Leif Lindholm
Vice President Mexico
View from the Top

Service Approach Strives to Deliver ‘The Big Difference’

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 10:30

Q: Your slogan is “we make the big difference.” How and why are your solutions making the difference in the Mexican mining?
A: I think we are making the difference by having many more service people at the mine site, providing feedback and supporting all mine processes. I believe we are way ahead of the competition in this aspect. Today, the industry is focused on energy savings and being more efficient in operations and this is where we can provide support. The margins of impact that we can have on our customers’ operational performance vary, depending on the type of operation. For example, we offer special equipment that can increase grid efficiency by up to 30 percent. These returns gain even more relevance when considering the high cost of electrical energy in Mexico compared to other mining jurisdictions.
To stand out from our competitors, we emphasize the service part of our business and we have by now gained an advantage in this area. We approach any project as a long-term way to gain the customer’s confidence so we can work together to get the accurate information that allows us to tackle and correct their bottlenecks and issues. While these are unique for each customer, our extensive experience in mines around the world allows us to implement best practices in every situation.
Q: How is Metso positioned in the Mexican mining sector and what opportunities does the company see in emerging markets?
A: Mexico is not the biggest mining market. I would say the Chilean market is maybe 10 times bigger. But Mexico remains an important part of our global business as we have a big market share given the service we provide to the industry. It is difficult to spell out a specific percentage for our Mexican business as we have different market shares for each product, but overall our position is very good. We have two main competitors, Outotec and FLSmidth, and many other smaller companies in each business segment.
Emerging markets represent around 53 percent of all new orders. If you have a preponderant share in an existing market, it takes a greater effort to keep growing it, so many of our orders come from new projects. For example, we have a big project in Panama that has significantly increased our business in the region. It represents a US$6-7 billion investment. Cobre de Panama is the biggest project in the country, even greater than the Canal’s expansion.
Q: What are the main challenges, opportunities and expectations for Metso in Mexico over the next five years?
A: Making sure we have the right people is part of our secret for making a difference and one of our key challenges as an organization. It is about finding people with the right attitude. With the correct mindset, people can be taught and trained. To have all the knowledge and the wrong attitude is of no use; thus, we care about our people, their training and giving them the tools to pursue their growth.
There are two main issues for the mining industry, energy and water consumption. We are seeing a growing opportunity for us in the industrial waste management sector. Also, I think that overall security is the main challenge that Mexican mining faces and without properly addressing it, the industry will face many growth difficulties.
Regarding our expectations for our Mexican business, our headquarters mandates national business growth of at least 10 percent per year. As the industry is not likely to grow 10 percent annually, we must increase our market share to accomplish this target. Although we do not expect a significant change from the new federal administration, the impact is more likely to be felt by our customers. We care about knowing and understanding their worries so we can solve problems more effectively.