May. 5, 2022


Bruno Dias

Portugal

Bruno Dias

CEO, Grupo Qualiseg

TBY talks to Bruno Dias, CEO of Grupo Qualiseg, about the Portuguese market, the maritime sector, and priorities for the coming year.

BIO

Bruno Dias, Consultant, CEO of Qualiseg, Environment Engineer and Level V Health & Safety
technician. With over 15 years of experience in Management Systems Implementation, Audit and Training, in a multitude of sectors, in Portugal and abroad, Bruno Dias leads the Operations Team in Qualiseg with special focus in vanguard ISO standards Implementation and custom solutions for their clients.


Grupo Qualiseg has been operating in the Portuguese market for more than 25 years. Can you elaborate on the company’s core business?

We have been working in the engineering and management side of consultant work for 27 years. Today, Qualiseg provides innovative solutions for the industry, maritime, and government sectors. We are a medium-sized company of consultants. Almost everyone in our company works directly with clients on a consultant level. Right now, our main business is in Portugal, but we have business in Mozambique and Angola. We also work with many European institutional partners and are always keen to establish new collaborations to expand our projects. We work heavily with ISO standards and mostly in two specific sectors: maritime, especially on the port side, port community, the port organization; and the heavy industry, mainly focusing on engineering and management systems, such as quality, safety, security, and implementing International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) and ISO 28000 in Portuguese Ports, for example. We started as an engineering company, mainly focused on health and safety, and eventually, we moved toward the management aspects of companies, mainly quality and lean management. Over the years, this has been our focus. We have worked closely with construction companies, and when the economic crisis hit Portugal, we shifted more to the heavy industry, because it offered greater stability. It is important for us to talk about the maritime industry; right now in Portugal it is a sector that we cannot look away from. There have been many investments and a strong focus on sustainability in the maritime industry.

How is Qualiseg supporting the development and innovation of the maritime sector?

Instead of offering solutions directly based on clients’ needs, we are trying to develop our own projects in terms of innovation. We have one approved project that involves a large consortium of companies, MarLEM. We also developed the Atlantic Knowledge Triangle (AKT), which aims to promote alignment between the skills required by the maritime-port industry and the skills developed by universities while observing the requirements defined by the competent authorities. We want to clearly identify the processes of the blockchain for a more expedited way of doing businesses and create development and growth. We will be able to track the needs and requirements of the sector, where the technical and the financial human resources lie, how we can develop proper solutions, and how we can make it happen in a more efficient and effective way. Qualiseg is the main promoter of AKT; we are the bridge between the academic and industry parts of this initiative. This is one of our biggest projects that we started working on in 2016. We also have other projects regarding ports. One of them is the implementation of supply chain best practices, mainly according to ISO standards. We are re-thinking and optimizing the way logistics and supply chain are handled by port operators.

How do you establish a reputation in such a small and competitive market?

Our chairman was the first one in the country to talk about the integration of quality, the environment, and safety systems; he merged them together in a unique business approach. This was unheard of in Portugal. Even the ISO standards of that time did not really address the situation. Now, in the main industries in Portugal, or even the port side of things, these three management systems are all being addressed together. Qualiseg is a pioneer in the sector; our know-how and experience have given us a clear vision of the future. That is our competitive advantage over our competitors. One of the main factors that lead Qualiseg to grow, even during the economic crisis, is addressing these situations with the most innovative solutions possible. We have dipped our feet in technology with a few projects that directly involve technology or IoT, especially in the maritime industry, like data collection and data communication. We are trying to work our way through there as well, because we have the ideas, and we know how to find partners that can help us implement them.

Grupo Qualiseg is accredited by NATO SECRET. What does it mean, and what does it imply for your business?

It is an important recognition that gives us credibility. We work heavily in security and, above all, safety; however, right now we are working more in the security aspects of the maritime industry and the maritime industry ISPS codes. Most of our associates came from a military or navy background, which has also pushed the company to lead the division of security. For example, when talking about ISPS codes in ports, the idea is to have a secure port. Right now, we are not just looking at physical security—we need to continuously address the cybersecurity aspects of things. We helped Port of Lisbon Authority (APL) to implement the ISO 27001 in less than a year with our support, and we will continue to work with it on this. NATO security standard is not only proof of credibility; it is also proof that Qualiseg applies the best standards to accelerate the development of Portugal.

What are your key priorities in your 2022-2023 agenda?

Our main objective is the supply chain integration business. Our operations will follow three particular vectors: sustainability, resilience, and security. We also want to focus on our sectors—maritime and industry. We are also looking keenly on the cooperative innovation processes and research. We will focus on designing new approaches and methodologies linked to the concepts of decarbonization, the environment, and climate change and how we can engage and provide the proper interface between land and mostly coastal countries and the ocean. This needs to be much better addressed and brought to the mainstream.

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