STORY INLINE POST
Q: What is the full scope of ISS’ services in Mexico?
A: In Mexico, we offer most of the services we do abroad. We provide facility cleaning services, which is where we came from as a company, but we also provide maintenance, technical services, landscaping, food services or catering. In addition, we offer ad hoc office services, for instance, providing a receptionist or any other ad hoc service within an office environment.
Given our broad scope, our focus is to bundle these services together and provide an integrated facility solution to our client. This provides the client with a single point of contact for different services. Our goal is for clients to be able to replace their facility department with ISS’s service and thus focus on their core business.
Q: What role does Mexico play within the ISS Group organization?
A: Within the global organization, if we look at pure size, we are relatively small in terms of revenue but relatively large in terms of people. Given that the type of services we offer are more economical in Mexico, in terms of revenue levels, Mexico will earn less than 10 percent compared to other Western countries due to salary levels in the service industry. Although our workforce in the country totals around 13,000 people, our revenue is not comparable to our peers in northern or even southern Europe.
From a growth and strategical perspective, however, ISS Mexico is very important. The company has a strategy of working with global corporate clients who we can service worldwide with our direct staff and thus obtain the same level of quality and service. Unlike our competitors, which use local sub-contractors, we strive to provide all our services using our personnel. This means that regardless of where our clients are, they will see the same type of uniform, the same type of service and quality worldwide. As a group, Mexico is a must to deliver these services to global clients who often have large production facilities in the Mexico.
Q: ISS Mexico’s strongest participation is in retail and banking. In what other industries are you working to expand your presence?
A: Another important area for us is industrial manufacturing, which goes hand in hand with the profile of the country. In the Mexico City area, Bajio and the border regions, there are significant opportunities to participate in the industrial manufacturing arena. Alongside that, we also operate in the health segment. Two of our most important factors are quality and compliance, and when working in the financial or health sectors these two qualities are critical and are much more valued than in other sectors.
Q: What are the challenges that ISS Mexico faces to provide a comprehensive array of services focused on different industries?
A: In general, Mexico has a labor shortage when it comes to these jobs. There are many people living in small villages around production areas or large cities, and we are basically incorporating them into the formal labor market. Still, even though cleaning jobs might appear as very basic, we still face a labor force problem. The second problem is related to high turnover. Given that it is a heavily competed industry, competitors are always trying to poach employees. Lastly, a significant challenge for our industry is for the market to recognize the value of what we do. We need the market to understand that cleaning is extremely important for hygiene, health, workplace experience and employee retention.
Q: How does ISS Group position itself to compete against other companies that offer similar services?
A: When you are part of an international group, you have to play with companies that share your values. ISS has strong ethical standards, and there is no way we would ever participate in corruption or illegal acts. It is a fact that in our market many people are being paid informally. We would never participate in that, which is why it is important to find commercial partners willing to play in the same field that we do. That being said, leveraging on our size and experience, we can optimize services very efficiently, while keeping our “Service With a Human Touch” concept at the forefront.
Q: What are the specific needs of clients in the banking sector and how do you solve them?
A: In the retail and banking sector, one of the needs they have is to manage thousands of branches and tens of thousands of ATMs. That is a huge challenge for them. Moreover, they have branches and ATMs not only in big cities, but in smaller cities and villages. One area in which we are really strong is that our operational network covers the entire country. There are very few towns where for security reasons we cannot send our people in, but we can deliver consistently across this large country with our own staff.
Banks also need to make sure that their customers have a good experience when they enter a branch. That means when they walk in and sit down, the environment is clean and comfortable. For large banks, they need to replicate that pleasant user experience in all their branches and at all their ATMs so that people come back.
Q: What are ISS Mexico’s growth expectations for the next two years?
A: In general, the Mexican market does not outsource many services yet. For instance, hotels, hospitals and many industries still have most of their services in-house. That will gradually change and from that perspective, we are expecting good growth. The other element that is going to support our growth is our corporate strategy of servicing global key accounts. I would say that eight or nine out of every 10 global potential customers have multiple sites in Mexico, which will help boost our local business.
ISS Mexico is part of the ISS Group, a global facility services company founded in 1901 in Denmark. In Mexico, the company employs over 13,000 people and is present throughout the country