For a country to enjoy proper development it needs to have a strong infrastructure. In Mexico, Urbanizadora del Bajio, a construction company located in the city Ofirapuato, has been involved in the advancement of the country for the past 37 years. Luis Miranda tells the story of a business dedicated to cast the future of a nation one client at a time.
From its inception in 1971, Urbanizadora del Bajio (UBSA), embraced the construction business as a way to bring about progress to Mexico and its people. In fact, that is one of its main goals in every project its professional labor force takes part in. The company was founded by Jorge Americus Schwartz, a professional engineer who foresaw the evolution in the construction industry, as more and more multinationals arrived to the land of the Aztecs looking for better business opportunities. Since then, UBSA has taken it to his word to provide exceptional solutions under its design-build delivery model through which the company builds industrial facilities, residential units, roads and mechanical installations among others.
Every project is always supported by a team of engineers and planners who not only assess a client’s own needs and requests, but also suggests changes in order to minimize costs and delays without sacrificing quality or deadlines. UBSA is well known for its capacity to implement programs and policies to ensure the delivery of projects within budget, while meeting customers’ safety expectations. “Most of the time our suggestions go beyond improving a project or the use of time and money and into offering results that our own clients do not expect,” says Hector Alejandro Estrada, the company’s general manager. Most of UBSA’s clients are global corporations like General Motors, GMM, General Mills, Green Giant, Danone, and Del Monte, as well as the Mexican government.
Currently, UBSA offers innovative features that no other construction company has. For example, clients are provided with a computer software solution that allows them to monitor the progress in their projects through the use of Web cams. In addition, UBSA offers wireless access for customers and partners to a site where they can exchange ideas and new concepts. In the field, UBSA has implemented a new robotic system which is used to explore working areas and excavations where employees would usually be lowered into the ground. This new technology decreases the risk of accidents in the workplace and accelerates the process of land preparation for the construction phase.
THE INFLUENCE OF NAFTA
The signing and implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has proven essential for the success UBSA had in the last decade. The treaty spurred the arrival of multinationals from Europe, the United States and Asia that sought to establish roots on the continent in order to manufacture their products with lower costs and then be able to sell them in local and regional markets. “NAFTA has been very beneficial for us because it multiplied the demand for construction of infrastructure, residential development and industrial facilities,” remembers Estrada. The appearance of these commercial partnerships opened the door to other business opportunities within Mexico, which allowed the company to expand its operation to more cities than ever before.
In 2002, UBSA constructed the import/export building for General Motors as well as its central storage facility. In 2003, the company worked in the construction of DaimlerChrysler’s spare parts building in central Mexico, while in 2004 it participated in the construction of the Silao Plant for Ominum Plastics. In the food business, UBSA utilized its engineering capacity to design and construct Danone’s water treatment plant as well as its packing and bottling facility. In other industries, it constructed commercial locales for Wal-Mart and Holiday Inn hotels.
The company will continue to grow alongside the country’s unstoppable run to becoming one of the most attractive hosts for industrial and commercial development in the continent.