The Mexico Consulting Associates’ team has a diverse experience base in providing many services for companies either entering Mexico or already in the country.
These projects performed by our team are across a wide number of industries in all areas of the country. We have listed some cases below as brief summaries. Perhaps they may reflect what your company would like to accomplish.
Potential Supplier Identification for Engine Manufacturer
A major producer of aircraft engines requested assistance in locating manufacturers of high-precision CNC machined parts. Following the development of a list of criteria, we identified 25 manufacturers primarily in the northern part of the country and ranked the candidates according to the criteria. With our assistance, the aircraft engine company visited the leading candidates for further qualification.
Appliances & HVAC Equipment
Developing Options for a New Facility in Mexico
A large manufacturer of HVAC equipment was interested in establishing a new plant in Northeast Mexico for a new product line. They had a number of specific criteria they needed satisfied including technical labor skill availability and logistics for supporting the southeast U.S. market. MCA developed a ranking of cities in the northeast states that met their initial needs prior to visiting the top five cities. Additional due diligence was performed in order to rank industrial parks and quotations for land and construction were obtained using a specification developed by our team. After completing pro forma start-up and operating cost matrices for each of the options, conclusions and final rankings were provided to senior management.
Strategy: Contract or Shelter? For Japanese Manufacturer
A Japanese wire harness manufacturer from the Midwest desired to both reduce costs of production as well as find a labor force able to handle growing production needs. Their initial focus was toward contract manufacturing and four candidates were found in four different cities in the northeast area of Mexico, two on the border and two further inland. However, due to the small number of harnesses per order, the varying number of P/Ns as well as the high freight cost per unit for low cube, this approach was abandoned in favor of gradually moving entire lines to Mexico via a shelter. An operator was selected in one of the border cities and production started with 35 operators in 10,000 sq. ft. After several years, this had grown to 1,000 operators in a 50,000 sq. ft. building. At that point the company left the shelter and went into their own legal entity. Shortly afterward, they asked MCA to assist in finding a new location for additional capacity and reduced labor cost further in the interior which we were able to accomplish recently. We have completed a total of five projects for this one company.
Supplier Development, Site Selection & Contract Negotiation for Fuel System Manufacturer
A Japanese Tier 1 supplier of fuel management systems from the Midwest was seeking capacity in Mexico to support their OEM’s growth there as well as in the U.S. where they had four plants. There were two elements to the project: supplier development and site selection for a plant. Supplier processing needs included die-casting, e-coating, stamping/forming/welding, gasket compounding, spring forming. MCA identified and qualified candidates for supply chain that were located in the geography of the intended plant site in north central Mexico. We did qualification visits with personnel from the U.S., Mexico and Japan using translators – 45 visits in eight days in eight cities. Finally, we assisted in contract negotiation and management of production contracts until the plant was operating. Site selection was performed over three trips visiting six cities and included visits to six shelter operators although that option was not chosen.
Labor; Due Diligence and Acquisition for German Manufacturer
A major German manufacturer of automotive pistons had two projects for MCA. The first was a request to have MCA locate an office site in Mexico, quickly accessible for their U.S. operation, which could house a design and engineering center to support that operation. The need was for 4-5 degreed engineers who had experience in utilizing a variety of software design programs and who were fluent in English as frequent communication would be required with their U.S. engineering personnel. In the process, we located a major city in the northeast close to the border and visited three major universities that had CAD programs in their curricula and who could support the project. Candidates were found, interviewed and presented to the client. The second project involved a request for MCA to do due diligence on a Mexican piston manufacturer they had identified. The asked for advice on the legal structure of a new company as well as performing internal audits on the existing company’s accounts and obligations and relationships with government entities.
Environmental Risk Assessment and Permitting for New Manufacturing Plant
A Japanese automotive electronics company needed assistance with permitting requirements for a new manufacturing facility. There were 20 tasks performed meeting their criteria, many in the environmental licensing and registration areas. Three environmental impact statements for the construction of the original facility and plant expansions were prepared and approved without delays. Assistance is now being provided for a new plant in another area of Mexico.
Chemical & Pharmaceutical
Locating a New Headquarters
A large cosmetics company from the U.S. requested assistance in locating a new Corporate headquarters for Mexico. We assisted in creating a list of criteria for the new location and identified and qualified a list of five leading candidates in the northern portion of the country. One was selected. In the process we also assisted in optimizing the layout of their existing distribution warehouse and coordinated the architectural design of a new warehouse.
Remediation of an Existing Facility
A request was made by a U.S. manufacturer of industrial components to implement a facility-wide remedial program at a 37 hectare foundry. Under team supervision, a full remedial investigation of the soils and groundwater was performed and a remedial plan was submitted to SEMARNAT. As part of the 18-month project, over one million square feet of manufacturing buildings were subject to waste cleanup including inspection and decommissioning of chemical underground storage tanks and cleaning of contaminated sewer lines. Asbestos remedial activities were performed
ELECTRONICS & ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT
Reverse Logistics, Site Selection for Electronics Services Provider
A company doing a variety of “test and repair” services for major cell phone and GPS providers from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area was interested in locating in Mexico to reduce cost for services at a time when volumes of units was increasing and new lines were being added. The key requirements were turn-around time, security of logistics, and low risk of operating in Mexico. We identified four northeast border cities as candidates as well as six shelter operators in those cities. We spent time on cross-border transactions as well as capabilities of trucking firms that could be used with GPS on tractors and trailers. They have been operating without incident in a growing operation for over four years.
Manufacturing Site Selection for Food Maker
A manufacturer of a well-known brand of peppermint candy canes in Georgia was looking for additional capacity and lower operating costs in the border area of Mexico. The company was family-owned. Three cities were considered to meet their criteria. In addition to production of candy canes in Mexico, they need to find a humidity controlled warehouse on the U.S. side where product could be stored until the arrival of the season. Five industrial parks were evaluated and a decision was made to purchase land and construct a facility in a new park just opened that eventually would have non-stop access to a new border bridge being built. They were the second plant in the new park and MCA was involved in assessing construction companies that could complete the work within a tight timetable.
Market Research, Regulatory Requirements for Mexico Market Expansion
A U.S. producer of a specialized food ingredient requested that we research the Mexican market for dietary supplements and functional foods and provide a guide to regulatory requirements for the importation of the company’s product. We carried out the research and provided the client with a report detailing the characteristics of the market for dietary supplements and functional foods, including information such as market value and growth trends, leading brands, sales channels and key product niches. The report also included a regulatory section detailing product classification descriptions, regulatory requirements, steps for compliance and relevant government agencies. The report provided contacts for selected manufacturers, distributors, consultants and government regulatory agencies.
Sale of an Existing Mexican Operation
A Swedish-based furniture manufacturer with a factory in Mexico asked MCA for assistance in identifying North American manufacturers who would be interested in acquiring its Mexican facility as an on-going operation. MCA developed a list of companies with both American, Canadian and Mexican operations who were looking for additional capacity and visited with many of them at the annual furniture show at High Point. Communications on acquisition possibilities are still on-going. In the interim, MCA had arranged for a national broker to list the building and property for either sale or lease.
HealthCare & medical products
JVs Identified, Business Plan Developed For Hospital Expansion
A major hospital in the South Texas border area was interested in developing a strategy and plan to bring its services to the northeast Mexico area. We were asked to put a plan together including investigation into acquisitions and JVs with existing private hospitals and clinics. In the process, we identified one major company in Mexico with its own clinic who was interested in having another provider (our client) manage the operation. We also identified two private hospitals in two immediate border cities that wanted to discuss joint ventures. Finally, we put together a detailed plan to develop a wide variety of healthcare services for a large industrial park that would involve clinics, training of nurses, and in-plant check-ups for employees.
Feasibility, Manufacturing Site Selection & Start-Up For Medical Products Company
A large manufacturer of hospitals beds and associated products was interested in how Mexico might fit into their global manufacturing strategy involving a LCC partner to their U.S. operations. They had already commissioned a study identifying Mexico as a candidate. We took senior manufacturing and supply chain personnel on three trips to assess possible sites for a manufacturing operation and to visit IMSS and private hospitals and clinics to view the utilization of their type products. This was part of an overall feasibility study. Following the third trip they decided to locate in a large northeastern city and we assisted with the implementation of the start-up.
Site Selection & Shelter Exploration For Medical Products Company
A small east coast manufacturer of stainless steel products for hospitals and clinics asked for our assistance in finding a suitable location in Mexico for producing lines of their products that could more efficiently and effectively reaching southeast and west coast markets. In addition, they wanted to also find a location on the U.S. side for distribution and partial assembly of final products using components that were coming from China. Their only existing distribution was being handled at their plant. Given their size and internal resources, they wanted to consider the shelter option. As part of the feasibility study, we visited eight cities in Mexico from the west coast to Reynosa including three cities off the border. We also visited three candidates for distribution in Phoenix/Tucson, San Antonio and Houston. On the Mexican side we met with ten shelter operators. The evaluation matrix we developed considered all of the viable options and they selected to manufacture in Saltillo and distribute from Houston.
Metal-Mechanics & Industrial Products
Site Selection for a Steel Door Manufacturing Operation
The owners of a specialty steel door manufacturer from the Midwest asked MCA to put together an agenda to visit several cities with maquila operations in the northeast of the country. Following the visits and performing due diligence, they selected the city in which they wanted to locate. Working with two senior manufacturing staff individuals, a process flow was developed for the production of the door line in question and a facility layout developed that would house the operation. A construction spec. was written based on the layout and a construction company selected from a list of several local firms. The facility was completed under budget and ahead of schedule.
Transfer Pricing Study and IMMEX Consideration
A Japanese manufacturer of diversified machinery products requested assistance related to transfer pricing issues for one of its subsidiaries in Mexico selling geared drive systems to domestic companies in a non-IMMEX environment. The question was whether transfer pricing studies in this environment had been correctly done. We provided CPA counsel with experience in transfer pricing to conduct an investigation which determined that all studies had been done correctly. In addition, the company requested an summary analysis of requirements for them to establish a new operation in an IMMEX environment for product that would be exported.
Establishment of a New Operation in the Border in a Shelter Environment
In looking at the changing shape and structure of the office products industry, a producer of file products asked MCA for advice on beginning an operation in Mexico adjacent to the Texas border as they had a facility in south Texas. We developed viable options and recommended three shelter operators in the area as the company wanted to limit their risk in Mexico and also did not have the knowledge resources to start and manage their own operation. They selected one which provided the best fit and started with 35 employees. After operating in the structure for a large number of years, they now have 1,000 employees in their assembly operation in Mexico as well as a cutting operation on the U.S. side.
Software & IT
Research into the Mexican Market for IT
A U.K. regional economic development agency from an area with information technology (IT) strengths was interested in evaluating the potential of the Mexican market for its region’s companies. We carried out research to identify characteristics, trends and growth areas in the Mexican IT industry and market and prepared an overview report for the client. Sub-sectors covered in the report included software, electronics, IT services, telecommunications, telephony, internet, mobile data services and cable and free-to-air television. The report also included descriptions of expected regulatory changes affecting the sectors covered and identified areas of opportunities for the client agency’s companies.
Textiles / Apparel & sporting goods
Site Selection, Mexico and China for Small, Growing Company
A small family-owned embroiderer of badges and emblems located in western North Carolina requested our assistance in finding a location in Mexico that would reduce labor cost and increase available local skill capability at a time when the geography in their immediate area was moving away from textiles. In essence, they wanted to find in Mexico what was available in the Carolinas when they moved there from the east coast in the early 1960s. With those criteria in mind, we visited a large number of cities from the eastern border to the Yucatan that had textiles as a still vibrant industry sector. A site was chosen ½ hour from Puebla. Two years after the start-up in a small leased facility, owners purchased land and built their own facility within walking distance of the initial site. Turnover in this location was almost non-existent due to the proximity of the plant to workers homes. Seven years later the company asked MCA to find a similar location in China. The criteria were similar to Mexico with the addition of a need for the plant to be less than one hour driving distance from UPS Air. A broad number of cities were visited prior to making a decision on a small town in the Qingdao area.