Mauricio Arzate
Plant Manager
Hope Global
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View from the Top

Vertical Integration a Key Advantage

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 14:54

Q: How has Hope Global managed its evolution in the Mexican market?

A: Although 74 percent of our global operations are directed at the automotive sector, our Mexican plant is 100 percent dedicated to this industry. We do business with many of the major Tier 1 companies globally and are seen as a trusted partner and supplier. Hope Global has over 130 years of experience in the manufacturing and supply industry since its foundation in the US in 1883. We decided to expand our operations to Leon, Guanajuato in 1997 and the results have been amazing. We expect continued growth here for many years.

Q: What advantages can Hope Global offer its clients over other textile suppliers?

A: One of our main advantages is that textile production is part of our core business so we enjoy a complete vertical integration with our headquarters. We have the expertise and infrastructure to deliver top-quality products. We also have an advanced engineering team that works with our customers to develop new and innovative products. Our quality is enhanced by integrating technology to provide real-time data on production quality to ensure we meet or exceed customer requirements. We have vertically integrated plastic-injection molding and foam-injection equipment, which provides us with the flexibility to develop more complete component solutions.

Our location has proven to be advantageous, as Guanajuato has a well-trained workforce. Our staff turnover is around 3 percent and absenteeism is less than 1 percent. The sustainability of our operations is a further advantage. Waste and scrap is minimal, our gas emissions are well within the legal limits and we are in the process of certifying the plant as a clean entity.

Q: How has Hope Global adapted its production to satisfy the demands of the premium market?

A: All our products have the same quality and specifications regardless of their target market. We have clients in both segments and our processes and technology are the same for both. Hope Global implements a culture of  continuous improvement pushing for faster and more precise operations. We have automated our processes as much as possible but it is still a combined effort between machines and skilled workers. Certain products can be manufactured with a greater level of automation but other operations still have to be done manually.

Q: What has been the company’s strategy regarding its supplier base in Mexico?

A: Local suppliers help us remain competitive and reduce costs for our customers. This process is highly dependent on the client’s strategy. If they have established relationships with suppliers located abroad, we have to adapt to those specific requirements. Our customers challenge us to find the best suppliers, quality and cost alternatives. Given the dollar to peso exchange rate, we have faced some obstacles that pushed us toward a healthier business strategy. Looking for local partners has been our top priority and we have developed methods to reduce logistics costs when local sourcing is not a possibility.Automotive represents 74 percent of Hope Global’s international operations but 100 percent of Mexican plant

Q: What future expansion plans does Hope Global have for its Mexican operations?

A: Our goal is to attract new business while taking care of our existing customers. Hope Global will invest in expansion where necessary if it makes sound business sense and allows for stronger partnerships with our customers. We have capacity available for new business and the space to double our facilities in size. As many new OEMs are establishing plants in Mexico, we expect to see increased demand from new suppliers and carmakers. We have a sales team exclusively dedicated to the domestic market and we are already creating quotes for new players.