factory’s new employees. By 2015, Efacec PTInc., which by the end of the first half year already had 160 employees, will have created 600 direct work posts (1500 indirect).
• The expansion of Efacec operations in Spain with the purchase of 75% of the share capital of the Spanish company Fasymon, then changing its name to Efacec Equipos Electricos, S.L.. This new company of the Efacec universe employs 20 people and is located in Sta. Barbara, Catalonia. It is dedicated to the production, marketing and installation of Substations, an activity developed by Efacec’s Medium and High Voltage Switchgear Business Unit.
• The creation of Efacec India Private Limited (EIPL), with the purpose of coordinating the activity and expansion of all companies of the Group in India.
• The signing, in December, of a land purchase and sale agreement for the construction of Efacec’s industrial facilities in Brazil. The contract was signed with the Secretaria de Desenvolvimento do Estado do Pernambuco (Development Office of the State of Pernambuco) and the land is located within the industrial area of Suape, Recife.
• Also concerning the market of Latin America, the expansion of the Switchgear industrial area in Córdoba (Argentina) and the construction of Efacec Argentina’s new administration building.
• Internationally, it should be highlighted the reinforcement of strategies, policies and practices concerning the Financial Management, Information Technologies and Human Resources Management departments established in international subsidiaries and with the purpose of supporting Efacec’s expatriates and international employees.
• The development of actions necessary to fulfil an important corporate restructuring project, which would take effect on the 2nd of August 2010. In accordance with Efacec’s major strategic guidelines and sustained development, a corporate restructuring process was carried out in the Group by merging the activities of the Engineering and Systems areas into one single Company. This process was carried out as a merger, integrating into Efacec Sistemas de Electrónica, S.A. the companies Efacec Engenharia, S.A., Efacec Automação e Robótica, S.A. and Efacec Ambiente, S.A. (which were dissolved after the merger). As a result of this process, Efacec Sistemas de Electrónica, S.A. received all assets and liabilities from the integrated companies, as well as their employees, maintaining their legal and tax existence. Simultaneously, their commercial designation was changed to Efacec Engenharia e Sistemas, S.A. and their share capital increased to EUR 17 750 thousand. This merger has important advantages for Efacec, namely those resulting from the focus of businesses, which, besides allowing the company to take better advantage of synergies and permits, will grant it a larger dimension, a stronger image and a greater capability to act in both national and international markets.
• The consolidation and improvement of activities from the areas of Strategic Procurement Management and Strategic Risk Management, whose creation in 2009 was one of the several measures taken to reinforce the competitiveness of Efacec.
• The launch, in 2010, of a POC (Cost Optimization Programme), implemented across the entire Efacec Group in order to support the sustained growth of the company’s national and international operations in an adverse economic environment. By basing its activity in multidisciplinary and cross-functional teams, the POC will act in several ways, seeking to reduce and optimize costs.
• The entry into operation of the new "Data Center" of Arroteia, supporting 90% of the Group’s corporate applications. With this new reality, Efacec began to also include an excellent protection system of support equipments for applications, in keeping with the current best practices.
• The launch of Efacec’s new Intranet, which encompasses all the company’s Corporate and Shared Services, Business Units and Market Units, including over 30 autonomous channel managers and providing (among other functions and applications) an internal bilingual platform for the whole world.
• Efacec was honoured by iPortalMais with the "iPortalDoc Outstanding Project", awarded to the solution implemented with the use of the iPortalDoc tool, which, in general terms, allowed the dematerialization of invoices from suppliers, managing its digital archive, manage the whole approval workflow and on-line access from the ERP used by the Group.
• In the scope of the SiGefa (Information System for Management) program, the beginning and implementation of this IT application for registering, managing and acquiring information concerning Environment Quality and Safety in a consolidated manner for the entire Group. For areas considered to be a priority, the control of QES documents, registration and management of events, action plans, management of audits and QES management were included.
• The successful conclusion of a cycle of certifications for Environment and Safety of Business Units, which belong to the Energy area (Transformers, Medium and High Voltage Switchgear and Energy Servicing), by having the Servicing BU certified by Lloyds, in accordance with Norms ISSO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. Likewise, Efacec Central Europe, located in Romania, obtained the certification of its integrated Management System for Quality, Environment and Safety (SGQES), which represents a commercial advantage. The certification was made by the local certification body – SRAC. This is another example of Efacec’s internationalization and the commitment from everyone involved in transmitting the Group’s good practices and values to the companies in the rest of the world, seeking to standardize methods and processes in all markets.
• Efacec received the Engineering Academy Award of 2009. The award of the Certificate included the reading of a message from His Excellency the President of the Republic of Portugal, Mr. Aníbal Cavaco Silva, as well as the presence of the Secretary of State of Energy and Innovation, Mr. Carlos Zorrinho. The award, given every two years, distinguishes public or private companies, personalities and professionals from the field of engineering or other areas that have contributed for the progress, credit and confirmation of Portuguese engineering. Besides the "excellence of their engineering in developed products and services, which provide Efacec with an undeniable competitiveness on an international level", other important aspects were crucial for this Award, such as Efacec’s excellent internationalization process and other major achievements in the international market that largely contributed towards the company’s current growth and Portuguese pride.
• In November, Efacec Energia was considered the best company in the electrical material and precision field, in accordance with a study of the 500 Maiores & Melhores (Top 500 companies) organized by Exame magazine in partnership with Informa D&B Portugal and Deloitte.
• Efacec was awarded, in the scope of the Corporate Citizenship Awards, by PwC–PricewaterhouseCoopers and AESE (business school) with a distinction in the "Innovation Initiative Award". The Corporate Citizenship Awards are a joint initiative between PricewaterhouseCoopers and AESE, which recognize the most successful non-governmental companies and organizations in the use of social responsibility practices in economic, social and environmental aspects, simultaneously.
• By the end of 2010, Efacec was again honoured with the Corporate Citizenship Award – 4th Edition, in the field of Industrial Products, this being the seventh time in 3 years that Efacec was distinguished for its sustainability practices. The Corporate Citizenship Awards recognize the most successful non-governmental companies and organizations in the use of social responsibility practices in economic, social and environmental aspects. Once again, this award recognizes Efacec’s great value to society in several areas and fields. This should be regarded as an incentive to a continuous improvement of the company’s policies, processes and practices, in favour of a global sustainability.
• Efacec was honoured by REN – Rede Eléctrica Nacional with the Management Merit Award for safety in Construction Works of VHV (Very High Voltage) Substations and for its performance in the previous year, during which the Engineering Business Unit carried out, in this scope, over 63 thousand hours of work in REN’s facilities without the occurrence of one single accident.
• In May, the CEO of Efacec – Luís Filipe Pereira – was the winner of the Leader in Internationalization category of the Best Leader Awards, promoted by Leadership Business Consulting in partnership with Sol newspaper.
Focussed on the sustainability of the activity and its impact on the planet, especially in innovation and in the environment, but also its social impact:
•Efacec’s participation in Portugal’s electrical mobility project, known as MOBI.E, paradigmatic of the company’s performance in both highly technological fields and those with a major positive impact for the planet’s sustainability. Together with the other partners (CEIIA, Critical Software and Novabase) of this project, Efacec is now developing an entire architecture that will allow Portugal to implement one of the most advanced networks worldwide (regarding a 100% Portuguese-based solution for an infrastructure capable of supplying and supporting electric mobility). By fulfilling the deadlines established by the government, it will be possible to support the sales of these vehicles in Portugal and, at the same time, anticipate this system’s export potential.
• Efacec was one of the first worldwide companies to have quick chargers for electric vehicles certified by the CHAdeMO Association, based in Japan. The award of this certification specifically allowed Efacec’s chargers to support the European launch of the new Nissan Leaf in Lisbon, which took place between October and November 2010.
• The participation in EnergyIN’s Energy Competiveness Hub, being part of the main group of founder members of this hub comprised by companies with a position of leadership in the energy field in Portugal (EDP, Efacec, Galp Energia and Martifer) and taking part in the MIT Portugal Programme. Simultaneously, MIT Portugal will represent the entities of the Portuguese science and technology system, namely universities and research centers. Almost 20 entities from this system are already involved in MIT Portugal. These entities intend to improve the creation of innovation networks aimed at the development of highly technological projects and with a strong international approach and orientation, by establishing integrated partnerships between companies and TR&D (technological research and development), academic and professional training institutions. The main involved areas are offshore energies, solar energy, advanced networks, sustainable mobility and energy efficiency.
• The participation in the GreenIslands project, whose purpose is to design and implement an innovative power system largely resorting to renewable energies, efficient management of energy consumption, implementation of smartgrids and introduction of electrical vehicles, and developing, at the same time, an integrated methodology to meet the new challenges for establishing a new paradigm in power systems. Therefore, this methodology will focus on the analysis of the technical, economical and social viability towards the implementation of projects in the Autonomous Regions of the Azores.
• Efacec received the Innovation Award for Sustainability in Portugal, in the scope of the European Business Awards for the Environment, under the category of Product 2009, for the presentation of its SmartGate product (which allows users to remotely control and automate transformer substations and concentrate data from the Smart Meters – energy boxes – and send them to the Meter Management System). The award was created by the Portuguese Environment Agency in partnership with the DPP (Department of Foresight and Planning and International Affairs), the DGAE (Head Office of Economic Activities), BCSD Portugal (Corporate Council for Sustainable Development) and Group GCI (Integrated Communication Management). Awarded every two years, this award is organized by the European Committee with the purpose of distinguishing public and private companies from all activity sectors of the European Union for their performance and/or innovative practices in the field of sustainable development, being able to balance economic success with environment protection.
Focussed on the development of strategies to support the company’s growth and social impact, especially in the enhancement of human resources, but also its economic impact:
• The implementation of Efacec’s Corporate University, the Efacec Academy. Being based on two main aspects – Training and Development (training of Niches and Partners) and Knowledge Management – the Efacec Academy is focussed on contributing as much as possible to the achievement of Efacec’s strategic and operational objectives, through training and development models (in which the e-learning platforms will play an vital role) and through the acquisition, aggregation, availability and management of knowledge for the company’s several worldwide stakeholders (employees, customers, suppliers and other partners). In 2010, the Academy launched the Automation Energy School and announced the creation the Transformers Energy School and the Behaviour School, being that the latter was launched on the 16th of March 2011.
• The success of the 1st edition of the Colombo Programme (introduced in 2009) both in terms of participation and results, was decisive for the implementation of the 2nd edition of the Programme, which took place in 2010. 544 ideas were received, out of which 186 were approved for implementation. It was also decided to extend this project to the Efacec markets, and as such, its international implementation is expected to take place in 2011. This way, in 2010 Efacec continued to strongly encourage the sharing of ideas among its employees.
• Between September and October of 2010, over 400 of Efacec’s graduates underwent personal career interviews with the purpose of determining their professional career satisfaction and increase the feedback within the company.
• An entire week dedicated to Safety, Health and Environment, promoted by Efacec’s Energy area, which took place at the hub of Arroteia. The 5 main themes approached during the course of five days were Safety, Ergonomics, Emergency, Environment and Health. The initiative of this programme was to approach these subjects (considered to be important for the quality of life within Efacec) in an entertaining and interactive manner.
• Besides the training provided to improve the performance of its employees’ duties, Efacec also supported several personal development plans (PADI programme), with a total of 2384 hours.
• Cooperation initiatives with the Academic educational system underwent an important increase in 2010, of which stand out the relations developed with the University of Minho and with the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto. The purpose of this process is to improve cooperation mechanisms in technologic/scientific, research and innovation activities.