Alejandro Aguirre
Commercial Director
Panel Rey

Promoting the Construction Benefits of Drywall

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 14:25

Q: What are the main benefits of drywall in construction and how do you overcome the cultural resistance in Mexico?

A: People in Latin America are not used to the drywall in their home. The first thing many people do before purchasing a home is knock on the wall to test out the sturdiness and they are not used to hollow sounds on the walls. We focus on teaching people the benefits of drywall in terms of insulation, construction speed, sound barrier and control and remodeling, taking it step by step. Our drywall is more competitive in comparison to traditional systems that require the use of additional insulation. The product may have a higher initial cost but it reaps many long-term benefits. Construction companies like the material because it helps them complete projects faster.

Our systems are ideal for areas prone to high temperatures and for cities in the desert, which tend to be quite cold in the winter and hot in the summer. Families that live in these regions, such as Hermosillo and Monterrey, often find that their homes register high temperatures in the evening. It often takes hours for the temperature to cool down even with the use of air conditioners. On the other hand, our drywall can greatly reduce these costs by maintaining inner temperatures at a lower level. If the temperature outside is 40°C, the inside of the house can retain its coolness for a long period of time with drywall. This can help improve the quality of lives of many people in the region. The cost of energy will continue to rise and people are looking for ways to consume less.

Q: What logistical challenges does your company face in terms of distribution?

A: Transportation is key to our business, and we believe that Mexico and Latin America needs to invest in better infrastructure to allow goods to move faster and cheaper. The railroad is definitely a solution, but not the only one. Ports and highways also need to be improved. We fulfill our final customers’ needs by having a full range of distributors so that the product can be delivered on time and in the quantities needed by them. Our distributors play a key role in our commercial strategy, and we work hand in hand with them to service the needs of construction companies anywhere.

Q: How are you improving the services your company offers to the infrastructure industry?

A: We will open a plant in Ciudad Juarez by the end of 2017 to better supply the western side of Mexico and the US. We plan to build more plants and we are constantly evaluating locations that have potential. The drywall markets in the US and Mexico have different patterns. The US tends to promote more DIY projects and drywall is sold almost as commonly as tortillas are in Mexico. Fortunately, our products are beginning to gain more acceptance in the market here. DIY television programs are starting to influence our country. Our participation in the US market is still small but we are the leaders in Mexico and Latin America.

Our building system provides a solution in the construction industry through which companies can complete their projects in less time and with higher quality than with regular construction methods. By doing this, the return on investment is obtained faster with our system, giving the clients the opportunity to rent or sell the property quicker.

Our biggest successes have been with commercial projects but we are starting to grow in the residential market, which has proven to be more difficult to enter due to our cultural background. That being said, that is changing rapidly. Panel Rey’s goal is to increase its participation in both North American countries and to expand into South America to boost the company’s global share. Architects are an important entry point for us. Building companies listen to what architects say and we meet often with them to highlight the benefits of our products. We also listen to their needs and adapt our products accordingly. This strengthens our areas of opportunities in the country.