Adding the Human Touch to the Construction IndustryBy Gabriela Mastache | Mon, 06/22/2020 - 11:06
Q: What is BXH’s offering for the Mexican real estate market?
LG: The segment on which we focus is the construction of office interiors. We participate in these projects in two different ways, either through a direct client or through a bidding or selection process. Our largest participation is with Triple A corporate buildings. We do not have a direct partnership with any developer or project manager, so we are open to working with everyone.
Q: How does BXH work to differentiate itself from other companies that offer similar services?
LG: The first factor is the company’s vision. We look to construct quality interiors that benefit everyone, and not just economically. We try to develop relationships that extend beyond economics. Our work can help to improve our clients’ business and their well-being.
Another element our integral vision to benefit everyone is the responsibility we feel as a company to create jobs. In the construction sector especially, around 80 percent of the people involved come from lower economic segments. This means that we have the responsibility of generating jobs for a large segment of the population.
This integral vision differentiates us from the rest. It drives us to do things better, to provide a better price, pay better attention to the client, ensure high-quality standards for the client and high-safety standards for our workers. But everything starts from the vision and notion that our work needs to benefit everyone.
DV: In every project, we bring the experience of our collaborators to provide a solid answer to punctual problems. At the same time, we think of BXH as a living and dynamic company that can adapt and solve all types of individual and collective demands. The result is always of great human and technical value.
Q: In a market that is overbuilt and has a surplus of offices, what added value does BXH provide?
DV: We neither enable nor construct offices for a passive user. We know that the demand for offices is growing constantly given the need for communication and dynamism. Through the offices we build, we generate a direct link with the rest of the globalized world that is regularly renewed. Moreover, offices contribute to the creation of new social and work dynamics and we intend to be part of this phenomenon.
Q: How is BXH handling the downturn the construction industry has experienced since 2018?
DV: We are aware that we live in a fast-changing world and that these changes are more rapidly felt in the corporate sector. The ability to adapt to these changes is an everyday task. We believe that the best way to halt the recession is by putting in place a team that employs collaboration strategies. We always work in alliance with companies that accelerate this synergy, that have a different approach and that add true growth and value to the industry.
LG: Definitely, there has been a market deceleration in general. But this deceleration represents an important opportunity because it spurs us to reflect on what we are doing right and the things and processes that can be improved.
Moreover, we believe that a change is bound to come. The market and the conditions surrounding it will change for everyone. In this sense, our plan includes investing in our intellectual capabilities. This means investing in generating more awareness regarding the human aspect of the business. This will lead us to invest more in training, certifications, and technology. The construction industry is among the least technological industries in the country. For us, this is a good moment to start investing in technology. The focus should be on investing in tools that help clients have better control of quality and project management and client reporting.
Q: What opportunities does the hotel segment represent for BXH?
LG: The hotel segment is a small operation, representing only around 1 percent of our operations. It is not something that we have paid close attention to. However, it is a segment that we might need to pay attention to in the coming years. It is an industry that we believe will not stop growing.
Q: The creation of experiences is becoming more popular for corporate spaces. What role do companies like BXH have in this area?
LG: Our job is understanding that offices are not done the way they were done 10 years ago. Technology plays a strong role. Around 20 years ago, the budget companies destined for their offices’ technology services accounted for around 3 to 5 percent. Today, it might represent up to 50 percent, since they need to install tools for videoconferences, wireless networks, data centers, closed-circuit cameras and access controls, among others. For us, it is crucial to understand that all of this is more important today than it was in the past.
The other element we need to understand relates to the space itself. There are fewer private offices and the trend is gravitating toward common spaces that belong to the entire organization. However, this has led to a loss of privacy in offices, when there is a need to discuss sensitive issues, for example. As a result, we are now seeing a mix of spaces. Most of the offices we have done have open spaces but there are places for employees and managers to hold small meetings, or even phone booths where people can make confidential calls.
It is also important to remember that not every company is the same. One of the mistakes some companies make is wanting to have offices just like Google’s offices without being Google and without needing this type of space.
DV: Spaces that are the result of collaboration, combined with great designs, generate endless experiences for users. At BXH we are committed to always providing spaces the meet the demands of our clients. Moreover, we are also committed to reading and interpreting our clients’ expectations in terms of productivity from their offices.
Q: How does BXH communicate the importance that space plays in productivity? Has BXH encountered reluctance from companies when assimilating this concept?
DV: Our sector’s main objective is finding ways to create efficiency in workspaces and strengthen the users’ communication and performance. With this in mind, we deliver a personalized approach to our clients, so we can understand the concept they have in mind. The offices we build always take into consideration functionality, comfort and aesthetics, which result in a favorable scenario for everyone.
Q: What opportunities does the current crisis create for BXH and how do you expect the construction industry and office spaces will change after it?
DV: The pandemic represents an unprecedented moment for the world and humankind. Countries throughout the world have changed and adopted different strategies to face this health emergency. Understanding change is an integral part of BXH. As a company, we know that this moment represents an inflection point that will lead us to find new routes that will benefit everyone. Companies like BXH must continue being a source of resources for our clients, collaborators and the world.
The construction sector, as well as many others, needs to put in place new inclusive strategies that consider different perspectives. We are living times where all ideas are valuable and where differences must be resolved. We all must contribute and as a society be flexible so we can visualize and mold new processes focused on achieving different outcomes.
Q: What are BXH’s priorities for the next two years?
LG: We are based in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, but we believe that we need to focus more on Monterrey. Although the north of the country will generate a lot of growth in the coming years, the Bajio area also offers interesting opportunities.
We also want to invest in training and in talent development. The industry will undergo significant changes and if we continue to do things the way we have done them, we will be left behind. In this sense, we need to do our best to be ready for this change. We are not against opening new locations and we will move in the direction we need to move.
BXH is a Mexican firm that specializes in the construction of office interiors. The firm has offices in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey and specializes in Triple A office spaces