In the past years, Mexico has almost become the "favorite location" of the international automotive industry. This has been made possible by the good training of the specialized personnel, the improved infrastructure and the proximity to the US market. Against this backdrop, the Mexican market is also becoming increasingly important for tool manufacturers. In line with this, LMT Tools founded a new sales company in Mexico last year. Which demands do Mexican customers have and which objectives has the company set? A conversation with Daniel Martinez, Commercial Director LMT Tools Mexico.
Mr. Martinez, how have the first weeks after the company's foundation been?
Needless to say, such a start is very work-intensive, but that is indispensable. First of all, we have to further establish LMT Tools in the Mexican market, stabilize current business and build up new customer relations. These three objectives constitute a demanding task.
What experience are you bringing with you?
I have been working in the tooling sector for more than 20 years and know the Mexican market very well. I am bringing this know-how into the company. It is also important to mention that we have a committed team of five employees. Four of them work directly in sales. At the same time, we are in close contact with our LMT colleagues in Germany and the USA nearly every day in order to discuss important projects. Mexican customers thus have the entire know-how of LMT Tools at their disposal.
How did the foundation of the new sales company come about?
First of all, the Mexican market is of great importance to LMT Tools. Our tools match our customers' requirements perfectly. We also have a high level of application knowledge and offer customized services. This combination opens up outstanding chances, which we will now utilize.
Which sectors are at the center of attention?
Customers from the automotive industry play a very important role. I estimate that they make up approximately 70 per cent of our market potential in Mexico They include big international original equipment manufacturers as well as Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers. In addition, the significance of the aircraft industry in Mexico is increasing – the sector is growing rapidly. The same applies to the oil and energy industry sectors. We offer these customers a high level of efficient, customized solutions.
Which demands do Mexican customers place on tool manufacturers?
It is noticeable that many customers demand shorter and shorter delivery times. They can then reduce the number of tools held available at the production location and thus reduce their storage costs. Our aim is therefore to supply the required tools in a very short period of time.
Which tools are important for the Mexican market?
At the moment, many customers use our thread rolling heads and tap drills. Furthermore, various milling tools, tools with polycrystalline diamonds (PCD) and cubic boron nitride (CBN) as well as customer-specific special tools are playing an increasingly important role. So, our extensive portfolio has already established itself in the market. In addition, the number of service assignments is increasing. Service technicians from Germany, the USA and Brazil are on site at our customers' plants at least once a month.
Can you single out a few successful examples?
We are currently establishing close relations with well-known customers in automotive engineering. This is an important basis for our business. However, there are also some very practical successes. A good example is the use of the Feed-Jet multi-tooth cutter made by LMT Kieninger at a Tier 1 supplier. The company carried out tests and found out that with this tool almost 50 per cent more components can be machined than with a competitive product – in total 42,000 instead of 28,000 parts previously. This reduces unit costs quite considerably whilst making the production process more reliable at the same time.
What are your objectives for the future?
LMT Tools already achieved a high turnover last year in Mexico. We want to more or less quadruple this result in the next five years. The result would then correspond to approximately three per cent of the Mexican tool market. In order to be able to reach this ambitious goal, I believe that the know-how of our team will be decisive. We will have to get hold of new employees with extensive tool expertise and then train them systematically. Strategic partnerships with Mexican machine tool manufacturers and dealers are just as important. Let me summarize the situation as follows: We are facing an exciting challenge which I am personally really looking forward to.