Making the Best out of Cross-Industry ExperienceSat, 09/01/2018 - 11:35
Given the high level of sophistication that automotive supply chains require from logistics operators, it is no surprise that not every company can enter this game. However, experience in other sectors could help a company take advantage of the vast opportunities this market has to offer, says Ramiro Delgado, Global Commercial and Marketing Director of Solistica.
As the logistics subsidiary of multinational beverage and retail company FEMSA, Solistica has 20 years of experience in offering logistics services to several Mexican industries, including automotive. “We take advantage of the sophistication that working across several industries requires to deliver solutions that include best practices from all sectors,” says Delgado. Aside from storage, full-truck load transportation and primary and secondary distribution, Solistica offers integrated international logistics and fleet maintenance services.
Delgado says it took a complex expansion plan for Solistica to become a key player in the Latin American logistics market. Solistica is the result of FEMSA’s expansion of its logistics business into more industries and areas. “Previously known as FEMSA Logística, Solistica grew both organically and inorganically to offer improved solutions to the industry,” says Delgado. The company looked into its operations to find the business components it needed, to either develop them or purchase companies that could fill the gaps. Expresso Jundiaí and Atlas in Brazil, Open Market in Colombia and Zimag in Mexico were the companies that Solistica acquired to boost its logistics capacities, storage capacity and to bring new added-value services and to increase its presence in Latin America. “A client based in Colombia or Brazil can now be serviced in Mexico or any of the other countries where we are,” he says.
The company places great importance on the automotive industry as it is a growth pillar for the Mexican economy. “Solistica’s objective is to align with automotive supply chains to eliminate waste and shorten idle periods for resources and maximize capacities,” Delgado adds. Given its presence in several markets and the complex dynamics of international trade, Solistica has advocated to improve customs processes so that shipments can cross borders without facing major delays. The company has a history of working with the US and Mexican authorities to remain updated on the systems and technologies needed to meet all specifications on both sides to reduce crossing times. “We offer clients the option to manage customs processes in a way that delivers transparency,” says Delgado. The company makes sure all players involved in customs processes are aware of the regulations and documentation needed to ship products across borders.
Solistica’s long-standing relationships with heavy-vehicle OEMs allows it to understand the challenges that automotive companies face. It uses this knowledge to add value to its logistics solutions while also servicing fleets at more than 475 vehicle-maintenance shops in Mexico, Colombia, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.
The company also collaborates with heavy-vehicle OEMs to build trucks that improve its overall operations. “We engage in the development of vehicle technology for primary and secondary distribution, as well as for commercial vehicles,” says Delgado. This focus on innovation has translated into a reduction of accidents and carbon emissions, improvement of efficiencies and a boost in ROI. “We trust technology to guarantee the wellbeing of trucks,” he says.
According to the 2017 Solistica Sustainability Report, the company has reached key milestones toward its 2020 sustainability goals. In 2017, Solistica reduced its accident rate by 1.9 percent against 2014 in primary distribution and 25 percent in secondary distribution, while producing 10.9 percent less hazardous waste compared to 2015. The introduction of CNG-diesel hybrid trucks has also enabled the company to reduce its carbon footprint, save on fuel costs and deliver less costly solutions to its clients. “We reduced our emissions by 4.9 percent, which equates to the CO2 emissions captured by 4,643ha of pine trees per year,” Delgado says. The company plans to eventually introduce electric trucks to its fleet to continue making road shipments more efficient and eco-friendly.