Alicia Coronas
General Manager
Gastronómica Contempo
View from the Top

Well-Fed Workers Are Productive Workers

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 15:18

Q: How will Gastronómica Contempo expand its portfolio of products and services to suit the changing needs of the oil and gas sector after the Reform?

A: After the liberalization of the energy sector, the foreign investors coming in will require a higher level of certification from their suppliers, which we will have to keep up with. To do so, Gastronómica Contempo (Contempo) will focus on its own sustainable development, such as gaining the ISO 14000 certification for environmental management. This commitment to sustainable development is where we see our innovation taking place. We may be a food and beverage company but this does not mean we take a narrow approach to this industry. We are proud to carefully follow the entire product cycle, from farm to table, while striving to make the whole process sustainable. For example, we monitor every stage of the distribution process, and we even make sure that all the cleaning products we use do not pollute the air or water and are fully recyclable. This complete analysis of Contempo’s supply chain means we ensure that our products reach consumers in a sustainable way. Contempo is seeking to further improve this process as we understand that sustainable production equals sustainable consumption. We are also investigating other certifications that our new potential clients will see as vital. However, besides this, our services will remain virtually the same. We will continue to provide balanced and nutritious food for oil and gas workers while rolling out new services, such as laundry, which we already provide in Central America.

Q: What advantages will Contempo hold in the reformed Mexican oil and gas industry, given the additional competition it will face?

A: Our greatest advantage is our human capital and we make great efforts to train our employees well. Our certifications would be worth nothing if we did not promote the right working culture and training for our people. We strive to build a good team of people who love what they do, which is reflected in the quality of the services we provide. Additionally, Contempo offers its customers the highest industry standards at a competitive price. We are able to do this because we tailor our products to best suit our customers’ needs and to avoid unnecessary costs. Our expansion in Latin America actually helps us to keep costs down because of the benefits associated with the organic growth of the company.

Q: Do you plan to expand as the oil and gas industry reaches new geographic areas in Mexico?

A: Hubs such as Ciudad del Carmen, Villahermosa, and Veracruz have captured most of our operations in the oil and gas sector, since the Mexican oil and gas industry has mainly focused on shallow water and onshore fields in the south. Naturally, it is to be expected that new companies will introduce technology that will enable the exploitation of the country’s deepwater reservoirs. Some of these new areas are currently being explored, and we are already seeking to expand our services there. Contempo will stand ready to supply prospective customers in deepwater and non-conventional areas.

Q: Would this expansion require Contempo to expand its supplier base?

A: In terms of procurement, we naturally need to plan ahead to provide all our services in different areas. From our central warehouse in Mexico City, we follow the entire supply chain for the products we provide. This ensures all products arrive at their destination in top condition. To further reduce costs, we have centralized our procurement activities, which will allow us to better select the local suppliers and pick those that we wish to see grow with us. We make sure that our suppliers operate to our highest quality standards and we support them in doing so.

Q: What are the most challenging aspects of your operations?

A: The oil and gas industry is complicated as the very nature of the work affects employees. Deployment times can be strenuous when staff members are working for three weeks and then have one week off. However, the nature of the work means that they must be focused and happy as they cannot leave. Unlike procurement which we have centralized, our staff are hired and trained in the region where they operate. Ensuring the well-being of our people is certainly our most critical challenge. Other challenges lie in the facts that we serve many industries, each customer has different needs, and prices can fluctuate widely. It is critical for us to know what our customers’ expectations are in order to provide them with the best possible service. We strive to provide good, balanced meals to all employees as a well-fed employee becomes a more productive team member.