Tour Tecma’s flexible Mexico manufacturing shelter model in El Paso with Alan Russell
Tecma moved its central El Paso location in 1989, and we’ve been here ever since. Now the company is based in Ciudad Juarez, just across the border. It takes about twenty-five or thirty minutes to get to the Juarez headquarters. Our contracts are negotiated under US law, and our relationships are all governed under US law. So, we maintain this presence on the US side of the border not only for warehousing and distribution, but for some of our corporate offices are here. So, welcome. Come on in and we’ll talk more about it.
This facility is approximately 50,000 square feet, and houses our finance operations that are required on the US side of the border, marketing, as well as my personal office is located here, as well. Come on in. We’ll take a tour.
Good morning, Sarah.
This entrance dislays just some of the product categories that are clients are producing with us. A lot of people will ask, “how can we be so diverse and be good at doing anything?” This is because you will see mannequins, clothes, transformers, textiles, point of sale equipment, machining, fluid measuring equipment, water meters, welded items and pet toys. Our expertise is in Mexico. It is not in any perticular kind of technology. This industry is forty-five years in Juarez. The talent for any one of these manufacturicategories is pretty readily available. Come on down to my office.
I want to introduce Manuel Ochoa. Manuel is head of business development for the company. Any time parties make contact with the company, and are interested in what we do in the maquiladora program, they end up having a first contact with Manuel. So, come on down.
This is where I spend most of my day. We maintain a pretty casual environment. We spend to tend to spend more time in our offices than we do at home, in some cases. We are in our twenty-ninth year as of the end of this month. There is a lot of memorabilia and memories, in general, that have occurred around this industry. It’s a very comfortable environment. We encourage our employees and associates to be comfortable in their office, because, undoubtedly, we’re going to spend a whole lot of time here.
I’d like to talk to you a little bit about the Tecma flexible Mexico manufacturing shelter model. Tecma’s version has no boundaries. The client gets to specify how they want to operate in Mexico based upon their own philosophy and corporate culture. For instance, companies with a need for only one thousand square feet will come to us, because they are servicing one of their clients. The reason for their move to Mexico is not labor savings, it’s to perform customer services for an existing client. Instead of shipping the product from up North, they need to have a presence in Mexico to satisfy their client’s requirements. Undoubtedly, when that happens, they continue to grow and to prosper. We have a client that, as an example, started with five people in 1000 square feet of space two years ago. Today they employ forty-five people in about twenty-five thousand square feet of a shared facility with other manufacturers with compatible processes. Through that we can maintain confidentiality. Nobody has to know who are client is or what they are doing there. If a competitive client comes in, they will never see that shared facility. They will be housed in a separate space altogether.
Back to flexibility in Tecma’s flexible Mexico manufacturing shelter model, some clients like for us to ship product across the border, and all the way back to their headquarters to their distribution center. Some clients like to ship from Juarez directly to the end-user, or to their client. That is via UPS or FedX. We have UPS and FedX computers actually on the floor in Mexico. We deliver to the conveyer belt at the El Paso airport on a daily basis.
Some clients decide that it is better that they do their warehousing and distribution just over the border on the El Paso side. We can accommodate that as well. We have three El Paso facilities, this being the smallest at about fifty thousand square feet. We also have two additional distribution and warehousing facilities that are 100,000 square feet plus. Doing warehousing, distribution, and, in some cases, 3PL type services where its in and out. For the most part, unless the warehousing is in El Paso, there is no need to stop here. Product can keep coming when it comes across the border, and change from our Mexican tractors to the US over the road carrier. It will then continue down the road. In the Tecma flexible Mexico manufacturing shelter model, size is not a factor. You do not have to fit into a mold of being of a certain size or having a certain number of employees to make it work. If we believe in your business model, and your forward plan, we will invest in hosting you at a very small stage to watch you grow and prosper. We have seen it happen time and time again.
Another point of Tecma’s flexible Mexico manufacturing shelter model is the term of the contract. We have clients that have been with us for more than twenty years and some that have been with us for three or four years. There is flexibility in the term. There are exit provisions in the contract. The bottom line is that, if we are doing our job correctly, our goal is for the client to never want to leave us. The same sentiment applies to our employees. That thought is in our mission statement that you will see on the back of each of our business cards, and in every facility that you enter. Come on down the hall and I will show you some other operations that are important to the Tecma’s flexible Mexico manufacturing shelter model.
This room is important. You will note that this room is a small AT&T. We have fiber optics and microwave communication links directly across the border to each of the facilities. Clients can have video on the shop floor. They can have high speed Internet access, and a US dial tone, meaning that there are no long distance connctivity requirements, or international calls. You can send calls through an extension to the US trunk line that ends and terminates here in this room. Again, flexibility is the key. The client has the ability to operate their MRP systems, or any communications systems through this.
This wall has photos some of the Mexico facilities. Some times there is the misconception that manufacturing facilities in Mexico are substandard. This is one example of the seventeen facilities that we are operating in in Mexico. It has world-class tilt-up construction, high pressure load bearing floors, high sealings, and evaporative air conditioninng that reduces the temperatures on the floor from fifteen to twenty degrees from ambient. In this dry weather, it actually makes things quite comfortable.
This is Richard Azar. He was my partner, and co-founder of this company. He left at seventy-five to start a new business. He was my elder, senior mentor and a great friend. We lost him just this past month.
This is one of our clients that chooses the flexible Mexico manufacturing shelter model that we are talking about. Amcor Service Solutions is headquartered in New Jersey. That is where they initiate their sales. The inbound and outbound warehousing and distribution is happening right here. These computers are linked to the New Jersey headquarters. These men and women are taking orders, and reporting what is coming inbound to headquarters, and then they are taking orders on finished product. Finish product is being shipped directly to their clients. They are operating in about twenty-five thousand square feet and are shipping actively every day from the plant in Juarez. The inbound product goes to Juarez where it is repaired. This is a point of sale product repair operation.
With regard to the flexibility issue. Tecma has no set model that companies have to conform to. The client writes the script. If we do our job correctly, the border should be basically invisible. All the Customs, cross border transportation, logistics, human resource issues are all our responsibility.
As we get to the dividing wall, we’ll see that there is another client known as Ortronics, which is a part of LeGrand North America, that is doing the exact same thing. This is their North American distribution center. Products come from other locations, as well as out of the Mexico plant, into this facilitiy and they are distributed across the country for all of their operations. They are based in Connecticut.
In essence, when a company is looking at a low cost model for any low cost initiative, Mexico has to be taken into account. No longer is China the clearest option. For the first time in modern history, the lines have crossed. There are more reasons to be local, near shore in Mexico for your low cost options, than being offshore in a country like China. If a flexible Mexico manufacturing shelter model is something that you need, and if writing your own script on how you want to operate in Mexico is important to you, then the Tecma Group of Companies might be your best option.
It’s important to know that Tecma is never trying to put you, as a client, in our box. We don’t own these facilities. We lease them. We’re not in the real-estate or development business. When you come, to the City of Juarez for instance, we can show you six million feet of industrial space that is available for lease. We can lease them for cheaper than we can buy them. We are never going to own a facility and try to get your process to fit in that facility. We’re going to find a facility that best suits you, at the best price. Some clients want a word-class showplace, because they are going to bring their clients to the facility. Some companies do not care about the location, or the image of the facility because purely production happens there, and there clients are never going to visit. There is a price difference in those two priorities. There is flexibility in location; We’ll take you anywhere in Mexico. We are starting up in Tijuana. We have operations in Torreon, in Juarez and in Reynosa. The location issue is not a challenge.
We can do what we do anywhere. We can help you choose the right facility by negotiating with the landlord. They all know us. We’ll negotiate the best deal for you, our client. Thank you.