Carlos Torres
CEO and President
Riggers Group
View from the Top

Top-Nocht Safety for Plant Relocation Services

Mon, 09/01/2014 - 16:21

Q: How did Riggers establish itself as a Mexican success story in just a few years?

A: We started in Monterrey in 2006, but we moved our operations to Queretaro which gives us excellent logistical advantages. We recently opened a new sales office in Irapuato, Guanajuato, to complement our Puebla sales office. This expansion saw us reach the fourth position in the industry within our first year of operations, and our next goal is to expand to Ciudad Juarez and Hermosillo. The Specialized Carriers and Riggers Association (SC&RA) listed us in its top 50 of worldwide rigging companies, signifying we are no longer merely competing with Mexican companies, but with US and global companies as well. We are very proud of our record as the safest rigging company in Mexico.

Q: How important has the automotive industry been to your ascent?

A: 80% of our business is within the automotive industry while the aerospace industry represents the other 20%. Within the automotive industry, 90% of our business involves moving existing plants and 10% involves establishing new facilities. The amount of automotive investment, in particular in the Bajio region, has given Riggers increasing opportunities. We do not deal directly with the OEMs because of issues like penalties and unions. Tier 1 companies are our major clients, and they subcontract to companies that integrate services for setting up new plants, which is where we come in. The large OEMs and Tier 1s are establishing new plants in Mexico, and the Tier 2 and 3 suppliers are following, leading to many relocations taking place from Asia and Europe. The amount of work involved in moving an entire factory is enormous, and companies are under extreme pressure because of the time penalties involved if a delivery is delayed. If we were to drop or damage a pivotal piece of equipment, that could potentially delay product delivery for months while a new machine is ordered. Safety is therefore of the utmost importance in our line of work. We are not the cheapest company, but we make large investments in new equipment and intense training for our personnel to ensure that we maintain our safety record. 

Q: How do you logistically and materially manage the relocation processes?

A: We do not have our own trucking company as it is extremely expensive to own your own fleet, instead we partner with five top trucking companies. For moves from Asia and Europe, we use three reliable shipping companies. In terms of rigging equipment, we utilize the SC&RA network to connect with partners who can provide the right equipment at the right location. We use our own project managers to supervise the process so that US or Canadian companies do not have to send their people to Mexico, which adds costs. We have our own equipment in Mexico, and while 50% of our work is conducted with that equipment, we also maintain close ties with four trustworthy rigging companies in Mexico. We tend to only use our own accessories for heavy lifting, such as chains and cords, because we can guarantee their integrity.

Q: How do you ensure you maintain your safety standards?

A: We have been ranked number one in Mexico for safety and we have a zero accident safety record that we are incredibly proud of. All our employees are certified at least once a year for the various certifications related to driving, aerial, electrical, industrial safety, and confined spaces, among others. Secondly, we believe communication is extremely important. Our project managers meet with their teams every morning to talk about safety, flagging potential areas of danger, and generally instilling them with a focus on the subject. We also invest a lot in preventative safety measures and checking equipment. The SC&RA could not give us its safety award as we are not an American company, but it received all of our insurance information and was amazed to see our zero accident history.

Q: What are the pillars of your growth strategy?

A: We do not want to grow too fast as this could result in a loss of control, and control is central to maintaining our safety record. We currently have 70 employees and we do not aim to go beyond 150. It is better for us to really identify the best customers. We seek to work with clients that need a very specialized service and to whom safety is very important, as they tend to understand the added value that we offer. Building long-standing relationships is also key. When we move an entire factory for a client, the job is done and the client may not need relocation again for a long time.