That the 56-year-old mechanical engineer with more than 30 years of working experience wouldn’t take long to make his markt on the BUHLMANN GROUP wasn’t hard to predict. Jaime Zubillaga’s former positions, among them seven years as Managing Director at MAN Energy Solutions for Mexico, Central America, Venezuela, and the Caribbean as well as his 13 years as Manager of the Energy Division of the Swiss Sulzer AG in Venezuela, provided the necessary know how. The married family-father talks about his start at BUHLMANN Mexico S.A. de C.V. and his plans for 2020.
(B) GLOBAL // How was your start at BUHLMANN?
Jaime Zubillaga // It was very positive, and I had very good support from everybody, particularly in Mexico and Spain. From the end of September to the beginning of October 2019, I had the opportunity to make a short trip through key BUHLMANN sites: I visited Duisburg, Bremen, two DYLAN sites in Oud-Beijerland and Roosendaal and I went to Spain. My main purpose was to get a better overview of the BUHLMANN GROUP and get to know key persons on each site.
What are the biggest differences compared to your former place of employment?
The greatest differences – seen by me as a big advantage – are that, despite being a smaller size company, we handle things faster and easier including decision-making, without losing too much time and without bureaucratic issues. And a company like BUHLMANN gives me the opportunity to be treated as a family member, despite of the long distance from Mexico to the headquarters in Germany. Being a smaller company gives us more opportunity to be considered for personnel development and/or career opportunities, based on personal achievements, of course.
Have you adapted to our corporate culture yet?
Yes, our corporate culture´s seven guiding principles will help me and my team in Mexico to pave the way on our journey with the BUHLMANN GROUP.
Did your personal living circumstances change, did you and your family have to move?
No at all. We didn't have to change anything or move. Our BUHLMANN Mexico office is not far away from my home and it is located in one of the best business and residential areas of the very highly populated Mexico City.
What makes the Mexican BUHLMANN site special, what are the specific competencies?
There are many specialties, as in any other country or site. On one side, there is not much proactive planning in Mexico, as in many other Latin American countries. That forces us to be very efficient and expedite in importing pipes and accessories into Mexico. In some cases, we have lost business against US competitors since we don’t yet have a good supplier and manufacturer base. Therefore, we started an initiative to find new suppliers and manufacturers in the US which, hopefully, will be completed by the end of 2020. On the other side, we can offer customers good added value in terms of logistics and expediting, including import procedures in Mexico to deliver goods DDP (Delivered Duty Paid). Only a Mexican entity is able to deliver the goods directly to the customer’s premises and it is very well appreciated by most of our customers, considering the fact of the complicated procedures and permits for imports into Mexico.
Have you made any significant changes so far?
No, since I have only been with BUHLMANN for little more than half a year. But they will come in the short- to medium-term future. In 2020 we intend to increase the results achieved in 2019, despite the negative economic forecasts. We urgently need to acquire new customers, especially in the fields of EPC (engineering procurement and construction) for oil refineries and combined cycle power plants.
What are your personal goals?
My goal is to remain in my present position and expand horizontally and ensure we achieve the greatest possible success for the BUHLMANN GROUP.
The interview is an article from our customer magazine (B) GLOBAL that can be downloaded here.