A Thriving Environment For Plastic Injection CompaniesBy Alejandro Enríquez | Fri, 09/11/2020 - 15:57
Q: What are some of PSI Plastics’ (PSI) milestones in the automotive and agribusiness sectors?
A: Automotive is one of our most important segments. We are a Tier 2 company, participating with Continental. Having said that, the strategic plan for PSI has been market diversification: to look for new types of customers in sectors like pet care and agribusiness. In the latter, we have focused on plastic production for controlled agriculture. It is a market that is growing in the country and due to its position as an essential sector, it has helped us greatly during the COVID-19 shutdown. Currently, our portfolio is dedicated between 50 and 60 percent to agribusiness, 15 percent to automotive and the rest to other industries.
Q: What measures have you taken to secure your operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: No matter the circumstances, the most important aspect for us is our workers’ safety. We have made an investment in facemasks and we have redesigned the layout of the plant to comply with social-distancing measures. Also, fewer people are working at our offices. This investment has been made without affecting our capital position.
Q: How has the Jalisco government supported the development of local suppliers?
A: We have had close communication with the state government, although more support is needed. We are also working with the local municipality of Tlajomulco to further develop our activities. In times of pandemic, it is crucial for supply chains to acknowledge our role in their operation. It is also necessary to migrate to the digital world, to B2B platforms or other mechanisms that make operations easier. It was really important for the automotive sector to be defined as an essential business, as well.
There is a great opportunity for aerospace and automotive component manufacturing in Mexico, but we need the right conditions to continue attracting FDI. Due to COVID-19, China was temporarily closed down, which highlighted the need to regionalize supply chains. Now, with USMCA, a door will be opened for companies located in Asia to transfer operations to Mexico and to generate local employment. Jalisco and the country as a whole need to work more on open trade and infrastructure development. We need security and certainty.
Q: What challenges have hindered digitalization amid the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: Visiting potential customers has been really complicated. We are investing in digital media as well as digital marketing campaigns to share as much information as possible to adapt to this new normal. This situation is completely new for all of us.
Q: What are PSI’s strengths as a supplier for Continental?
A: We are really proud of this project. We manufacture plastic components for decorative finishes. Our main strength is that all of our processes are in-house. We do not outsource any process. We have our own design area that allows us to meet our customers’ needs. Our molds are also manufactured at one of our seven machining centers; we have all the equipment needed to avoid any miscommunication and production delays. We have 26 plastic injection machines from 30-450 tons that allow us to have a better process flow. We also have a recycling system to reduce our environmental impact. If we are to leave a footprint in the world, let it be positive. This project has helped us to advance our business, both in the automotive industry and in the electronics segment.
Q: What have been the challenges to enter the agribusiness sector?
A: This is a highly competitive market, with some players that have been in the market for a long time. Our added value is our innovation and know-how. Our bet is on innovation; we do not create copies. We do market research on the needs of our customers and then we proceed to make a custom-made solution for them.
Q: What is the most important advice you can give to other Mexican companies aiming to grow in these segments?
A: It is essential to invest in your production and technological capacity to meet the required production volumes demanded by potential customers and the market. Our competitors are no longer national, they are global. Product and process specialization are essential to differentiate from other companies and create an added value.
Apart from inviting international companies to do business in Mexico, we invite them to invest in SMEs in the country. We have many SMEs that have difficulty entering the supply chain. They could offer a great deal with the right investment and help from international partners.
Q: What is your vision for PSI in five years?
A: The current scenario will change our perspective on how we see the company within five years. We are aware 2020 will be a difficult year and we expect a gradual recovery on 2021. Our vision remains to be a consolidated and well-known company both nationally and internationally due to our product innovation, quality and service, with greater manufacturing and technological capacities and with a highly trained team in each area.
USMCA will be a tool that provides results for everyone. The new trade environment will introduce growth, innovation, sustainable development, employment and high-impact business relationships for the plastics sector due to the upgraded terms in the agreement.
PSI Plastics is a Mexican company based in Jalisco. The company designs and fabricates molds, and manufactures plastic components for automotive and electronics segments. Fifty percent of its portfolio is dedicated to the agroindustry sector.