From beautiful, exclusive designs to an emphasis on customer service, Cesantoni, a Mexico-based company specializing in ceramic flooring and tile, knows how to meet the demands of today’s high-end tile market. Rachel Hartman reports on the company’s 30 years of experience and its ongoing expansion in the ceramic flooring industry.
When it comes to growth, Cesantoni S.A. de C.V. is in the minority. “The average company in Mexico is not currently investing in projects such as a new manufacturing plant,” says Ivan López Verver y Vargas, marketing director of Cesantoni, a leading producer of ceramic flooring and tiles. “Cesantoni, however, is looking for careful, sustained growth, and since we’re a vertical company it’s easy to make that happen.”
The company has a plan underway to open a new factory in northern Mexico. This plant will be the company’s third production area, as it already has two operating plants in Mexico. “With the addition of the third plant, we’ll be able to double the level of our current production,” says López.
Cesantoni is based in the city of Calera de Victor Rosales, located in the central state of Zacatecas. It currently has two manufacturing plants in Zacatecas. It plans to open the third plant in the northern state of Coahuila. “This will enable us to better reach the northern market in Mexico and the United States as well.”
Since it first started operations in 1980, Cesantoni has focused on creating tile and flooring that stands apart from the competition. “The traditional market for tiles in Mexico was quite saturated, so Cesantoni entered as a producer of elaborate, exclusive designs.” This allowed the company to position itself as a manufacturer for the high-end ceramic tile market in Mexico.
The strategy led to steady growth for the company, and in 1990 it opened a second plant in order to meet the increase in demand for its products. “This second plant was installed with the latest technology and machinery that was 100 percent Italian.” The addition helped Cesantoni establish itself as a leader in technology, innovation, and design in the tile and ceramic flooring industry.
Over the years, the company’s product line has grown to include a wide variety of designs and flooring options. Customers can select among glossy, semi-glossy, matte, rustic or textured finishes. They can also choose from a selection of sizes. For tiles, the sizes include 43.2 by 43.2 centimeters, 33 by 33 centimeters, 55 by 55 centimeters, and 54 by 54 centimeters for rectified flooring. For wall coverings, the tiles and flooring come in the following sizes: 22 by 35 centimeters, 31 by 61 centimeters, and 30 by 45 centimeters.
“Every three to four months, we add new lines to our tiles, flooring, and accessories,” says López. This constant, consistent change helps the company maintain a competitive edge in the market. Some of its current offerings in designs include: Monet, Moscovia, and Khania for kitchens; Sorrento, Andorra, Jerez, and Fresno for interiors, Bechamel, Atocha, Etrusco, and Tonalá for exteriors; Corcho, Cipres, and Murcia for an imitation wood appearance. Colors for these products range from neutrals and pastels to bright tones.
Cesantoni’s products work well in both residential spaces and institutional areas. Individuals, companies, and government projects that require high-end flooring can find integral solutions through Cesantoni. The company has three decades of experience catering to these types of customers and is familiar with their needs and the market’s demands.
EMPHASIS ON QUALITY
“The challenge with ceramic flooring lies in creating a product that is similar to real stone, such as marble or onyx flooring.” Cesantoni has addressed this issue by adding processes that lead to a high quality finished product. “Our products go through processes that sometimes take five to six days to complete. The end result is a floor that is as close as possible to a natural stone in terms of color, depth, and finish.”
The company extracts the material it needs from its own quarries in Zacatecas. It sends all of the dry material used in its products through a grinding process to mix and evenly distribute the contents. This process produces a material that is homogenous and of high quality.
Cesantoni’s products are stain and chemical resistant. As the products are manufactured, they are baked at extremely high temperatures ranging from 1090 to 1120 degrees Centigrade for wall coverings and 1140 to 1185 degrees Centigrade for flooring. The finished product is less susceptible to sun damage and decoloration.
The company meets both the American and European standards, such as EN 179 BIGL and ISO: 9000, in the industry. “Our goal is to meet or surpass the international standards of quality for our products.” Cesantoni also has one department dedicated solely to developing new and innovative designs. This department receives data from the marketing department of the company, which continually scours the market to identify current needs and trends.
These aspects have helped the company take a leading role in today’s high-end tile industry. It currently distributes its products throughout Mexico. It also exports to the United States and Central America.
In each of the areas where Cesantoni has a presence, it focuses on one sole distributor. “From the beginning, Cesantoni has always maintained an exclusive distribution policy. This way the company is able to help each distributor grow and develop in the region it is located.”
Cesantoni keeps in close communication with its distributors, with company officials personally visiting each distributor on a regular basis. This personalized service gives distributors an opportunity to discuss their current needs with the company. It also gives Cesantoni the chance to communicate any available discounts or special offers that the distributors would benefit from.
In certain cases, distributors may even bring Cesantoni in to help close a deal. If a distributor is offered a large project, it may ask Cesantoni to create a customized product. “We will go with the distributor to talk to the client and develop a product for the project’s specific needs.” This ability to create tiles and flooring that match a client’s exact needs allow the company to play a key role in many large projects.
The company produces approximately five million square meters of flooring each year. To maintain its current levels of production, Cesantoni has approximately 600 employees that carry out operations in its two plants in Zacatecas. The third plant will create 500 new jobs in the area, and provide the needed space for the company to increase its current production levels.
The coming years hold plans of further development and growth for the company. In addition to opening its new plant, Cesantoni is in the process of increasing its presence in several key areas. “We’re working on spreading further into the market in northern Mexico. We’re also looking for new distribution channels in the United States.”
Given its focus on quality and high-end products, the company has been able to establish itself as a leader in the Mexican market. In the coming years, its new plant will provide jobs for Mexican workers and also allow the company the room it needs to increase production levels. Cesantoni will continue to deliver to customers the quality, service, and elaborate designs they expect in today’s tile industry.