The Business Year

Angel Terrero

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - Transport

Ever Flexible

Regional Director, Yobel

Bio

Angel Terrero was born in 1979 and is currently the Caribbean Regional Manager of Yobel Supply Chain Management. Terrero oversees Yobel SCM’s operations in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Panama. He has more than 15 years of experience working in the manufacturing and supply chain industry. Terrero graduated in Industrial Engineering and has a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He is a member of the Board of Asociación de Empresas Industriales de Herrera y Provincia de Santo Domingo (AEIH) and several associations including Asociación de Empresas de Inversión Extranjeras (ASIEX) and the American Chamber of Commerce of the Dominican Republic (AMCHAM).

"The Dominican Republic today is our largest operation in the Caribbean."

Yobel has become one of the leading South American companies offering outsourcing services in supply chain management. What factors have led to this success?

The service we provide is based on our customer requirements. We are highly flexible and design all our infrastructure and service platforms based on our customers, and they leverage our technologies and our unique operational know-how. We have implemented a world-class warehouse management system with a lot success for our customers, while, additionally, our executive staff are certified in Lean Six Sigma and, next year, we are going to spread this to the entire organization. Another relevant factor is that, as a subsidiary company of a Peruvian corporation, we have vast knowledge of the Latin American market. These factors are differentiators for us because most players in this industry are from Europe, the US, or Asia, or have partnerships with local companies, while we are proudly Latin American and operate our own branches.

Yobel offers services in supply chain management in 11 countries throughout the Americas. Considering your company’s wide reach, what role does the Dominican Republic play within your international portfolio?

The Dominican Republic today is our largest operation in the Caribbean, although Puerto Rico and Panama feature, too. For this year and the next, the Dominican Republic will maintain the leadership of our corporation in the Caribbean, but Panama is experiencing rapid growth and I believe that, by 2016, it will have become the company leader. For the corporation, the Dominican Republic is very strategic because from here we handle, manage, and assume all regional operations. In Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Panama the market is in continual growth. We don’t have a sizable market share currently, but we are expecting this to change, and are confident of growth in the Dominican Republic. Today we have notable demand from the pharmaceutical industry; it has recognized our expertise and unique solutions in the sector. We have implemented a strong quality system for that sector and have considerable experience with consumer goods, cosmetics, technology, and food and beverages, so the business in the Dominican Republic is important and there is a wide portfolio of services on offer. Our biggest market is the multinationals.

Are Dominican SMEs willing to use your outsourcing services as well?

We do work with a number of small businesses, for which we leverage our capacity to compensate for their lack of infrastructure, capital, and transport units to fully reach sales points. But most local SMEs still don’t know the service, and also lack the business structure to outsource those functions.

“The Dominican Republic today is our largest operation in the Caribbean.”

How does the regulatory environment in the Dominican Republic affect Yobel’s performance and the logistics industry as a whole?

Our business operates within a supportive environment of political and economic stability, which greatly impacts both economic development and international trust; the country has a stable growth rate of over 5.5%, while inflation is within the acceptable range, and the currency is stable, although we face other challenges. I consider the labor law complicated, for example. There is a movement among the private sector to propose its amendment, which goes beyond our industry. The employee is currently over-protected under this law, giving a company little space for negotiation when it comes to a dispute. This is something that hinders the normal development of operations and is a sensitive issue among many sectors nowadays. This is reinforced by labor unions, as is the case in the transport sector. This factor can be seen favorable for our business since our customers may avoid those complexities by contracting the third-party logistics services.

How would you rate the quality of the infrastructure in the Dominican Republic?

I think it is adequate for the market today in terms of warehousing and roads. Yet any serious attempt to transform the Dominican Republic into a hub will demand more modern infrastructure and a regulatory law. For example, the Port of Caucedo being constructed in partnership with DP World right now is building some infrastructure for our business to establish logistics centers in the port.

What impact will the expansion of the Panama Canal have on the Dominican logistics industry, and how will Yobel respond to the changes that its expansion entails?

The canal expansion will help us because it will increase the traffic of goods, but it is a challenge, too. In the same way we must ensure our regulatory environment, because Panama has many laws that assist companies not based in Panama. So it’s not only the expansion of the canal, it’s also the integration of policy that must be checked. And since we have operations in Panama, we are thinking about that movement. We have a lot of demand in Panama. Yobel grows in Panama by approximately 30% yearly, which is a huge number. In the Dominican Republic we grow by 20%-25% annually, which presents an opportunity, although it is a challenge for the country to maintain its competitive advantage in the region.

The Dominican Association of Freight and Maritime Area (ADACAM) and the Shipping Association of the Dominican Republic (ANRD) are considering creating a Logistics Cluster. What is your view of the idea?

The development is interesting in terms of shining a light on the logistics sector. In contrast to the previous lack of promotion, ADACAM and ANRD are doing a good job of promoting the sector. As Yobel SCM, we support those initiatives since it helps with the development of the sector.

And how would you assess the Dominican Republic’s potential as a regional hub?

Creating the cluster will help the government to make the Dominican Republic a hub. The Dominican Republic in the short term has considerable opportunities as the political situation is very steady. It is good right here. We have a strategy oriented to tourists to increase the number of visitors to the Dominican Republic to 10 million. This is significant as such strategies encourage organic growth of the economy through the development of related sectors.

What is Yobel’s short-term growth strategy in the Dominican Republic?

We are facing a lot of factors. Right now we are investing a lot of money in training of our staff to spread some methodology in our operations. We have become a Lean Six Sigma company, so I think that this strategy will help us to grow and other strategies that we can’t publish right now. But we have a lot of changes in storefor the future in our corporation.

© The Business Year – November 2014

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