Reliable Products and Distribution Secret to Bearing SuccessTue, 09/01/2015 - 13:49
Q: What are PFI’s ambitions to work directly with OEMs in the Mexican market?
A: PFI is not liaising with any OEMs at the moment, but we are open to building relationships with them. We have no problems in terms of capacity, and we are certain that we can meet their requirements should the opportunity arise. Mazda and GM’s growth has been extremely compelling, and will create new opportunities for many companies. We estimate that we are competing with 60 different companies at a national level and, although the macroeconomic situation is not exactly what we expected in terms of the US dollar exchange rate, we must endeavor to be as consistent as possible with our market, our clients, and with our business proposal.
Q: What opportunities led to the establishment of PFI de México ten years ago?
A: The main factor that attracted us was the opportunity to be a trustworthy provider in Mexico. The automotive market is immense, so using a single supplier that was capable of managing a range of products and part numbers with reliability and precision was vital for our clients. We were completely supported by our corporate offices, and after that initial step, we based our growth strategy on our local results. We have always maintained strong relationships with our customs agents, and our knowledge of logistics has helped us considerably. Something that is extremely important to the company is process continuity, since this is the linchpin for obtaining meaningful results. There are many interesting projects that we would like to participate in, but the company prefers to concentrate on one specific target and develop it correctly, rather than take on several and do a mediocre job.
Q: What continuity strategies did you implement in order to achieve 40% growth?
A: Reliability has always been a priority. Our commercial promise is to be able to supply at least 98% of any order and normally we meet the compliance target of 100% of our clients’ volume requirements. We have been able to keep our commercial promise, allowing us to generate the kind of trust and loyalty with distributors that few of our competitors can match. The company measured 40% growth in the first few years, which has since been consistently maintained. We were pioneers in this segment, and thanks to the support of our distributor network we have been able to become a strong player in the industry. After so many years in this business, our import processes have been streamlined, although we still face challenges with internal customs and port operations.
Q: What agreements does PFI have with other companies to manage its logistic operations?
A: The only agreement we have is with a leading packaging distribution company, but we normally pay for our clients’ freightage. The company has considered building its own distribution network, but that is not our core business and would distract us from our main objective, which is to maintain efficient operations, so we prefer to outsource to experts as a result. PFI has presence in 70 countries, as well as ten distribution centers in countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, the US, China, and the Netherlands. In Mexico, we chose Guadalajara as our main location due to its convenient proximity to Manzanillo and its relative closeness to other significant states in the automotive industry. We are also aware of the impending need to open new warehouses in the north and south of the country, especially considering the large demand for our services.
Q: How does PFI work with distributors to educate them about product specifications?
A: In an effort to create cohesion with our distributors, we need to develop high levels of communication to achieve competitiveness and market development. Through this partnership, we can understand the market’s current situation and detect new trends in the industry. We have implemented that same strategy within our internal operations. Since we are aware that our workforce is our most valuable asset, our rotation numbers are practically nonexistent, and we constantly work with our team members to polish their professional skills. Communication is equally important within our organization, as it helps us achieve our goals, improve our strengths, and correct our mistakes. We must combat the cultural paradigm where employees are distanced from upper level management, and create a bond between each level of the organization.