COLOMBIA - Energy & Mining
General Manager, Hydraulic Systems
Edgar Bodú is a results-driven senior-level Manufacturing Operations Manager and Industrial Engineer. He has diverse experience and a proven record of achievement in leading teams to unprecedented growth. He has proven excellence in production, maintenance, quality assurance, logistics, procurement, and other critical functions with strong financial abilities. He is bottom-line focused, utilizing strong business acumen and management expertise that fosters financial growth and stability. He places an emphasis on being a catalyst for change and a driver of results, focusing on improving processes and operations.
TBY talks to Edgar Bodú, General Manager of Hydraulic Systems, about optimisation, the benefits of working with local companies, and exciting developments in 2022.
How does Hydraulic Systems enable operators to enjoy better cost optimization opportunities and increased competitiveness?
We are a company dedicated to hard chrome plating, with 28 years of experience. We remanufacture and manufacture hydraulic cylinders as our main business line. Over the past three years, we have been diversifying our portfolio and taking advantage of our infrastructure, namely a plant with an area of over 12,000sqm, and are well designed to comply with the legal framework of the country, and worldwide, as far as environmental control is concerned. Our chrome plating production line is one of the largest in Latin America and has the most controls to avoid contamination of the environment and curb emissions. Our emissions are below California’s standards, which gives us an advantage in the market. We are one of the few companies that oil, and gas companies can partner with that is compliant with sustainability requirements, and our quality assurance systems are comprehensive. That’s our advantage. During the past three years, we have been growing other business lines such as drilling rotors, chrome plating for drilling rotors for oil and gas, manufacturing of parts for pumps for the oil and gas industry, and high velocity oxygen fuel, which is one of our strongest production lines for the future. We started that line mid last year. Oil and gas companies view us as a potential partner that can consolidate their business and growth. The same goes for hydraulic systems. We have seen growth of approximately 20% per year over the past two years, despite the pandemic. So, when we returned after the lockdown, we were able to reduce costs to adapt to the new environment and continue investing in technology.
What advantages can oil operators derive from contracting a company with a local profile and on-the-ground expertise? What services can be sourced directly from here?
We are the only company of our segment in Colombia holding all certifications, and boasting the capacity that operators need from a partner. We are currently more exposed for them. Over the past two years we have taken a huge stride in social media, and in bringing our customers to the plant and showcasing our capabilities. Having complied with all legal aspects, involving over 800 legal documents, being ISO 9001, 14000, and 45000 certified, and having a sustainability plan in our culture is what the oil and gas companies warm to. Since 2021, we have been doing business with Ecuador and Peru, and in 2022 we planned to start business with other countries in Latin-American and the Caribbean. Our infrastructure, capacity and technology have been ahead of our peers. We have the best and latest technology in high velocity oxygen fuel so when we have a quality control, an IQA, and have all the KPIs that reflect our business under continuous improvement phylosophy. We have also implemented a cost control culture in recent years that positions us at the front of the line for high demand customers like oil and gas entities. Customers like Schlumberger and NOV and Halliburton are among those we have started doing business with since the middle of 2021.
What attention do you give to sustainability, how do you achieve global best standards in quality, and how can you help companies achieve their sustainability objectives?
When we invest in technology we also invest in people and their training, taking the latest raw talent to improve quality. Partnering with the top laboratories worldwide, including external and certified labs that can give us that extra push, certify our values and performance. That is just part of continuous improvement any time we develop a new production line or business. So training, technology and KPIs go together, while cost control culture also remains important. This impacts our customers but also our community and employees’ families. Our workforce has been able to grow over the past three years despite the pandemic, having grown 20% compared to a year ago. We were able to retain our people during the lockdown and come back even stronger. Very few companies in our industry can say the same. The secret is to keep on top of innovation, cost control and long-term strategy.
What types of partnership are you looking for and what company types offer synergies?
One of our long-term strategies has been to diversify our business portfolio. We started out in mining with hydraulic cylinders. Our interest is to securely grow and adapt to the changing external environment. Ours is a volatile global business. We don’t have borders, parameters change constantly and partnering with different businesses and industries gives us the flexibility to handle prices and sustain growth. We serve the ports, the cement industry and manufacturing, and with high velocity oxygen fuel we are able to increase the lifetime of our remanufacturing and repair companies. That’s what the customer is looking for: what is the lifetime of repair, how many hours are they able to run before the company must return to our factory and what is the turnaround time? How many days does it take to be ready for deliver to the customer? Customers appreciate velocity, quality, certification, sustainability.
2022 has the highest projects exploration investment since 2014. What is the strategy to benefit from a strong market and demand?
The advantage is that we are already present, whereby customers like Schlumberger and Halliburton save time with us. They benefit from high quality and are able to reduce costs with us as opposed to seeking service from abroad. Colombia has an advantage that our manufacturing and repair cost is very competitive, when compared with North America, and it is more cost-efficient for companies to partner with us. Partnering with them requires certification that no one else in Colombia holds. We have been working hard on this for the past three years and are now there. The turnaround time for our customers is much lower. Additionally, the circular economy is very important. Sometimes customers lacking other options disregard or discharge parts but are able to reuse these at a later time, which they appreciate.
How do Colombian tech-oriented companies contribute to the sophistication and development of industry?
The country benefits from greater exposure worldwide. We are now an international company that is based in Colombia, which has changed over the past two years. We contribute to national growth and are technology leaders in terms of our service, which we provide at the same level as the best companies globally. We have changed substantially over the past three years and never cease investing in tomorrow. Our customers can be sure that with us they will have optimization and the cost quality of our service, as well as good turnaround times, all certification they may require and peace of mind that our company provides a superlative service.