"As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, customers are becoming more concerned with the environment and health. In order to keep up with this trend, we are constantly incorporating healthy and green products to our portfolio."
What are the main trends in Mexico’s chemical distribution segment that have been prevalent in 2020?
Distributors continue to grow their share in the supply chain from chemical manufacturers to more than 40 industrial segments that use chemicals and raw materials. This trend is because distributors like Pochteca add value and lower costs to serve for manufacturers and total cost of ownership for customers. Some of the key value added services that we offer are specialized logistics, packaging, blending, inventory management systems, technical support and training, product application development, waste management and efficient small-order processing.
Digitalization is here to stay in all its forms. Pochteca is constantly adding new software and tools, as well as developing new features to our existing ones: more functional web pages where access to valuable information is just a few clicks away, on line stores and B2B portals, CRM, supplier portal, WMS and barcoding, routing systems to lower emissions and reduce cost to serve, analytics and big data analysis and process automation programs.
Concern for developing a circular economy and environmental consciousness is also gaining strength in Mexico. All stakeholders are more interested in reducing waste and reusing and recycling products along the supply chain.
The industry will continue to consolidate because it is still very fragmented, so we can expect more mergers and acquisitions.
Can you provide examples of some of the sustainable initiatives undertaken by Pochteca?
We are very proud to have received the 2019 Excellence Award in Responsabilidad Integral from ANIQ. Our logistics infrastructure, including warehouses and trucks, has all the certifications and licenses necessary to handle and store industrial waste.
Aside from operating with a reduced environmental impact, our products and services allow companies to improve their efficiencies and savings. In 2019, we launched a new division offering integrated environmental solutions to our customers, including recycling, co-processing, zero waste to landfill programs and responsible confinement/disposal of industrial waste. We go as far as contributing our own personnel working in-plant at our customers´ operations.
We continue to invest in our solvent recycling facility, incorporating additional equipment that allows us to process an even broader range of used solvents. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, customers are becoming more concerned with the environment and health. In order to keep up with this trend, we are constantly incorporating healthy and green products to our portfolio.
How do you think Mexico could address its shortage of raw materials to improve its chemical industry?
We need a strong and efficient Pemex, where key raw materials originate, as well as public policy that fosters investment by the private sector in the energy and petrochemical industries. The government is making a significant effort in modernizing Pemex´s refineries and other infrastructure and has announced some important projects where private industry will be investing or co-investing. We feel confident that over the next few years these investments will bear fruit and will improve the competitiveness of our industry.
What are Pochteca’s main areas of focus in 2021, and where would you like to see the company by 2022?
In October 2020, we acquired Ixom´s Latam operation in Chile, Argentina, Peru, Colombia and Brazil, and opened operations in the southern US. With these strategic steps, Pochteca is now present in 10 countries in the Americas and able to serve regional customers and suppliers with our 47 distribution facilities across the continent. Besides adding new countries to our scope, the Ixom acquisition brings additional expertise and lab capabilities for the mining and construction industries, as well as complimentary portfolios in other existing segments.
In 2021 we will focus on integrating these new operations and realizing the significant product, service, supplier, customer and operational synergies that the acquisition brings with it. As the recovery from Covid develops, we will continue to prioritize the safety and health of our employees, suppliers and customers by implementing all precautionary measures at our facilities and during the supply and delivery process, as well as imparting constant training to our team to make sure everybody is safe while conducting business with us.
Digitalization, sustainability and diversification will continue to be core in our strategy for 2021 and beyond.