Vanessa Bautista
Administrative Manager
MABASA Soluciones Constructivas de Acero
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View from the Top

Guarantees and Customer Service Stand out

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 16:01

Q: How do you expect the Mexican steel market to evolve in the short to medium term?
A: There is a great deal of uncertainty because the steel market is going through a speculative phase. This is related in part to President Trump’s rhetoric toward the automotive industry. I expect steel to experience an increase in prices that will hopefully stabilize in the medium term but there are few tariff-based protection mechanisms that work to the advantage of Mexican steel companies.
Q: What are the most important characteristics that MABASA looks for in a steel supplier?
A: MABASA purchases steel coils, rolled sheets and panels from Ternium. This partner focuses on high-volume markets so that it can comfortably roll and sell its steel in bulk but construction is not necessarily one of these markets. This industry can be more demanding for steel companies such as MABASA because we require smaller volumes, special colors and strict delivery times. This can make our relationship with Ternium somewhat difficult because if something is not delivered to us on time, we have to face the client. MABASA has worked with Ternium for several years already. In that time, it has opened its procurement channels to include more players from abroad that ensure delivery times are met because quality does not vary as much in this particular segment. We are also working with Kingspan and meTecno.
Q: What is MABASA’s strategy to stand out in the steel and metallic roofing segments?
A: Competition is tough in steel because it is easy for an entrepreneur to hire a couple of engineers who commercialize and install products and open a company. MABASA differentiates itself by developing clients’ projects. We focus on finding solutions to their problems and offer guarantees thanks to the support that our engineers offer. We also employ surety bonds to ensure clients’ investments are protected against delivery delays and noncompliance with technical specifications.
We are also aware that clients look for integral solutions so they can deal directly with a single supplier that takes care of all project issues, so expanding its portfolio is an important element of MABASA’s strategy. We add value to clients’ operations by creating partnerships in various infrastructure sectors and handling all project requirements to effectively deliver turnkey projects. While there are many alternatives in the metallic roofing segment, guarantees and customer support helps us stand out.
Q: How are new trends in construction impacting demand for building materials?
A: Sustainability is gaining importance in construction as companies pay more attention to this trend. Our work in NAIM, and the fact that some of our materials suppliers are US companies with a focus on sustainability, has helped MABASA raise its operating standards in terms of both sustainability and safety. A key MABASA objective is to make sure a client’s plant operations continue uninterrupted when we are providing roof maintenance to replace panels, repair leaks or introduce cooling equipment.
Q: What are MABASA’s expansion plans for the short and medium terms?
A: We will continue consolidating our business through lean practices in the next three to five years. MABASA wants to streamline its internal processes, have more and more personalized customer service, continue professionalizing the company and perhaps start the process of listing on the BIVA. We want to keep the advantages of being a family company in terms of employee treatment while also creating a corporate governance structure to overcome the challenges that family companies face. MABASA also plans to continue exploring new markets in South America. We have been invited to support some clients in Colombia and Panama but also expect that the Mexican economy will experience solid growth in the short to medium term that will favor MABASA.