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Grupo ITISA is an integrated corporation comprised of construction and infrastructure companies. Through its companies, ITISA enjoyed years of being the second largest locomotive diesel fuel dispenser supplier for Mexico's former Ferrocarriles Nacionales (National Railways), just behind Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX). For decades, ITISA not only provided the railway company with concrete sleepers but also the hauling vehicles and machinery needed to facilitate their installation.
In the early 1990s, Mexico's railway system changed, and therefore so did the ITISA group by diversifying into precast concrete and construction, from engineering services to completed projects.
"The fact that the company is in its third generation is a major achievement. Understanding the market and following our customers is what's important to us. We value quality, performance and reliability," says Gabriel Santana Echeagaray, ITISA Group's Business Development Director.
Santana Echeagaray is a civil engineer graduate from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) with a Diploma in Business Development from the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM). Santana has taught graduate courses for UNAM's Faculty of Architecture.
"For more than 50 years, ITISA has concentrated its efforts specifically on precast concrete. We are Mexico's most important company in this area in terms of volume, infrastructure and projects," Santana explained.
ITISA Group's foray into precast concrete began in 1993, which means it competes with construction companies with more than 50-year experience in the field.
Most procedures within each of ITISA’s business units are regulated by tested mechanized structures that ensure that each operation is well organized and successful. Each necessary step is not only met with complete seriousness but is certified under ISO 9000 standards. Moreover, the same commitment to quality is also required of its suppliers.
• ITISA Prefabricados is one of Mexico's largest precast concrete companies, thriving through steady growth and an ever increasing market share, all the while solidifying its active presence. The dedication and strength of its work is reflected in constructions such as the Elevated Viaduct at the Cuernavaca exit (in Mexico City), the Gota de Plata Auditorium (Pachuca) and the recently opened BBV Stadium (in Monterrey), among others.
• ITISA Ferroviarios is the most important concrete railway sleeper manufacturer, among domestic companies. This division works for public enterprises (such as the Isthmus of Tehuantepec Railway, a concession from the Mexican government) as well as for private ones. Its private sector clients include Kansas City Southern of Mexico (KCSM) - which provides freight transportation between Lazaro Cardenas and Tampico - and Ferromex's "N" rail line, part of Grupo Mexico, a corporation for which railway projects have also been developed. ITISA's diverse clientele in this area is testament to its flexibility and adaptability with respect to customer needs and operational standards.
• AMEXDER is responsible for rail transport equipment. It represents the TrackMobile market leader brand of vehicles in Mexico. Besides supplying the rail market with equipment and spare parts, its rail and on-road motor vehicles are crucial to the mining sector as well as for conveyance of Mexico City’s subway wagons.
• TUMEX is the company responsible for steel pipe manufacturing used for different applications, the most important being drinking water pipelines as well as drain pipes. TUMEX also boasts adaptability with regard to product requirements when it comes to use and context. Asides protected stainless steel piping - resistant to humid climates and other variants - it also supplies the necessary accessories for easy duct pipe installation in any terrain. TUMEX has taken part in important projects such as the recent phase of the Sistema Cutzamala (water supply project for the Mexico Valley), with pipelines covering more than 200 miles in length. They also provide pipes for spectacular billboards.
In-house processes, the advantage of vertical integration
ITISA Group's capabilities can be deployed in a single project, from the initial design and engineering stages of civil works, through transport and erecting, to installation and assembly. In such a highly competitive environment, it is very rare to find a company not only able to successfully develop all these steps itself at the extent required for the project and/or building size, but that ensures the highest standards throughout and delivers on time or often well before deadline.
"Our real distinction is being able to perform reliably on a massive scale, each time at a faster rate. Anyone can make a double-tee slab, but making 5,000 in 10 months and installing them before the deadline is not so easy," says Santana.
Optimization of technological resources
Controlling each process is key to ITISA Group. Operations are supported by REVIT software, tailored for each project to ensure better, accurate results. More than its regular functions have been adapted; data such as quantities required for manufacturing is obtained from each piece of data. This integration provides greater transparency by precisely showing the client every element needed.
"Our customer can rent their space to a cinema and assign the project’s size; the application enables to view the project as if it were already built," Santana adds.
Moreover, thanks to mechanized processes and specialized vehicles, the railway sector has enjoyed optimized repair, rehabilitation and modernization of its tracks. ITISA provides its railway sector customers much cleaner, more organized and higher quality work compared with semiautomatic or manual procedures.
“Cimientos ITISA”: support for the human resource
"We are dedicated to improving our workforce. We want ITISA to be considered an ideal place to work, develop and grow," comments Santana. Cimientos ITISA’s (“cimientos” being Spanish for a building’s foundations) programs allow employees and their family access to higher training and education by building schools near production plants.
Internally, for five years now, opportunities are sought to develop and manage growth from within. Similarly, the company funds postgraduate studies if it determines that the knowledge gained can become be useful for their operation.
"We support young people who have, promote and live company values. We help them move forward by funding advanced education and their development," explains Santana.
Linking goals towards major purposes
Having set specific and measurable goals, ITISA Group has a clear vision of its future. Annual goals are aligned with corporate strategies. Likewise, each position's individual profile reflects objectives that add up to major goals.
Five-year plans are evaluated each semester, focusing on operational, commercial and workforce excellence.
These are but some of the factors that have contributed to a rapid growth which in recent years has averaged between 30 and 35 percent annually.