The first BUHLMANN site in Mexico was opened more than a year ago. On the occasion of this anniversary we spoke to Pablo Encinas Sanchez, Managing Director of BUHLMANN Mexico S. A. de C. V., and asked him how the first year went and what the future brings.
Congratulations on your first year in Mexico. What has BUHLMANN, what have you, achieved in the past year?
We have made a name for ourselves among potential customers in Mexico. It is not rare to receive enquiries from companies to whom we were recommended by other customers. During 2016 we handled a large Project for a Mexican oil & gas Engineering company, and this gives us a lot of credit when talking to smaller Mexican companies.
With regard to multinational or Spanish companies, all of them know now that we are actually present in Mexico (remember I come from BUHLMANN Spain, which used to serve the Mexican market directly), allowing us to know the field as well as a local company. For instance, Mexican import procedures for pipes and fittings can be specially tricky, and this is a critical issue for many customers.
Internally, the main change has come with the hiring of Sandra, who is involved in helping with quotations, orders and administrative issues.
How is the current situation?
Commercially: we have built up good relationships with some key customers who purchase significant amounts of our products and trust us as long-term suppliers. However, this doesn’t mean our work is complete: for example, after PEMEX’s restructuring, the stateowned petroleum company, we plan to focus more on special materials with end customers who are more difficult to reach. We also see a great opportunity for medium size orders for Equipment manufacturers: they have previously looked for their materials in the US, but with current exchange rates (and the political situation between Mexico and the US), they are more and more interested in looking towards Europe.
Operationally: we are now starting to receive orders directly; up until now it was BUHLMANN Spain that received the orders and our work here in Mexico was more related to commercial activities and the corresponding Project management. Now it is the other way round: we will get orders directly and our colleagues from Spain will help us with the back office, in particular. In any case, all of these changes are transitioning smoothly, and with a case-by-case analysis behind them.
What do you expect from the future? What are your ambitions for BUHLMANN Mexico?
I think there is a relevant percentage of customers in Mexico that match with BUHLMANN GROUP’s market positioning (quality, good service, longterm relationships, …), and that’s why I think we have room for growth in Mexico. I think we aspire to keep the office growing, along with the sales, until we have our own team for project management; the good point is that with the help of BUHLMANN Spain, we do not need to rush things, but can build the subsidiary little by little from the base up.
Thank you for the interview.