In Person: Company Owners Tour Our Mexican Manufacturing Campus
It’s no secret that American manufacturers from all sectors are struggling to find labor (as our last blog post explored). With an abundant, youthful, and cost-competitive workforce, Mexico offers a solution. To get a better understanding of the strengths of manufacturing in Mexico and Entrada Group’s strategic manufacturing support platform, we recently hosted a daylong tour for seven owners and C-level executives from four American companies. This blog post is a short recap of what they saw and experienced.
“We saw a lot in one day”
Our visitors, all owners, and C-level execs from US-based companies that produce wire harness assemblies for various industries spent more than ten hours as Entrada Group’s guest at our Zacatecas, Mexico manufacturing campus. They toured a total of four different client facilities, three of which engage in wire harness assembly.
Labor-intensive processes like wire harness assembly are well suited to the strengths of Mexico’s cost-competitive labor force and, in addition, the surrounding region has a long track record of companies building wire harnesses, which our clients appreciate. In fact, Entrada’s manufacturing campus in Zacatecas, Mexico has a 5,000-strong workforce, with more than half of all employees doing wire harness assembly. Our clients producing wire harnesses occupy more than a quarter of our overall campus footprint.
We showed our visitors a wide range of operations, including high-mix/low-volume and high-volume/low-mix, full automation, and wire crimping (physical and automated). Client headcount in the facilities we visited ranged from 50 to 1,400, and visitors spent one-on-one time with the plant management teams at each facility. They were able to gain a true picture of different types of Mexican manufacturing plants, operational structures, and production processes
Tour of Shared Services
In addition to visiting four of our client facilities, tour visitors also spent extensive time in several of Entrada’s functional service areas, including our:
• Recruitment Center, where Entrada conducts extensive interviews, skills tests, and analyses, with the ability to hire as many as 150 direct-labor workers weekly.
• Health & Wellness office, which has coped incredibly well under the additional demands of a 1 million sq. ft. Mexican manufacturing facility amid the Covid pandemic.
• Bussing and transport facility, which connects the campus and the surrounding communities well.
• Learning Center, which opened last year and features onsite professional development and certification programs such as IPC-610 and -620. Visitors were interested in these certifications in particular, which could be offered directly at the campus and save travel time and money, as well as downtime in the facility.
Observations & Takeaways from Our Visitors
• Appreciated the ability to talk directly with plant managers and found the whole tour incredibly open and transparent.
• A rich, information-packed day that gave a good overview of Entrada’s capabilities and the strengths of Mexico manufacturing.
• Impressed at how cohesive the campus feels, despite having a wide diversity of clients and industries served.
• Just try making a trip like this in one day to a manufacturing campus in China.
• If it is this easy and accessible for me to get in and out of here, it makes China a very hard sell. And that goes for me, clients, prospects, engineers, technicians, you name it.
• The labor we need is here.
What Happens Next
Suitably impressed, our visitors will proceed to the next steps as they work toward a potential contract with Entrada Group. As we do with all prospective clients, we will develop for them a cost model that details the price tag for their future Mexican manufacturing operation. They will evaluate their current operations and workforce, to determine the makeup and requirements for manufacturing in Mexico. Once a contract is in place, Entrada Group’s team of experts will work with them through startup and production launch in as little as 90 days.
If you’re interested in learning more about manufacturing in Mexico, reach out to me for a short call or join our next upcoming monthly webinar.