The word innovation is a word that has a fairly broad meaning. One of the most important meanings of the word innovate is to be able to modify or change things. Innovation seeks to improve an existing element to give it an added value that makes it overcome and see itself as something "new."
Ana Sofia Mohamar
Maria Jose Gil Tricio
Universidad de Monterrey
Ecolimpio is a company that is constantly innovating. Basically, all that Ecolimpio does with the waste they receive are physical-chemical processes to eliminate the danger that catalogs the waste they receive. When Ecolimpio eliminates this hazardous waste, it goes through a process of revaluation, a circular economy concept. Ecolimpio takes the waste from the companies, and through certain processes, this waste Ecolimpio takes care of returning it to a productive life.
Everything Ecolimpio does inside the physicochemical laboratory is innovation. Today in Ecolimpio, they are using the remnants of some foundry slags and call this innovation. At the root of Covid-19, Ecolimpio was also in need to look for innovation.
Ecolimpio is a B2B company. They had to start taking their customers into digital commerce to be virtually protected from the pandemic and identify customers who felt secure within Ecolimpio’s digital trading system. By creating this type of digital commerce, Ecolimpio innovates as a B2B company even though it is usually difficult to do trade in this way.
The main inspiration that the company Ecolimpio had for all types of innovations that they manage was born out of necessity. Within the types that Ecolimpio has as innovation, they have a program known as the CRM. When they developed and analyzed the company’s analyses that this program showed, Ecolimpio could realize that there were no visits. For them, it was a significant part of the process of the company’s sales. At that time, Ecolimpio was noticing that the visits in the online form were growing and, therefore, these were greater than the physical visits that the company had. They also noticed that online sales were greater. This is how the idea of facilitating the customers’ comfort was born, and it was there that the portal they created was born so that customers could obtain their services in a much faster and more efficient way. Inspiration, in a general sense, was born from the need for Ecolimpio.
This innovation's impact goes beyond the company because it positively impacts social, economic, and environmental aspects. The first impacted are all the clients that participate in the company, because by not being able to go to visit new or external companies and work together with them, by creating the new portal they ended the bad communication and distancing that the pandemic had caused, referring to this as the short-term impact that the director of ECOLIMPIO mentioned to us. This short-term impact has been seen through the software they use to monitor their customers and see how much they have improved customer service or if they have received new customers.
Regarding the long-term impact, the company director told us that with the portal and all the functions it has, such as being able to download the original invoices whenever they want or see their statistics regarding business waste. They have the ease of a click, which creates a dependency that the reasons not to stop hiring them and therefore recommend them to companies that need the services of ECOLIMPIO.
This innovation has a national impact. This is because ECOLIMPIO, although its headquarters are located in Saltillo, Coahuila, is a company that works in cities throughout the Mexican Republic. The business has clients and offices in different zones of the country to provide better coverage and a greater positive environmental impact for Mexico.
This innovation had positive benefits for the company. First, by creating the customer portal, the company positioned itself above its competition. In other words, it obtained a competitive advantage because the other companies within its category had not created a portal like theirs.
A second benefit mentioned by the director of the company was that they managed to establish better relationships with their clients due to the improved communication that resulted from using the portal. The customers were delighted because inside the portal, they could see all the company documents, including invoices and statistics of the behavior of their company when working with ECOLIMPIO.
Similarly, the portal allowed ECOLIMPIO to know more about how its clients work and what their motivations are to hire them before other companies of the same category. Finally, with this innovation, the company created stronger relationships with its consumers and attracted new consumers.
Talking about the impact on the environment, when making the customer portal, the company’s employees stopped transporting to different companies and different cities to contact their customers. People who had to drive or move by plane stopped doing so, and the polluting gases were then reduced, which positively impacted the environment. Likewise, all documents are now issued digitally instead of being printed and wasting paper and ink. This also reduced the excessive use of paper that can contribute to pollution.
On the other hand, the impact on the whole company's society, not only of innovation, is positive because ECOLIMPIO is one of only three companies in Mexico authorized by governmental organizations to process hazardous waste resulting from the industries. Not only is the environment positively impacted, but with more work, more employees are necessary, and more income is generated for employees, their families, and the company.
Likewise, the second positive impact on society is that ECOLIMPIO has a foundation called "YUYE MARTINEZ" that receives 2% of its revenue. Through this foundation, ECOLIMPIO manages to help marginalized communities of extreme poverty close to the factories they own. They told us that a few months ago, they worked in a community with 110 inhabitants to which they installed internet so that the 24 children who inhabit that place have access to their online classes, can send their tasks, and communicate with their teachers and others. The foundation of ECOLIMIPIO provided everything necessary for that community to have internet. We were told that although it was a minimal investment for them, it really has a huge impact on those people's lives. This was a pilot project within that community. If it continues to work smoothly, the foundation has the immediate ability to replicate the project in other communities.
Alfredo Apess Iga, Managing director
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Saltillo, Coahuila, MX
Business Website: https://ecolimpio.com.mx/
Year Founded: 1996
Number of Employees: 51 to 200
Since 1996 GRUPO ECOLIMPIO has sought to make Mexico a sustainable country. They are working toward this goal through comprehensive advisory services, training, administration, management of procedures, and everything necessary for the proper disposal and treatment of industrial waste that may harm the environment. Its mission is to ensure the protection of the environment through the appropriate management of industrial waste.