Núvol: we gather good ideas

Where do good ideas come from? This is often the question posed by experts in innovation. However, by observing our daily life we came up with another one: Where do all the brilliant ideas born each day go?


At Alegre we know that good ideas are out there. Often they have to be sparked, but others are born from a small problem or a simple meeting between colleagues. Yes, the spark of creativity that emerges in front of an injection moulding machine, while moving a piece or chatting at the coffee machine. Everyone has experienced it. So, why do so many brilliant ideas end up being reduced to banal conversations? Why do we allow all this creativity to be lost? When we reflected on this we knew it was essential to channel all this talent. And thus Núvol was born.

A platform to follow up on creativity and promote innovation

Núvol is an online platform which was created to promote, channel and implement the good ideas born at Industrias Alegre, as habitually occurs in other collectives. Implemented in 2020, it is a tool which all staff members can access, whichever department they belong to and whether they are at the plant in Albal or the one in Wroclaw. It works on three levels: challenges, improvements and ideas.

  • Challenges are those launched by the company when searching for brilliant solutions for a specific topic. Three challenges are proposed each year and specific goals are aimed for. Some of the challenges proposed by Núvol have been related to energy saving or quality in specific environments, for example. In general, the challenges are aimed at improving key aspects within the company which have clearly been identified.
  • Improvements are unsolicited ideas which can be rapidly implemented, without significant engineering or changes by the company. It is our way of rigorously applying a key aspect of lean manufacturing, and in this case, there is a very short time period between the proposal and its implementation.
  • Ideas are also projects which have not been solicited by the company but are very welcome because they can bring significant improvements. The difference for improvements is that, before becoming a reality, they need prior study to be undertaken.

Brilliant ideas born anywhere and with a reward

Since its implementation in 2020 and despite the pandemic hiatus, Núvol has received a flood of creativity with more than 150 proposals from the two plants, many of which are already a reality in the company's day-to-day work. Ergonomic improvements, process optimisation and standardisation, increased plant safety, proposals to recycle more materials or make use of waste... "With the platform," confirm Lourdes Solares and José Luis Pechuán, responsible for the platform at the Spanish plant, "we have expanded the opportunity to get ideas from the whole team. Before, the majority of ideas we had came mainly from the offices, and now there are just as many or even more from shop floor operators. In fact, the awards and economic recompense have been more often awarded to shop floor operators. Mateusz Ostapczuk and Aleksandra Armata, responsible for the tool at the factory in Poland, have also found interesting contributions.

While it is good that all members of staff feel listened to, it is even better if ideas receive compensation. And with the Núvol system, all the ideas which are implemented and accepted are recognised on the intranet and receive an economic reward which is delivered when the proposal becomes reality. There is also a quarterly raffle for participants. And, at the end of the year, there is a general review of the innovations that have been promoted, which results in the TOP 3 proposals that have been implemented during the year. In this case, there is again financial reward, a diploma and collective thanks in our communication channels.

Last year, Milagros Martínez of the Spanish team and Jacek Frąckowiak from our Polish factory were the winners of the rewards. Our Protagonists section features their contributions.

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