Yuri Avitia
General Manager
View from the Top

Shaping Success Piece by Piece

Tue, 11/01/2016 - 14:03

Q: What differentiates Ferreplus from the competition?

A: Ferreplus has been in the industry for 10 years and forms part of Grupo Industrial Monclova. The company was created to provide services to the group’s metalmechanical companies such as COMMSA Tampico. After a year, we expanded into other sectors and companies. We offer services to the north and central regions of the country, with 10 strategically located stores. We began with specialized welding materials and technology and we grew according to client needs. Ferreplus supplies everything from machinery and spare parts to raw materials. Our catalog has more than 5,000 products related to cutting and welding processes.

Over the years, we have established three brands of our own: Warden welding equipment, Blackset conventional machines and welding consumables and Esguard safety equipment. We analyze the evolving needs of the market to innovate our brands and product offerings. The quality of our products and customer service differentiate us from our competitors. The vast majority of our clients belong to the rail car manufacturing sector, such as Greenbrier and Gunderson. The construction sector holds countless opportunities for Ferreplus because all our products can be used in the sector, especially metal beams.

Q: What are the differences in working with the public and private sectors?

A: We are working with the Government of Coahuila and we want to participate in more tenders on both the municipal and federal levels. Federal level tenders are more competitive and demand higher volumes but offer smaller profit margins. These tenders usually require specific countrywide distribution, increasing the project’s complexity and need for in-depth analysis. Although we have greater involvement with the private sector we are looking to become more active in the public sector.

It also is extremely important that we are able to adapt to new companies entering the Mexican market. We worked, for example, with Hyundai MOBIS throughout its extensive manufacturing trials where we offered our support and product knowledge.

Q: How does Ferreplus position its brands in the market?

A: We are the second largest distributor of ESAB in Mexico and one of the top 10 distributors for Lincoln Electric. When we go to a company to present a product, a specialized technical team from each of our brands goes along so the client has the highest level of customer support and all the information needed to make a decision. There are many different welding products in the market, from which we carefully select to complement our own hard goods. Although our brands have only been in the market for five years, we are confident their share will grow exponentially in the next few years.

Q: What goals and opportunities are ahead for the company?

A: Our short and medium-term goals are to increment our sales volume and increase our list of domestic suppliers. We manufacture around 250 products and of those, 210 are made in China. We are looking to produce more of our products in Mexico, starting with one of our core products, flux core wire. We strive to improve each of our existing products and services while simultaneously developing new innovative products that will optimize our clients’ processes. We are evaluating the possibility of expanding to more states, such as Puebla, and there are many more business opportunities to open in the next year. One challenge we face is finding the qualified and specialized human resources we need to further expand in the construction industry.