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Depot Repair In Mexico Is Cost Effective

Depot Repair In Mexico Is Cost Effective

In this Tecma Talk podcast, Rich Guglielmo, COO, of Amcor Service Solutions shares his experiences and  addresses the benefits of doing depot repair in Mexico.

Tecma Group of Companies:

Hello and welcome to another installment of Tecma Talk podcasts in which we speak to invited guests that experts that are both internal to Tecma and external to Tecma, who are in various fields that are related to manufacturing in Mexico. Joining us today is Rich Guglielmo, who is the chief operations officer of a company based in New Jersey called Amcor Service Solutions. How are you today Rich?

Rich Gugliemo:

I’m doing fine, and thanks for the lead in here. Hi, my name is Rich Guglielmo, Chief Operating Officer and Co-founder of AMCOR Service Solutions. We have been providing depot repair for hi-tech products and logistics management services since 1986. Starting in 2007 AMCOR started to relocate our repair and distribution center from NJ to Juarez, Mexico and El Paso, TX. AMCOR completed the move in 2013 and has been able to fully take advantage of all of the benefits upon its completion. Besides repairing our core products, we found that were able to expand our scope and add consumer and low-tech repair to our basket. I would like to share with you comments to some of the most frequently asked questions and perceived concerns when considering “depot repair In Mexico”.

Tecma Group of Companies:

OK, Rich, “depot repair in Mexico”, although I have heard this term a number of times, I really don’t know the difference between the term “depot repair” and any other type of repair. For the benefit of myself, as well as for that of any other listeners who may not be familiar with the term, could you please explain what depot repair is in Mexico, as opposed to any other kind of repair in Mexico?

Rich Guglielmo:

Sure. Depot repair is a process where items are sent to a central location for testing, repair, refurbishment and return to the end user of the product. The defective part or unit can range from the most sophisticated circuit boards used in cloud servers, to PC’s and printers to consumer products such as cell phones, coffee machines, tablets, and a host of other everyday electronic gizmos. Product can either be repaired or in some cases exchanged for the same item to improve return time and customer satisfaction.

Tecma Group of Companies:

It sounds as though of a lot of activities that you mentioned can be done in a lot of places. Obviously, you chose to do depot repair in Mexico over several other places that you might have examined as potential sites to do the work. Why depot repair in Mexico? Is there a price advantage for you?

Rich Gugielmo:

One of the advantages of moving to Mexico is the reduced labor cost. The quality and productivity will remain on par with USA standards. You can produce the same result more economically than before. You need to remember that you are not compromising in the hope of saving money. You can expect the same or better quality and service at a lower cost in Mexico.

Tecma Group of Companies:

That sounds like a a very good motivation for people to want to located facilities in Mexico. Just a real quick question aside from that: beyond the cost, proximity to the US market I would assume is a big advantage for you, as well?

Rich Guglielmo:

Yes it is. Our warehouse in El Paso is only about a five mile drive from from our repair center in Ciudad Juarez. So we’ve been able to take advantage of the location of both our distribution center and repair center.

Tecma Group of Companies:

Given the fact that, in addition to cost benefits and enjoy proximity benefits, its still true that people who send products to you for depot repair in Mexico want to get their product back the way it needs to be fixed. That being said, how would you describe the quality, the reliability, and the technical skills that you find in Mexico, as opposed to other places, mainly the US. How would you characterize your experience in finding people capable doing depot repair in Mexico in a way that reflects well on your company and satisfies customer needs?

Rich Guglielmo:

We had the same concerns when we started with the depot repair project in Mexico, but what we found was that Juarez is home to many of the world’s largest hi-tech manufacturing companies including Foxconn, Flextronics, Lexmark, Bosch, Boeing and Siemens. The Mexican technician has received additional technical, ISO and Six Sigma training by his or her employer in an effort to meet or exceed the quality and productivity standards of the American worker. The Mexican worker is very dedicated and reliable and compares favorably to the competition worldwide.

Tecma Group of Companies:

Would it be safe to say that, in terms of electronics in Mexico, apart from Guadalajara, Ciudad Juarez is one of the principle locations for electronics manufacturing as an industry cluster in Mexico?

Rich Guglielmo:

Absolutely. Juarez can be described as a high-tech city, and, certainly, the warehouse that supports our Juarez operations for depot repair in Mexico is in El Paso. What we have found is that, because of the strategic location that it represents, is that in addition to the technical capabilities of the people there is state of the art telecommunications, highly skilled workforce, five border crossings, over 10 higher learning institutions and a modern transport system. Goods move easily between the border cities, providing the businesses with reliable and speedy access to the daily shipments.

Tecma Group of Companies:

It sounds as though it is a very good location for what it is that you are doing.

Rich Guglielmo:

Our research certainly has borne out the fact that for those doing hi-tech manufacturing and tech repair, Juarez is the place to be.

Tecma Group of Companies:

One of the things that people who may not be doing business internationally, today, are always concerned about is crossing an international border. Crossing an international border implies that there are certain Customs requirements that have to be tended to in order to to be in compliance with the rules of both countries. What has been your experience experience with Mexican Customs and US Customs. Have you had delays? Have things run smoothly? Do you have expert assistance to make sure that that happens? Please give us a little insight.

Rich Guglielmo:

We invested a lot of time in automating our systems. When we receive something at our distribution center in El Paso, we automatically put it on a manifest through the use of hi-tech scanners, as well as through the use of computer programs which we have written. This allows us to avoid making mistakes when providing information to Mexican Customs that they need to cross our shipments into Mexico the first time successfully. Really, it is the same process going back into the US. We’ve been very efficient at crossing the border both ways We have had almost no problems, and continue
to refine our programs in order to make sure that we don’t have any problems in the future.

Tecma Group of Companies:

So all in all, although at first it takes some getting use to, the ability to navigate all this comes with a little bit of time and practice. Would you consider that statement to be an accurate one?

Rich Guglielmo:

Without a doubt. We continue to try and do the same thing every day, whether it be with the border crossing or the policies and procedures that we put in place
that run the company. It’s matter of saying what you do and doing what you say. Once you do this you can move forward with depot repair in Mexico in a very economical manner.

Tecma Group of Companies:

The next is a basic question that might be one asked by someone who is a neophyte when it comes to crossing the border and doing business in Mexico. How long have you been doing business in Mexico, just to give us a little bit of background before asking the actual question?

Rich Guglielmo:

We started in the beginning of 2007 to move depot repair to Mexico. It was a start-up operation. We probably had about five or six employees doing depot repair in Mexico in the beginning. Our confidence grew as we took a look at the quality and the service that we were getting from our Mexican employees. Quite frankly, my partner, Tom St. John, and myself thought that we were going to have to be down there every week. What we found, because we hired an excellent operations manager, was that we ended up going down to Juarez about every quarter to buy him lunch, and to say hello.

Tecma Group of Companies

You have been doing depot repair in Mexico several years now, and have learned things that will enable you to pass on some information to people that are new to manufacturing in the country. This might help to be able to smooth out their path. Did you have any language or cultural problems when you were first down there?

Rich Guglielmo:

At first, it was certainly a big concern of ours. What we found, however, is that many Mexican citizens in the El Paso/Juarez border area speak English. It is the universal business language. Mexicans who work for multi-national companies in the border areas must be proficient in English The technicians and managers are fluent in English having completed much of their technical and managerial training in the USA. So in addition to being English speakers they understand our business culture.

Tecma Group of Companies:

A question that I always like to ask experienced hands that have been in working in Mexico for some time is: What is the biggest lesson that you have learned and what is the best advice that you would give to people that are just starting operations in Mexico. What would you recommend?

Rich Guglielmo:

The thing that was most important to us is that we hired an excellent operations manager, number one. He has been able to communicate, and to run the business on a day to day basis in a very efficient manner. When you hire good people, they, in turn, hire good people. Having done this has made our job so much easier. Our depot repair in Mexico operations have extremely low turnover. We are very proud of the quality of the product that we produce in Mexico, and our customers have let us know that they are very happy with the product that we produce, and, as a result, they keep
on giving us more business. I guess that has been the biggest thing that has transpired as a result of our venture into Mexico.

Tecma Group of Companies:

Finally, a lot of those that listen to these podcasts contact us later with questions that go beyond the scope of what was discussed. If someone wants to get into contact with you, Rich, to,either inquire about Amcor Service Solutions’ offerings, or to ask you questions regarding your experience in doing depot repair in Mexico, how can they get in touch with you.

Rich Guglielmo:

Well, they can call my office line at: 973-575-5900. I am at extension 110, and would be happy to talk to anyone that has an interest in moving their business, or part of their business, to Mexico. In additon to this, interested parties can email me at: richg@amcorss.com, and I’ll be happy to work with them.

Tecma Group of Companies:

Thank you for taking some time to speak with us about your experience in doing depot repair in Mexico. Hopefully, in the future, we will have you back on another Tecma Talk podcast to learn about
new things that may be developing in your world

Rich Guglielmo:

Thank you very much for having me.

 

 

 

Photo credits: Morgan

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