The Added Value of Service-Focused Suppliers in MexicoMon, 10/21/2013 - 11:41
The issue of logistics poses a constant challenge for mining companies, who are obliged to build their mines according to the location of quality deposits rather than their geographical convenience. As a result, mining companies must navigate the trials of isolated locations, long dirt tracks and network blind spots in transporting essential equipment to and from their mine sites. Their cargos tend to be expensive, are often fragile, and are almost always vital to their operations; delays caused by breakdowns, vehicles that cannot traverse difficult terrain or articles that become damaged as a result of insufficient care being taken in their handling have knock-on effects on production that can be extremely costly in an industry where time is also always money.
Carlos Gómez Luna, Managing Director of Citland Mexico emphasizes the importance of fast and efficient delivery in helping his clients to be fast and efficient in their own operations: “We have good truckers and reliable people. It is important to partner up with good, professional freight companies. Our customers are often located in places that are difficult to reach by road. Some drivers will just give up and take the product off the truck before they get all the way to the mine. The roads may be difficult but it is always possible to get to the mine if you have the right people and vehicles. I have partnered with good people for that, and have always been able to find the right logistical support in order to overcome these types of challenges,” he says.
Citland Mexico, a subsidiary of Citland International, supplies a range of geomembrane and geosynthetic products, from safety equipment to filters and piping, to the mining industry in the Americas and Africa. “We are the number one dealer of CertainTeed, which is part of Saint-Gobain, and ADS, which makes piping for reach conductors. We have suppliers in the US and Austria, and we buy and distribute pipes from companies in Mexico,” says Gómez Luna. As well as supplying these products to mining companies at various stages of the mining value chain, Citland Mexico also provides training and seminars in their installation and application. This is part of the company’s commitment to providing a service that meets the wider needs of its customers: “If they want something more, even if it is something that we do not usually stock, we can bring it in for them,” explains Gómez Luna. “Our clients are always asking about other products that we might be able to source for them, and talking to them about their needs has often led to us bringing new products into our inventory as a result, sometimes from the offices we have in the US and Ghana.”
It is the concept of client attention and service that the company argues is as important as the quality of the equipment it provides. “Citland Mexico is about the personal service – talking to people and looking them in the eye. There is less human contact in business these days because everything is done by email, but it is still very important,” emphasizes Gómez Luna. “Citland Mexico sells because of its service. Our strength is that we go out and see potential customers face to face – that is the most important thing for them. Especially because of the fact that most of our customers are located in remote areas; being a fresh face offers something different for them.”