Queretaro Remains Strong: Omni-XBy Jorge Ramos Zwanziger | Tue, 07/27/2021 - 13:48
Q: How has Omni-X adapted to the changing needs of manufacturing companies in Queretaro?
A: At the startup of the company, we had numerous challenges with suppliers but over the years we collaborated with the government and other chambers of commerce to strengthen them. We now perform most of our treatments in Mexico, although some still need to be outsourced abroad if local suppliers fail to meet our quality standards.
We have also invested in training our teams. At Omni-X, we believe that our best investment is our people. Finding people in Queretaro was hard at first but our teams have become extraordinarily capable. Queretaro is a safe city and had promising government programs for the development of companies in the aerospace sector. Queretaro’s aerospace supply chain has grown significantly since we arrived in the state and the government pushed for significant industrial development. After nine years in the country, the company is capable of providing full support to our clients’ needs.
Q: What has been your experience leading a successful company in the aerospace industry, which has been considered a male-dominated field?
A: It is challenging to lead a company in a sector considered a “man’s world,” but it is possible. Both men and women have the same capabilities, and it is important to understand that they both can take leadership positions. It was challenging at the beginning as other companies and some customers perceived it differently, but it has gotten much better thanks to the results created, nevertheless is a continuous battle that is worth the fight. Definitively, we are seeing more women participate in the manufacturing sector. In the EU, it is more common for women to participate in manufacturing industries, and even in Mexico, women are increasing their participation. It is a matter of time before more women not only participate but take leadership positions. I am someone that likes to empower my people, my team, I strongly believe that every single person, man or woman, has great potential, and it is up to us as leaders to open up opportunities for their growth.
Q: What opportunities do you see in automation and Industry 4.0 in the aerospace sector?
A: There are many opportunities in the development of bending tools and the sector is evolving. The aerospace industry will take the lead in the implementation of these technologies. Some of Omni-X’s customers in other sectors are adopting Industry 4.0 and automation. For example, automotive companies are exploring the introduction of tools that are being used in countries like Germany, where these technologies are becoming a priority. Automation and Industry 4.0 will bring more opportunities for Mexico.
Q: What have been the main challenges and opportunities the company faced after the pandemic?
A: We were extremely lucky. Last year, we remained open even during the pandemic as many of our customers operate in essential sectors. For example, many of our customers needed tubes for respiratory equipment so we were allowed to stay open. Our sales fell, however, because we also operate in the automotive sector, which was harshly hit. The impact the automotive sector faced was significant because nobody knew how long the pandemic would last.
However, we have not lost a single employee. We invested in our people and changed the way we contact our teams and customers. In terms of production, remote work was harder, but we developed strong policies to keep our teams safe. The past year was challenging, and we tried to do our best through those tough times. Things are looking better, and we are now at 95 percent of our capacity.
Q: What collaborative efforts has the company implemented with the state government?
A: I definitely consider that the government of Queretaro provides full support to industrial development, thanks to this we have been capable to continue growing even at the time of a pandemic. I am also very engaged in the creation of alliances and strategies focused on the development of the private sector, our customers, and our suppliers. In Mexico, Omni-X’s strategy focuses on collaborating with other companies to continue moving forward and to provide stability and opportunities to our employees. In this line, we are also collaborating with the French and German Chamber of Commerce.
Q: What are the company’s short- and long-term goals?
A: At Omni-X, we are working to continue being leaders in the manufacturing of bending tools. In the short term, we have decided to continue empowering our customers and our people. Definitely, I am also looking to continue investing in technology for our facility in Mexico. We have excellent products and quality, but our people are our greatest strength.
From Mexico, we cover the entire Latin American market, in the future, we are planning to open a facility in South America, a project that was put on hold due to the pandemic but is now back on the table.
2020 has made us confirm once more that we need to be prepared for any obstacle that may arise, that is the reason for which we have the goal to invest in order to prevent a future crisis from impacting us. We hope there are no more crises, but we need to be prepared to expect the unexpected. It is now the time to start getting prepared for anything that can come in the future. I am positive that the global market will go back to a stable economy.