Fabricio Menegoni
Executive Director
Gerdau Corsa
/
View from the Top

The Advantages of Steel in Construction

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 14:47

Q: Why should projects choose steel over other materials?

A: Today more than ever there is a great demand for steel in society. Construction tends to be increasingly efficient in its use by investors. When constructing using steel beams, there are several advantages that help make the use of these resources more efficient to meet current and future demand and guarantee sustainable growth. An advantage of steel beams is that they can be adapted to a wide variety of structures and designs in a short construction time. Moreover, using steel can help projects attain LEED certification because it is made from recycled material and is lightweight.

Q: Considering the geopolitical context, how is Gerdau Corsa diversifying its commercial ties?

A: Mexico is a very competitive country, among the 15 largest economies in the world. It is an open economy with more than 40 free trade agreements, making the steel industry’s supply chain more competitive. In addition, it is among the 10 countries with the highest consumption of steel and the only country in Latin America to appear on the list. We chose Mexico to be the home of our manufacturing hub thanks to its geographical position and its abundance of raw materials. We are providing the civil construction and industry markets with more than 110 measures of steel beams, which are produced in a short time, facilitating their availability and providing multiple benefits to all players in the supply chain. We seek to transform Mexico from being a traditional importer of steel into being a manufacturing hub that can export steel mainly to Central America. We continuously invest in our line of products and our ability to manufacture products in Mexico. It is a way to help customers remain close to our products and receive the material they need at a quicker pace. Gerdau Corsa sees Mexico’s determination to be an open economy as positive but every supply chain needs to be more competitive.

Q: How has Gerdau Corsa adapted international trends to its operations in Mexico?

A: In Gerdau Corsa we seek synergies with global trends, so that the best decisions and practices are implemented for the business as a whole. There is a significant push in the company toward a new organizational culture, focused on two main business imperatives: empowerment and accountability. We are nearing the end of a supercycle that started approximately eight years ago. It was a rough patch for the company and it pushed us to incorporate a new business model. The cultural change and new practices pushed operations around the world to be more accountable for profits and revenue. The distribution of responsibility helped promote innovation in Mexico and made it more competitive and cost efficient. These rough cycles were also experienced in other industries such as real estate and mining. It made the company start to incorporate cultural change and create more accountability in operations. It pushed us to create the aforementioned educational programs along with other methods that promote collaboration and innovation. We allow space for collaboration and motivate our team to propose solutions in our company through transparency.

Q: In what ways does Gerdau Corsa collaborate with the country’s educators?

A: Our company has a strong set of values that need to be reinforced through education. We have established strong relationships with technical schools and universities in Mexico to collaborate and promote programs in the educational system related to steel construction that complement the work we do as a company. Gerdau Corsa is introducing steel foundations with beams, a new construction technology in Mexico. This technology is already being used in the country but is generally used more widely in Latin America to boost the growth of the sector. We have invested in the creation of a steel design software for student use, which is available for free on our website, so that students can improve their steel- design techniques. Students and teachers are frequently taken to our plants to learn about the production process for steel beams.