DeAcero offers a wide variety of products, serving different business sectors, besides counting with the DeAcero Logistics business unit. The company is a major reference for the industry in Mexico and abroad.
Grupo DeAcero opened for business more than 70 years ago as a family business started by César M. Gutiérrez Lozano in his workshop in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon (Mexico). Mr. Gutiérrez expanded his product portfolio, grew his staff and, as decades went by, DeAcero increased its presence nationwide and abroad, becoming a leading company in manufacturing and exports of long steel, wire and reinforcement steel products.
DeAcero has 18 production plants, 21 recycling facilities and delivers 4.5 million tons of steel per year. Since the seventies, DeAcero’s products are sold in Latin America, and during the nineties the company expanded into the USA, supported by its own plants in Houston, Texas and Missouri, as well as its warehouse in Laredo, Texas and 29 distribution centers throughout North America.
DeAcero currently offers the widest range of products for construction and steel reinforcement, wire rod, steel rod, profiles, angles, beams, canals, wire mesh, trusses, panels, nails, chains, cables, guy wire and a wide variety of fences, bars and wire products for the automotive, infrastructure, energy, hardware, manufacturing, mining, and oil & gas sectors.
Experienced leadership in key positions
DeAcero’s success results from a series of efforts, optimizations and generations’ work in different areas, and to a large extent from the evolution in its logistics area, which depends on Raúl M. Gutiérrez Durán, a professional with wide experience in the company’s processes. Gutiérrez Durán is the Global Supply Chain Director for the DeAcero group, CEO for DeAcero Logistics and a member of the Grupo DeAcero’s board of directors. Gutiérrez Durán graduated in industrial engineering from ITESM (Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education), where he graduated with honors. In 2014, he earned an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business (California).
Gutiérrez Durán first joined DeAcero in 2008 as head of production in one of the company’s wire production plants. “From there, it was all growth and learning at different operative positions until becoming a director in one of our wire production plants. Afterwards, I took my master’s degree, I worked in the Supply Chain area for Apple and returned to DeAcero to become the director of our global supply chain,” Gutiérrez Durán commented. Among other activities, Gutiérrez Durán’s position as vice-president of CAINTRA (Chamber of the Transformation Industry of Nuevo Leon) stands out as well as his membership and active partaking in other important associations and groups such as the Horno 3 museum’s Foundation for Education, Science and Technology.
Understanding the market to obtain the client’s satisfaction
One key attribute for DeAcero has been the company’s ability to evaluate the different factors involved in order to modify and optimize processes and functions.
“We have divided our understanding of the market to adapt our whole organizational structure and strategies, offering a better service, finding ourselves aligned to our clients’ needs. We’ve engaged in an important mindset transformation, taking us from thinking processes from the inside-out to go from the outside-in. This frame of thought starts from analyzing the environment to develop transformation toward the company’s core,” Gutiérrez Durán said.
“This drives us to reassess the way we perceive ourselves, the way we perceive our clients, our markets, the way we conceptualize investments, processes and our own organizational structure,” the executive added.
Operations in the production, logistics, distribution, transportation and commercial areas have been restructured from an operational territorial organization previously set as a silo, into a channel, segment and attention model arrangement, leaving behind the “one size fits all” model by adapting and customizing work processes to the client’s satisfaction.
Changing these paradigms also brings an intelligent balance between cost and service, optimizing work systems and allowing a better understanding of the market resulting in delivering optimized services.
One of the key strategies has been the deployment of the spoke-hub model in distribution centers with reliable solutions as satellite distribution transfer centers and last mile locations support the strategy and commercial programs, thus increasing our value offer.
COVID19: taking care of the staff and business continuity
The pandemic’s consequences drove Grupo DeAcero into taking timely action, allowing for operational continuity in safe conditions, without compromising its personnel’s health. Outwards, the company and its strategic partners became closer, developing strategies for mutual support and coverage to comply with health and hygiene regulations. “We also share resources and contents about best practices among our clients, suppliers and the company, benefiting each other’s staff.”
We operate with more intelligence and attention to detail regarding inventory and supply planning. This situation pushed us into creating new processes focused toward the development of new consumables and replacement parts in an effort to avoid any stoppage. Roles and liabilities were restructured in procurement, setting apart the tactics, strategies and operations and creating a Procurement Intelligence, supported by a centralized negotiation and specialized regional clusters.”
“We are becoming a shared services area in order to disseminate and ensure the fulfillment of the best practices in procurement and securement in every function of the company’s purchasing area, looking to create win-win conditions with our vendors,” Gutiérrez Durán declared.
Suppliers and strategic partnerships
Strategic suppliers sought-after by DeAcero stand out due to timely deliveries, a flexible portfolio, and adaptation capabilities toward the company’s requirements for short lead times. These partnerships have resulted in win-win strategies, enabling the creation of the alternatives that bring more value for DeAcero. “We’ve searched for an efficient integration of every factor’s management, changing this concept from a supply chain to a value chain,” Gutiérrez Durán explained. “Our supplier evaluation and our Quarterly Business Reviews are focused on improving our productive chain, and becoming more resilient and competitive.”
New strategy in transport
As with other parts of the business, transport was also affected by the pandemic, taking Grupo DeAcero into rethinking its strategies to continue providing timely solutions to clients:
• New intelligent, dedicated and rented schemes were created by establishing strategic agreements with vendors, allowing the company to ensure product conveyance by making the most out of every trip.
• Truck contents and routes were optimized, aligning each trip with a product mix able to satisfy the clientele’s specific needs, according to our salesforce and clients’ agenda.
• Conveyance was reorganized by centralizing operations into central and regional clusters, arranging this area in clear planning, negotiation and management dimensions.
“This allowed us to get to know the conveyance market much better and expand our vendor portfolio,” the executive explained.
Tech deployment to optimize processes and products
The adoption, digitization and automation of processes have allowed the group to face the conditions of a volatile, hard-fought market in which deployment, training and better use of tech resources result in a great competitive advantage.
The tech and digitization projects DeAcero developed include new resources such as the control tower -providing data visibility and management-, end-to-end, purchase-to-pay (P2P) and order-to-cash (O2C) processes, along with recurrent and automated analysis of its distribution network, which allow for better strategic decision-making. This resulted in obtaining such advantages as a constant redesign process of the operating logistics network able to bring more agility in attention to the market, which increases predictability when supported by optimized inventory management. In its behalf, quality in production lines has also included digitized processes, as well as the warehousing and conveyance processes.
“This allows us to maintain our competitiveness!”, the executive pointed out.
Strongholds in Grupo DeAcero’s logistics and infrastructure have thrived after DeAcero Logistics (DAL) was created in 2016.
DeAcero Logistics offers train freight, roadways, cross-border transportation, VAS (value added services) storage, consulting, rentals, international trade, maritime cargo and distribution network analysis. DAL works for different industries and segments, including paper, oil, metal-mechanics, containers, specialty and retail, among others. DAL covers the Americas, Asia and Europe. Since Gutiérrez Durán created DeAcero Logistics, the company achieves a 110% YOY (year over year) growth supported by its philosophy: placing clients and suppliers first, prioritize service, add value to its entire chain and create synergies able to optimize the use of available resources within and beyond the company.
“DeAcero Logistics enables us to offer competitive products and solutions, providing our clients with complete services, helping them focus and thrive in their business,” Gutiérrez Durán commented.
Managing the human element
Staff management principles at DeAcero covers different aspects acknowledging the personnel’s work, offering wages above market average, to begin with. The company offers flexible schedules and open spaces designed with collaboration in mind. The company’s intranet constantly shares information capsules covering individual achievements, both in the personal and professional spheres. New hires have access to onboarding programs, and all the staff can take place in mentorships and talent development programs. Ongoing inclusion programs highlights female leadership within the company.
It should be noted that in spite of the pandemic, DeAcero maintained all of its staff, no adjustments were made, whatsoever.
Social activities such as taking part in local sports tournaments are supported by the company as are benefits and discounts in determined purchases and services, besides rewarding employees’ children with scholarships. The whole family has a place in DeAcero through workshops and learning activities covering subjects from handcrafts to finances. “The importance we give to our workplace culture, large family environment and employee satisfaction are key subjects in our staff surveys, the feedback we obtain helps us improve in these areas,” the executive said.
Sustainability within the company and beyond
Efforts by DeAcero in contributing to society are well beyond business and commercial purposes. DeAcero is the largest recycler in Mexico. All of the raw material used by the company is derived from recycled steel, processing more than 3M tons a year. DeAcero is also Mexico’s first steel supplier whose products are LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Also, total water consumed by DeAcero in every process is destined for reuse, while 98% of waste derived from these processes is recycled for use in other industries.
Social activities such as taking part in local sports tournaments are supported by the company as are benefits and discounts in determined purchases and services, besides rewarding employees’ children with scholarships. The whole family has a place in DeAcero through workshops and learning activities covering subjects from handcrafts to finances. “The importance we give to our workplace culture, large family environment and employee satisfaction are key subjects in our staff surveys, the feedback we obtain helps us improve in these areas,” the executive said.y. The foundation also supports 2 other projects for responsible consumption and production, 1 climate action project, 4 for peace and justice-strong institutions and 101 partnerships to achieve these goals.
Challenges: a network able to increase the value offer for clients
The current conditions in every market bring along different challenges, such as volatility, possible trade blocs and setbacks. DeAcero sets the following goals facing these factors:
• Integrating and aligning the value chain with a focus on the client. This implies speeding up the supply chain with technology to align and control it by assembling each of its parts, creating a flexible omnichannel network. This results in an integral logistics network becoming an important differentiating factor.
• Relying on collaboration and management dynamics focused on delivering business results through policies aligned with commercial and service expectations, making the most from logistic locations to offer a wide portfolio of customizable packages and solutions for each industry.
• Increasing digitization in key processes -such as e-business-, through platforms bringing the company closer to its clients.
• Developing the business’ knowledge, technical and personal abilities of every individual involved, guaranteeing the proper development of roles with a focus on adding value for clients, for our integral value chain and our company.
“We are looking to cover every link in the supply chain in its entirety, from purveyors, production facilities, storage, distribution and most importantly, our clients. We are convinced that focusing beyond costs, an internal collaboration and alignment among our o
perational areas, and an external alignment and proximity to our clients through an ‘outside in’ philosophy is the right strategy,” Raúl Gutiérrez Durán, Global Supply Chain Director for the DeAcero group and CEO for DeAcero Logistics finalized.