Mexico is re-positioning its economy in response to slumping oil prices. As the opening of state-controlled sectors fosters investments, the focus is on efficiency and system reliability, two areas in which Endress+Hauser expertly supports its customer base in Mexico.
The clownfish in the foyer of the Endress+Hauser Sales Center Mexico has it pretty good. Despite living in a relatively small aquarium, it enjoys excellent water quality. pH, oxygen content and temperature are all permanently monitored from an adjacent office via a wireless connection. 25 degrees centigrade and water as clear as the Caribbean: it’s no wonder the tiny Nemo appears so relaxed.
Endress+Hauser customers in Mexico should have the same feeling. Whether they are global players or small operations, their demands and needs are met by Endress+Hauser employees. The sales center is located on the edge of Mexico City in Tlalnepantla, a community that was swallowed up by the hungry metropolis years ago. One of the world’s most populated cities, Mexico City is the economic heart of the country.
Oil is the country’s most important source of income, even topping tourism and money transfers from Mexicans working in the US. Black gold harbors risks, however. “In 2015, we lost roughly 20 percent of the business due to falling oil prices,” says Managing Director Eduardo Rodriguez. “Luckily, we were able to react immediately. Meanwhile, we have more than offset the loss of oil & gas business through growth in non-cyclical industries.”
Mexico grew from a developing country to an emerging market in only four decades. The country is rich in resources, boasts a large domestic market and excellent highways, and has close trade ties. The NAFTA agreement has guaranteed free trade between Mexico, the United States and Canada since 1994. Like the sword of Damocles, however, major manufacturing facilities that developed in the northern part of the country are now operating under the US government’s threat to cancel the agreement, a decision that would have devastating consequences for Mexico’s economy. A strong black economy is furthermore acting as an impediment to growth.
“Expertise and reliability are our greatest strengths.”Eduardo Rodriguez, Managing Director of Endress+Hauser Mexico
Industry generates one-third of Mexico’s gross domestic product. Although export-focused manufacturers often meet US standards, the degree of automation is generally low: a situation that offers great potential for Endress+Hauser. “There is a growing awareness that low wages alone will not lead to long-term success,” says Eduardo Rodriguez. Investments in measurement engineering and automation technology are occurring particularly as a result of acquisitions. “A change in ownership frequently means modernizing plants.”
Business is picking up even in the public sector, where there is an evident lack of progress in carrying out reforms. The signs are pointing to privatization, whether in the water sector, energy generation or the oil industry. To increase national oil reserves, new storage and distribution facilities are currently being planned. “With our tank and terminal management solutions, plus our liquids management systems, we’re well positioned,” says Marketing Manager Miguel Revilla.
High degree of precision
The solutions and services businesses are growing in importance. “Customers see us as an expert partner, not an instrument seller,” says Eduardo Rodriguez with confidence. The calibration lab also testifies to this view. With highly precise reference instruments for flow, pressure, temperature and liquid analysis, it’s one of the top calibration labs in the country. “Of course, we can calibrate the instruments directly in the system as well,” explains Lab Manager Sergio Montes, pointing to the calibration vehicle. “No one holds a candle to us in this area in Mexico.”
Eduardo views expertise and reliability as his team’s greatest strengths. “Our message is, we bring everything needed to improve the efficiency of our customers’ plants and drive down costs.” Training plays an increasingly important role. Employees and customers can become familiar with the latest technologies in the sales center’s own showroom, or at one of the European centers of competence. “People are always impressed by Endress+Hauser’s high standards, but also by how we embody our values,” says the managing director.
Given that skilled workers are rare in Mexico, the development of the sale center’s own personnel takes on more importance. Human Resources Manager Cesar Esqueda is pleased with the low turnover despite a young average age of under 30. He is convinced that “recognition and a career perspective are just as important as salary.” A team made up of dedicated employees from different departments searches for solutions to various problems. “We’ve been able to improve a lot of processes already.”
The willingness to continuously change is one of the key foundations of success for the sales center. Business is good in Mexico. Eduardo Rodriguez is currently looking for property to build a separate sales office to create an even better environment for employees and customers. “We’ve yet to make a decision,” says the managing director, “but who knows, perhaps we can celebrate our 20-year anniversary in our own building!”
Full speed ahead
Mexico catapulted itself from developing to emerging country. Now that it’s eager to join the ranks of the industrial nations, the country is facing new challenges. In the media gallery you’ll find some more facts & figures about Mexico and our sales center in the country.