Técnicas Competitivas: Firmly stepping overseas
Técnicas Competitivas is a company from Tenerife that provides IT services. They have two lines of business: development of software for healthcare management; and software for telecommunication systems for emergencies, security and civil defense.
"When trying to export you have to identify what products and services can be exported, you have to be persevering, and you also need to know if it is financially viable"
The company was founded in 1990 as a self-employment scheme made by four employees from a tobacco sector company, which at the time was suffering a deep crisis.
Técnicas Competitivas currently employs 85 people, 75% of them have university degrees, mainly in engineering. It has two main headquarters (Tenerife and Gran Canaria), three people working in Madrid and warehouses around all Canary Islands. It reaches about 4 million in sales per year, 15% coming from exportation. Its goal is to increase that rate to 25% by the end of this financial period.
They started their internationalization process thanks to the help of the PIPE ICEX program (currently ICEX next); the methodology and commitment of the program facilitated external actions in overseas countries, initially in Africa.
We consider trading with mainland Spain as exportation due to the custom conditions, with that trading plus the one done in the Mexican market (8%) we got 15% of our total income.
The main issue when trying to go overseas is getting intensive knowledge resources about the target country. This implies the need of deploying well trained technicians, with the resulting costs.
We didn’t renounce to the internationalization due to the crisis. It is true that we had to reduce the investment but we kept developing some overseas actions, although with a lower intensity. As a result, in 2015 we started a development software project for the Mexican healthcare system, which meant the 8% of our company´s turnover in 2016.
This system manages the medical prescriptions, changing from a paper based system to a digital one, including inventory management. It is currently being implemented in the states of Durango and Sonora. It is being quite a challenge because it is being implemented from here, coordinating people that work at different time zones with different working cultures.
The challenge now is to implement the system in other countries like Chile, having into account the necessary adaptations to the legal requirements of the country. Presently, these countries have that necessity, which is an opportunity for us. This is possible if we manage to reach local alliances that allow us to sale this kind of products and services.
Mexico is our principal foreign market but we plan to carry out projects in Chile, Ecuador, Mauritania and Morocco.
Being Técnicas Competitivas a small company our funding capacities are low, so we have to be cautious when allocating resources to the internationalization. This implies to strengthen the areas where we are already working and also to look for new market opportunities. We also look for agreements with local partners that allow us to carry out our activities.
Our funding have three sources: our own money, the banking system, and regarding health care innovative projects we go for the public financial callings on R&D of the CDTI or the Agencia Canaria de Investigación y Desarrollo (Canary Agency of Research and Development), with non-repayable grants or low interest rate loans.
We have developed R&D projects in the healthcare field, like the home monitoring of patients through the automated gathering of information that is automatically included in the clinical data.
In 1998-99 we were the first company that developed an electronic medical record (centralized record). Before that, the canary healthcare software was based on the information being shared by each center with its server. We proposed and developed the centralization. The Canary Islands was the first Spanish Autonomous Community that implemented a centralized by-appointment service. That solution received an award of the Sociedad Española de Informática Sanitaria (SEIS) (Spanish Society of healthcare computing) and it was a finalist in the European award for the best solutions in the healthcare computing field, in Ireland. .
In Rivas-Vaciamadrid, a town in Madrid, they have developed a security and emergency system that will substitute the TETRA network for an LT network (private 4G) thanks to a successful agreement with the multinational Chinese corporation Huawey. This system allows the municipal and police officers to work from wherever they are, using a terminal that let them do it as if they were in the office. This project may also be implemented in Mexico thanks to some agreements with local partners.
When trying to export you have to identify what products and services can be exported, you have to be persevering, and you also need to know if it is financially viable. For example, in the project in Mexico the contacts were made in 2008 but it wasn’t completed until 2015.
Director General de Técnicas Competitivas
Tel: + 34 922 203 931
Translated by Daniel Palacios Martínez, March 6 th 2018