Innovating and Designing UpstreamFri, 09/01/2017 - 14:55
Q: What are the main drivers for ceat and Técnica test’s growth and how can you offer a competitive advantage to your clients?
MSR: We saw that many Mexican companies’ response times are too long when repairs or assistance is required. The market is large enough for all players but it is not easy to enter. To be successful, a corporate view that fully understands the client’s needs is of the utmost importance. Some of our competitors lack an in-house automation department, which is a competitive advantage for us. It allows us to provide comprehensive solutions. We remain competitive by building strong relationships with clients and by providing excellent services and solutions.
Q: How can smaller companies, such as yours, compete with an OEM’s design center?
IS: We do not directly compete with major design centers but collaborate with them to streamline their processes. OEMs’ design centers are significantly slower than a smaller center due to the large number of processes they have to comply with. In large companies, decision-making takes longer. While we must adhere to a company’s internal processes, most of our clients acknowledge that following every single step would make our processes as slow as theirs, so there is room for flexibility. Once we establish contact with a new client, we discuss which processes we should adhere to. This allows for the project’s completion in a timely matter while following their basic procedures.
Q: How would you describe the development of design processes for the automotive sector in Mexico?
MSR: Design practices for the automotive sector have expanded over the last 10 years. Many years ago, local companies did not see the added value that design operations could provide, they were interested only in manufacturing. This is changing as manufacturers acquire best practices and new technologies.
MSF: International companies operating in Mexico are substituting imports with local products, which may promote local design, force companies to design locally and lead to more best practices and newer technologies. We expect this technological shift to be beneficial for companies that design and build machinery like ceat and Técnica test.
Q: What are your growth expectations for the short and middle term?
MSR: We are expecting growth in the short term and have expansion plans for the next year to address the increase in demand. In 2015, ceat grew by 500 percent compared to 2014 thus we have to restructure ourselves to make this growth more sustainable. Continuing at this growth rate without implementing deep structural changes may be problematic in the midterm. ceat and Técnica test operate separately, as one specializes in services and the other in commercialization. Having distinct companies grants us two access channels to potential clients.
IS: So far, 90 percent of our processes are dedicated to the automotive industry, 5 percent to aerospace and the remainder is divided between energy and raw materials. Within the automotive industry, we are working mostly with Tier 1 and 2 companies and focusing on component and manufacturing inspection.
MSR: We plan to continue this trend and in the short term we will focus on restructuring and boosting our international presence. We are constantly collaborating with research centers such as CIDESI and CIATEQ. These collaborations will facilitate the creation of new partnerships later on.