Clemente Hernández
General Manager
SMW Autoblok

Precision Manufacturing and Marketing

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 12:55

The largest manufacturer of machining chucks in the world, SMW Autoblok has high regard for Mexico’s operations. The company’s Mexican division has worked extensively to emulate the style and facilities of its German counterpart. Working with large machining companies, to whom it offers its services, is a reflection of the highquality products manufactured by SMW AutoBlok. These can be as small as a 1.5 micron, which is the width of a human hair. Such precision has allowed the company to grow in the Mexican market. The merger of the company’s German, Italian and Mexican operations has benefited the global enterprise. International collaboration allows SMW Autoblok to be one of the few companies in Mexico that can boast the newest technology in the industry.

This international nature is one of SMW Autoblok’s main competitive advantages in the automotive industry. To compete, it must not simply understand its own products, but also those of its eight or nine local competitors and those that are based outside Mexico. The company has been able to identify and communicate its main competitive advantages through openness to new ideas and innovation processes. The products manufactured by SMW Autoblok have a wide range of uses and the automotive industry opens opportunities, especially among indirect suppliers. The company’s products tend to be used in winches, thus its applications are relevant to transmission and crankshaft manufacturing plants.

The Mexican machining niche is of great importance to the company, as it has the most direct contact with OEMs. One of its strategies to cultivate a greater presence in the Mexican market is the focus on direct sales to machining companies and distributors. The company’s dealer network is also crucial to its marketing strategy, allowing SMW Autoblok to adopt a much leaner business model. Having placed representatives in several locations across Mexico, these team members are responsible for directly contracting large clients, while the distributors focus typically on SMEs. In spite of a small distribution network, it contributes significantly to the growth and results of the company.

There is always room for improvement, and SMW Autoblok’s goal is to enhance internal operations to boost the company’s competitiveness. Polishing the company to greatness must not be limited to processes and innovations but also the development of sought-after human capital. An employee’s talent and interest in engineering and design are always encouraged and supported by training for all employees once a year in the German and Italian facilities. International cooperation is not restricted to training. Whenever there are international product launches, personnel from the company are integrated to its international team to spread understanding of the new offering. One of the factors that is mostly valued by companies such as SMW Autoblok is the young population of working age in Mexico, especially for companies in the engineering division.

SMW Autoblok continuously promotes innovation. Investments in R&D allow it to constantly evolve. The Mexican market is enjoying sustainable growth but manufacturing companies will continue to require financial investment, especially to continue leading the sector. For instance, the machining industry has slimmed down from transfer machines measuring 15 or 20 meters to units measuring three to four meters that can be easily accommodated at a maker’s facility. This has made tooling and part machining much more flexible. Autoblok has invested to stay up to date in these areas and to remain a strong link in the supply chain. This helps the company to develop workshops of excellence in Mexico and manufacture parts that are superior to the standards demanded by its headquarters.

Contrary to expanding its client base to work with newly arriving companies, offering even greater quality service to its already existing clients is SMW Autoblok’s priority. Several areas of opportunity emerge via these clients, who play an important role in recommendations. That is why the German-Italian company has appointed a series of regular visits to existing clients, to get to know their present needs and create solutions that meet their current expectations SMW Autoblok is committed to the Mexican supply chain and reaffirms its desire for continuous local growth. For the European chucks manufacturer, Mexico is a valued manufacturing hub due to the high-quality products it exports and for producing first class talent.