COLOMBIA - Industry
Country Manager, Vertisub
Ana María Gomez was born in Manzanares Caldas in 1988, and studied there for her entire elementary school and first two years of high school. In the year 2000 she moved to Manizales Caldas, where she finished high school. In 2006 she started her career as a Business Administrator at the National University of Colombia, ranked 5th in the admission tests, and worked in areas such as accounting, treasury, and human resources. In 2015 she moved to Bogotá and worked in the financial departments of two large companies, as well as studying finance at the University Externado of Colombia. In 2022 she was appointed Country Manager at Vertisub Colombia SAS, where she has been working for more than four years.
TBY talks to Ana María Gomez, Country Manager of Vertisub, about risk management, benchmarking and standards, and opportunities for the coming year.
What makes Vertisub an expert in risk management and how do you contribute to strengthening the business of your partners?
Vertisub contributes with its more than 30 years of experience in the sector. The solutions we provide, as our slogan says, are “unique solutions to complex problems in risk environments”. All industries are exposed to risks; manufacturing companies engineering companies, cement companies, refineries, oil companies. Our core clientele includes steel, mining, construction, horizontal property, wind energy construction, hydroelectric and thermoelectric plants, iron and steel refineries, glass factories, mass consumption production plants, food plants, industrial parks, and locative maintenance. For all risk profiles Vertisub provides simple solutions for each type of work. Furthermore, Vertisub creates an impact in that we not only solve the problem our clients have, but also train their people to do work in high risk environments. We boast an important achievement: zero fatal accidents. Additionally, we hold all the strictest international certifications and have already reached more than 5,000 clients and are present in 17 countries. This is a great endorsement to Colombian companies, which can trust and work with us. We ensure that their projects run smoothly and without problems. We ensure projects meet all safety and security conditions, and guarantee an optimal execution of the work.
What is the role of consulting within your services, and how do you help your partners understand their risks exposures?
We design fall protection programs and are indispensable partners in the design of work-at-heights. We start from consulting and planning to providing the optimum service. Companies tell us, for example, that they need to dismantle a platform, so we show them the program, we explain it to them, we advise them, and accompany them. This is high-risk work that causes anxiety, but we are specialists, and deliver the right solutions.
What makes experience a seal of guarantee for Vertisub’s partners?
Because we are providing viable solutions based on real experiences and experiences in the field. We are not saying we are going to do it because we believe that it is so, because we have studied that it is so, no, it is that we have done it. That experience carries a lot of weight and we most likely have already had a similar experience with a similar client in another country, or perhaps even in Colombia, and can, therefore, offer a proven solution.
What role does Vertisub have in helping Colombian industry meet Sustainability and Health & Safety standards and access global best standards?
We hold ISO 9001, ISO 14001, did 45001, ISO 26000 certifications. Based on that, everything we do involves people, companies and the surrounding environment. The repair of a wind turbine blade, means working with a company engaged in clean energy and so through repairs, dismantling of assemblies, inspections, repairs we also feel that we are contributing to environmental issues. We contribute to making the industry in Colombia safer, more viable and feasible in many cases and, therefore, expand the country’s productive potential.
What potential do you see in Colombia in terms of business development and what are your future projections for Vertisub in the country?
We intend to work more extensively in the Eolic issue, now that Enel is set to open a new wind turbine park in La Guajira called Windpechi. Regarding such matters as renewable, clean energies, we are going to support such initiatives with cement, steel and oil companies. Eighty percent of our income derives from high-risk industry, and 20% comes from training people from these companies to do these high-risk jobs.
How do you approach innovation and how are you constantly updating yourself to bring Colombia the best practices?
We are venturing into technology, having developed a platform called IVI, where people can receive virtual training from anywhere in the world. We have a practical topic that is a training track with a structure where people are tested on their grasp of the theoretical part. The practical part is essential, and they must know how to put on safety harnesses, hang on, ascend, descend. These skills are internationally relevant. We also work with drones and robots for confined spaces. We often cannot risk or enter because there is no capacity to put someone in a confined space, or else we make use of helicopters for heavy work.
What characterizes Vertisub’s relationship with its customers and what do you focus on to provide them with a service that is consistent and advantageous at the business level?
We have a very good business relationship with our clients, who are normally recurring clients such as Isagen, Grupo Enel, Massy, Geopark, Compañía Energetica de Colombia, Ultracem, Coliseo Live, Gecelca, Vestas, Yara, Navitrans, Etex, Amarilo, Claro, Movistar, Argos. We offer competitive prices because we have highly trained people who carry out work using ropes rather than complicated scaffolding or other types of access.
Where do you see growth opportunities going forward?
We are a strategic ally for the growth of the industrial sector. We want to focus on the Eolic industry because we are experts worldwide, and have contracts with Vestas, which I believe is the largest regenerative company in the world. We have also worked in Mexico, Uruguay, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica with them. In Colombia, ours is a new business. There are a number of wind farms due to be constructed that will require maintenance, repairs, and cleaning and I want to focus on this issue of renewable energy so that they take us into account and know that we have trained people, experience and the ability to support them.
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