A commitment to the development of better products that contribute to the sustainability and well-being of its different types of clients is the Argos hallmark
Argos is a multinational company of Colombian origin engaged in cement, concrete and aggregates manufacturing. Throughout 80 years, its presence has spread in 16 countries of the Americas. In addition to being the most important cement company in Colombia and its relevance for the whole region, Argos is the second largest concrete company and the fourth in cement in the United States.
The operation in Honduras has been competitive in the country for almost forty years, and it became a part of the multinational Argos in 2013, through a purchase valued at about US$ 275 million. Argos Honduras generates more than 2,500 jobs, including direct and indirect jobs.
In addition to the corporate offices in Tegucigalpa, the capital city, the Argos Honduras operation is supported by a cement plant in Comayagua, mills in Río Blanquito (city of Choloma) and San Lorenzo, and distribution centers located in the latter and in San Pedro Sula.
"We continue to promote innovation by specializing and improving our portfolio to deliver extraordinary solutions," said Luis Eduardo Tovar, CEO for Argos Honduras. Tovar graduated in Business Administration and Management from the University of Lincoln, England. He holds a master's degree in this field from Emory University (Atlanta, USA) and has taken different courses at different institutions, including one at Harvard University (Massachusetts, USA). His career at Argos dates back more than 15 years ago, where he has held managerial and strategic positions. Tovar is a member of the Board of Directors of Camacol, an association that groups together companies and entities in the Colombian construction sector.
Participation in momentous works
In addition to the fact that the products manufactured and distributed by Argos Honduras are for all types of works, such as residential property construction and renovation, noteworthy are the major projects that link the company with the creation of infrastructure and, therefore, with the country’s development.
Argos took part in the construction of the CA-5 Highway, the Second Peripheral Ring of San Pedro Sula, the Southern Highway, the Palmerola International Airport and the new building of the Central Bank of Honduras, among other projects.
“We have left our mark on Honduras’ development by taking part in relevant infrastructure projects. We create value and contribute to the country’s dynamic economy and development”, said the executive.
Argos Honduras' product offer is characterized by its variety, considering different purposes according to the project:
· General purpose cement
· White cement
· Structural cement
· Cement for use in precast work
· Type I cement
Noteworthy is the introduction, in the Honduran market, of ECO Multipurpose Cement, Argos’ pride, since it is environmentally friendly and contributes to a sustainable construction model. This gray hydraulic cement provides durability, high water retention and has good workability in mixtures. - The ECO Multipurpose production process uses renewable energy in the solar farm of Piedras Azules Plant, reducing CO2 emissions by up to 40% as compared to other products.
Qualities of strategic partners and associates
When establishing relationships with its suppliers, Argos Honduras seeks their contribution to the company in topics such as efficiency, productivity, service and innovation. The company encourages the development of these strategic partners and promotes good practices in their interactions.
“We seek to grow hand in hand with our suppliers. Our management seeks to build and strengthen relationships of trust”, stated Tovar.
Research and Development The constant search for unique solutions and specialization in the product portfolio led Argos to create, a long time ago, a Research and Development area and a concrete laboratory, where new ideas are developed and tested using state-of-the-art technology and personnel trained for these tasks, working with the international standards of the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials).
“We understand innovation, and within it Research and Development as the basis for our contribution to well-being, the core of the sustainability of our business and a catalyst for competitive strategy", stated the CEO.
Online presence: Construyamos Juntos (Let's Build Together) and Argos One
When Argos Honduras established online platforms to optimize contacts with its clients, the company achieved goals such as the automation of processes, the development of artificial intelligence models and improvement of the general experience of its users by converting them into clients.
Argos ONE is a digital solution where the client can place cement orders and transactions easily, quickly and safely. The platform permits to check the order status, make payments and schedule product outputs. Currently, more than 40% of the cement orders are placed with the company through Argos ONE.
The Construyamos Juntos portal was launched in 2020 as a link between hardware stores, end consumers, builders, and foremen. It helps to find hardware stores close to the user and their contact details, to budget the necessary material for their work and to share new ideas for construction and remodeling projects as in a blog.
“Providing updated information to our clients is generating awareness to make better-built works, and technology has enabled us to stay closer to them," said Tovar.
The support of a continental network
One of the advantages of being a multinational company operating in 16 countries and territories is also a support network in which success stories and good practices are shared.
Cementos Argos has transversal excellence networks in areas such as Marketing, Logistics & Sustainability, among others, capable of generating synergy.
In the case of Argos Honduras, the contribution it provides to other countries and regions on topics like good practices in industrial safety, occupational health, waste co-processing and solar energy, among others, stands out.
"We have the support, positioning and reputation of a brand recognized in the continent," said the executive.
Human resources: shared values and practices Argo’s work environment is characterized by inclusion, respect for diversity, right to free association, and the full development of people. All of this contributes to a sense of belonging, purpose and commitment to the organization.
- As an extension of these and other practices, the Yo Prometo (I Promise) industrial security program, developed by the company, is also shared with suppliers. Yo Prometo promotes the prevention of occupational accidents and a culture of care.
“We are working to consolidate a team capable of embracing change as an opportunity and creating shared value in collaborative environments," said Tovar.
Sustainability and value contribution to the community
Argos’ efforts in the sustainability field have resulted in important recognition, such as being included among the most sustainable cement companies in the world, according to the Dow Jones Global Sustainability Index; it has also been awarded the silver medal in the S&P Global Sustainability Yearbook; the FTSE4Good recognition from FTSE Russells; and, in Honduras, it has recently been recognized, for the second year in a row, as a Socially Responsible Company by FUNDAHRSE (Honduran Foundation for Corporate Social Responsibility), among other accolades.
Argos Honduras Foundation has collaborated for seven years with different development programs in various communities. And in 2020, the company invested US$328,413 in these initiatives, of which it directly contributed US$195,010 and raised US$133,403 from third parties, generating benefits for more than 23,000 people.
In 2020, Argos Honduras’ community work provided support to the population during the COVID-19 pandemic and after the damage caused by hurricanes ETA and IOTA.
The Pisos Saludables (Healthy Floors) program has been carried out since 2014, replacing dirt floors with concrete. This initiative has already benefited almost 1,900 families and improved the lives of nearly 10,000 people with the construction of more than 60,000m2 of surfaces.
In terms of renewable energy, also in 2020, the company started the operation of the first solar farm in the cement industry in Honduras, in collaboration with Celsia - another Argos Group company. This was a giant step in terms of sustainability: the photovoltaic power plant is made up of 32,160 solar panels with a maximum capacity of 10.6 MW. Its power can provide up to 20% of the electricity consumption demand of the cement plant in Comayagua.
Argos Honduras assumes its role in Honduras’ progress and is committed to contributing to the economic recovery of the country with construction of strategic projects, and to generating social value in different interest groups.
The company has the material and human resources to create an increasingly specialized portfolio to get the clients’ preference.
"We will continue to contribute to making the dreams of housing and better infrastructure come true, and to improve the quality of life of millions of people," concluded Luis Tovar, CEO for Argos Honduras.