What Barriers Do SMEs Face and What Can Be Done to Support Them?Fri, 12/01/2017 - 13:55
The aerospace industry in Mexico continues to grow at an accelerated pace, but most of that growth is from international companies establishing maquila operations in the country. When asked, these companies will note a lack of local suppliers to address their needs. Yet, SMEs are quick to point out the many difficulties in entering such a demanding sector with long ROI times. For that reason, some entities representing or supporting the sector are looking for effective ways to incorporate these companies into the aerospace value chain.
Competitiveness relies on the development of the supply chain, as well as supporting certification processes and providing workshops on compliance. This support is of the utmost importance because we had noticed that some small and midsized companies were unaware of the proper practices regarding this subject so we are working to help them improve. One of our main goals is to help local and foreign companies interested in entering the Mexican market to join forces and strengthen the supply chain with the least possible risk. FEMIA supports the development of the supply chain, as well as supporting certification processes and providing workshops on compliance. This is of the utmost importance because we noticed that some small and midsized companies were unaware of the proper practices regarding this sector so we are working to help them improve.
Sourcing raw materials has been particularly complicated because certifications and standards are very stringent, hindering the benefits that Queretaro enjoys in such a central location. Raw materials must also be certified and since aerospace tends to require small amounts of less common resources, the first companies in the supply chain do not consider it attractive to process expensive certifications for these quantities. Of the four or five types of aluminum that are used in the aerospace sector, each can have another three or four variations. Maintaining stocks of this type of alloy is complicated and as the industry is just starting to develop, locating providers for this material is difficult.
We must prioritize the development of a national supply chain. It is important to identify successful companies that could become aerospace suppliers but have not yet dabbled in this area. These companies usually have potential to become suppliers but refrain because they are unaware of the opportunities or they think the certification processes are too long and resource consuming. For SMEs it is even more challenging because they need more support to comply with certifications on their own. As a cluster, we must help SMEs access funds from the federal government and to find the appropriate aerospace advisors to guide them according to their niche. Our mandate is to increase national content through local suppliers because it will help the overall industry in the long term.