Sergio Bartolomé
Director General
View from the Top

Scaffolding for Safety and Productivity

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 12:26

Q: As a company that manufactures in Germany and then imports its products for distribution in Mexico, what changes would you like to see in import processes?
A: Import processes in Mexico are quite efficient and  bureaucracy in Mexico is considerably less convoluted than in many South American countries. If documents are sent on time, they are validated rapidly because there is a fluid understanding between all the relevant actors. However, there is at least one opportunity area that could be more efficient: cargo scheduling. Our merchandise comes in through Veracruz port and sometimes it takes them two or three days to determine the appropriate cargo slot. The truth is that Veracruz is at full capacity and this means companies have to wait in line. Overall, it is a good system in comparison with other countries. We have been able to meet our clients’ expectations consistently in Mexico, and this is partly due to the country’s well-developed import practices.
Q: Why should a mining company prioritize investing in scaffolding?
A: Safety. Mining is one of the most demanding industries in this respect, and scaffolding is one of the cornerstones for a good safety setup. But it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of safety. It is not an impediment to working swiftly but an element conducive to greater productivity. It goes without saying that mining involves much more than just digging a hole in the ground and hauling out gold. Operations are extremely sophisticated, involving cutting-edge equipment and complex processes. To build and support many of these elements, companies need scaffolding. It is a crucial part of a mining operation. Layher’s scaffolding can be put together quickly and easily. It is ergonomic and easy for workers to manipulate. It is readily transferable from one area of a project to another. All these elements lead to greater productivity. As an industry leader, Layher has an obligation to innovate. At the Bauma Fair in Munich, for instance, we unveiled a working platform that is 10 percent lighter than its previous version, while having the same loading capacity.
Q: In what mining projects have you recently participated?
A: We worked on Peñasquito’s expansion. It was an interesting project and Goldcorp reaffirmed its reputation as an excellent company. It is highly proactive in terms of safety. The company is serious and responsible, which is what we appreciate the most about our clients. It is a pleasure to work with companies that get involved and deliver on their side of the agreement in a timely manner. Similarly, Fresnillo and Peñoles are other companies we have worked with and achieved notable results. Like Goldcorp, they also understand that safety and productivity are inextricably related to each other. We are looking to work with more mining companies that approach business like these companies do.
Regarding the project at Peñasquito, it was highly rewarding and we learned a number of lessons. We provided practically every piece of scaffolding equipment used. Working closely with scaffolding specialists, we offered a complete solution for the project. Having said that, the logistics were complex, due to the mine’s remote location. We are known for having a remarkably close relationship with our clients, and the distances our workers had to traverse made it hard to be as present as we would have liked to be. Thanks to our workers’ commitment and singleness of purpose, we succeeded in delivering in a manner worthy of a company like Layher.
Q: What is your growth strategy in Mexico for the next five years?
A: We want to expand our physical presence throughout the country. We are a sales company but we also rent out equipment, so it is especially important for us to be as close to our clients as possible. We started out in the State of Mexico with a commercial office and a warehouse. Three years ago, we began operations in Nuevo Leon by opening commercial offices and two years ago we inaugurated a warehouse. We have initiated the same strategy in Jalisco, where we opened a commercial office in Guadalajara a year ago. This is our strategy for gradually increasing our presence in Mexico.