The Business Year

Marcela Mejí­a

Marcela Mejí­a

General Manager, Sidoc

Felipe González

President, Acesco

Given the size of heavy industry and construction in Colombia, there is a large market for steel producers. They are innovating to remain competitive.

What is the role of the company within the construction and infrastructure industry in Colombia?

MARCELA MEJÍA SIDOC has 35 years of history. There are five steel factories in Colombia, one of them, Paz del Río, considered a comprehensive factory. This means its work starts from the iron ore. We produce the steel that Colombia uses in infrastructure and construction of housing and buildings. In general terms, the steel factories are today capable of covering the demand of the national steel market. SIDOC currently produces around 20% of the concrete steel that Colombia needs, and our operations are located in the southwest region of Colombia. The vision of SIDOC is to be the leader in solutions for construction for the southwest regions, and not just in steel production.

FELIPE GONZÁLEZ The main focus of our company is to provide opportunity to markets, enhance people’s lives, and improve the future of our society. In that case, we need to be focused on products that are in line with global and national sustainability efforts. We not only want to create new products, but also improve on the current products in the market right and be aggressive with technical solutions. As a leader, we are expected to be ahead on helping customers resolve their needs. Current needs are closely related to sustainability problems. We are the first company to have a self-declared environmental declaration; no other company in Colombia does that with their products. We are also the only ones with an extremely comprehensive warranty program on our products. We are implementing a new approach in our relationships with our customers and partners, such as architects and civil engineering companies that develop and build projects in Colombia.

How does Sidoc prioritize innovation?

MM When you compete in the big leagues with big producers of Latin America, you need to be competitive and work on aspects such as continuous innovation and competitiveness. We have been doing this for several years with excellent results, relying on efforts such as benchmarking and leading manufacturing practices that ensure we can keep increasing productivity continuously. We are also implementing a mini-company solution. All these are part of internal developments within Sidoc. We have also been working heavily on digital strategy, especially aimed at guaranteeing our service. When you are responsible for the production of a commodity, you must build unique and differentiated positions in the market. This is what SIDOC has done over the last 35 years, and this has set us apart. If we look at the economic results of the five steel factories in Colombia, Sidoc has had the best results of the sector in the last 10 years. Steel factories are the second-largest consumers of electric energy in the country after Cerro Matoso. In the case of Sidoc, being semi-comprehensive, all our steel is produced in electric furnaces, making us the largest energy consumers in the southwest. We consume over 15 million kW per month. We have made important investments in CAPEX to guarantee environmental and productivity aspects.

How does Acesco optimize production, and what is the importance of forming strategic alliances within that objective?

FG In the industrial area where we are located, in the beginning we were the first ones to move them, and we have since built a cluster around us. Most of the companies in industrial park where we are based are steel companies, competitors, and some of our customers. In addition, in recent times, there is another manufacturing operation with a talent pool near us. There are many advantages and synergies for development. Mainly, they are in the logistics area because we are located in a  cluster. All the logistics services that we need are extremely heavy, and having many similar companies based here makes it easy for trucking companies. There are also many technical services that we share between companies, like safety services, electricity, and maintenance services. All these synergies are reflected back as better service to our customers.

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