Helping Industries Adapt to Imminent TransformationBy Pedro Alcalá | Wed, 06/16/2021 - 09:42
Q: How is Schneider Electric interpreting the current moment in the market?
A: We are interpreting this moment as one of constant transformation. As our CEO said to us 10 years ago when I first joined this company, it is not just about change being a constant but about the rate and speed of change. The rhythm at which you adapt to change in the market must be appropriate. Our investments in technology, development and innovation continue to be quite considerable. Our spectrum of clients and markets also continues to be quite broad, running the gamut from residential to infrastructural applications. The value we offer to each one of these segments must be uniquely adapted to their needs. We must continue many of the practices that were in effect before 2020, while also continuing to migrate as many of our client interactions as possible to digital mediums and modalities. This digital transformation began before the pandemic and its main objectives have always been to increase client and customer satisfaction, not just to adapt to the needs dictated by safety measures related to COVID-19. This transformation has also been implemented into our marketing strategies and the internal practices of our sales departments.
Q: How are you balancing your sales and marketing portfolio between emerging industries and those where you have an established presence?
A: Our portfolio is constantly changing. Still, we try to maintain a fair balance between all categories in our portfolio. This is necessary to maintain a local infrastructure with which we can serve clients on a much more frequent basis. This also applies to our production and distribution networks. Despite our efforts to keep a symmetrically balanced portfolio, we do need to adapt to the nature of the market. For example, in 2020, we had to adapt to the contraction of the office space development sector as it suffered the consequences of the pandemic and economic crisis, while data storage and management facilities became big targets of large investments. The adoption of digitalization technologies was a constant driver for the market before 2020, but the pandemic greatly accelerated that trend, which is expected to continue. Companies that were previously hesitant to try our automation and digitalization technologies were suddenly motivated to sample them and adopt them. This is just one of the many trends that have greatly influenced the balance of our portfolio.
Q: What role has Mexico’s energy industry played in your portfolio?
A: It has played a considerable role because the needs of our clients in this sector have remained constant. Their No. 1 concern is security, both in the sense of the physical security of their assets, as well as the secure supply of energy and the reliability of their power generation capabilities. We want our solutions to satisfy these needs through a higher degree of technological sophistication. 2020 made it clear that supply continuity is an essential asset that major players in the energy and power generation sector need to worry about. Another important point is the efficiency of processes and also how consumption is impacted by how reliable and constant supply is. For instance, if we can reliably automate our solutions to our clients’ supply issues, then we can effectively address their efficiency and power potency issues. We want to guide our clients through the process of tracing and monitoring how these improvements and optimizations influence each other. An important part of this will be our cloud storage and management products, technologies and services.
Q: How have you and your clients adapted to the financial challenges of 2020?
A: It is definitely a complicated conundrum for us; there are many short and long-term variables involved in that. The needs and investment volumes from our clients have so far remained steady despite the various shocks that they have been forced to absorb as part of surviving 2020, a year that broke records for us and everybody else. What we have learned is that resilience is a constant in all of the industries we work with, and their interest in our solutions has been a part of that resilience and how they build their investment strategies. 2020 was not our first difficult year in Mexico, and we can certainly count on it not being the last. Our clients share this mentality. For many of them, a year like that can be an opportunity to consider the solutions that we offer as well as a time for them to reinvent themselves, and we can be an essential part of that process.
Schneider Electric is a European multinational company providing energy and digital automation solutions for efficiency and sustainability. It addresses homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure and industries, by combining energy technologies, real-time automation, software and services. The company has operations in over 100 countries and employs more than 135,000.