Digital technologies are more important than ever for companies that want to improve their efficiency and increase their competitiveness. But how do you ensure that the investment pays off across the organization? This is the question (and many others) that the Repères Numériques program launched by the CDPQ in 2021 seeks to answer.
“Its goal is to promote the emergence of a digital business culture within SMEs,” explains Catherine Samson, Senior Director of Communications and Outreach, Quebec at CDPQ.
Businesses today operate in a digital environment. Therefore, it is important for managers to identify new benchmarks in this environment and foster the right reflexes in their teams to more quickly take advantage of the opportunities linked to the continuous evolution of technologies.
“This digital culture must live in all functions of the organization,” adds Sara Garneau, partner and executive director of digital products and services at Edgenda, who had the mandate to design the course offered by Digital Repères.
It is with this in mind that we have developed a program whose structure and activities enable leaders to clarify their vision for digital, spark conversations with their teams, and accelerate the implementation of cross-functional initiatives.”
Inspiration, action, results!
In the first year of the programme, a cohort of some 40 selected SMEs were able to take advantage of the training course offered free of charge. Yourbarfactory was one of the participants.
The maker of personalized cereal bars has already implemented several technologies at its Châteauguay plant, and despite the progress already made, Martin Joyal believes his organization is not yet realizing the full potential of today’s digital environment.
“Much remains to be done to implement a true digital culture throughout the organization. Technological tools evolve rapidly, it is difficult to keep up and prioritize projects. To continue transforming the company, I must increase my own level of knowledge to mobilize my teams to make the best decisions”, estimates Martín Joyal, head of sustainability at the company he founded in 2001.
Think big for Youbarfactory. “Our goal is to become a world-class company, and to get there, we have to go digital,” he says.
His participation in Repères numériques has already allowed him to make useful changes in the company, including the implementation of new decision-making tools. He especially liked the composition and rhythm of the program.
“Over the last 10 months, we have had discussions with experts, co-development workshops, and activities on an online platform. Lots of cement, she explains. I collected ideas and information that I could share with my teams. This is how a digital culture is built within the company. Digital landmarks bring it to life for us!”
Launch of a second cohort
Given the success of their program, CDPQ is launching recruitment to form a second cohort. Repères numériques is aimed at SMEs in all Quebec regions, regardless of their sector of activity. The eligibility criteria are:
- Have the will to promote the emergence of a digital business culture within your organization;
- Have a turnover between $5 million and $35 million;
- Be profitable and have promising growth prospects.
Registered companies will also benefit from access to online applications to assess their progress and facilitate learning integration.
“This allows organizations to involve more participants in the identification of strengths and improvement objectives and thus increase the impact of the program”, explains Sara Garneau.
“In addition, we are promoting tools developed in Quebec by start up Bridgr (digital maturity audit) and Apprentx (B12 application), which allows us to have a real dialogue with developers”, adds Catherine Samson.
During the last year, the Benchmarks program has been carried out 100% virtually.
“We remain agile in the development of the second cohort of the program to offer the best possible experience to our participants. This is digital culture!” she concludes.
How to register?
The registration period for the 2022-2023 program ends on April 29, 2022. The registration form is available at Repères numériques!