The Tecma Group of Companies Chairman and CEO, Alan Russell, shares some “on the ground” insight into manufacturing in Mexico at the recent Supply Chain Summit. The event was hosted in early February 2016 by the preeminent maquiladora industry publication, MexicoNow.
In his presentation, “On the ground in Mexico,” Alan Russell provided attendees with practical knowledge designed to ensure that those new to manufacturing in Mexico take into account important considerations that are critical for success. For instance, cultural differences are important to take into account when dealing with personnel on the shop floor. In Mexico, more so than in the United States, the family takes precedence over all other considerations. In the workplace, part of the “emotional salary” that is paid to employees takes the form of family-centered celebrations that take place in the plant for occasions such as Mothers’ Day and the International Day of the Child.
In his presentation, Tecma’s Chairman and CEO also points out that in the Mexican culture time is a more fluid concept when compared to issues having to do with punctuality in the United States, and that in Mexico position, titles and status carry more weight than may be the case north of the border. While Americans put a premium on efficiency in interpersonal communications in the workplace, those that are manufacturing in Mexico will observe that natives of Mexico will forfeit efficiency for the sake of formality and courtesy.
Alan Russell made it a point to note in his Mexico presentation that production in the maquiladoras was not affected adversely by the drug violence that plagued the country until recently. He explained that even at the height of the cartel turf war, not one expatriate working in Mexico was killed or kidnapped, and that, during that time, there was no drug violence related interruptions in supply chain activity. As of the time of this presentation, drug-related turmoil in Mexico, and Ciudad Juarez, in particular, had significantly diminished and continues to do so as civil society returns to normalcy.
For those that are considering manufacturing in Mexico whether supported by a Mexican shelter company, or as a wholly-owned subsidiary, Alan Russell’s “On the ground in Mexico,” presentation provides basic and useful information.