For the last five years, Regional Telhas has been Brazil’s largest supplier of metallic roof structures. Priding itself on the quality of its products and a very influential client base, the company projects further growth for 2009. Reuben Ford investigates how Regional Telhas is raising the industry standards.
Regional Telhas began its activities in 1987, when founder, Rogério Cabianca Ferezin, sold galvanized roof structures. A strategic decision to join forces with a metallic structures company, owned by future partner and Commercial Director Paulo Roberto Martins Pozo, resulted in the company FMC (Ferezin Martins Commercial Ltda) Regional Telhas. In 1991, the company began to manufacture rectangular roof tiles, through the use of fully automated production technology.
Today, Regional Telhas is the market leader in the steel roofing structures sector. According to the commercial director, the leadership status is a result of “the right mix of quality, speedy delivery, effective logistics, and value for money.”
The company manufactures a range of roofing structures: pre-painted steel, galvanized steel, alloy-coated steel, translucent, acoustic insulated, corrugated and semi-circular roofs. In addition, Regional Telhas also provides all the accessories for the successful installation of the structures.
From this year onwards, the products will all be made from 100 percent Australian raw materials. Last year the company was still importing from China, India and Taiwan. “From 2009, we will import 60,000 tons of raw materials from Australia every year – that’s 5,000 tons every month from May 2009.” The reason for the use of exclusively imported materials is clear: “The raw materials produced by Australia are far superior in quality to any others available on the market,” explains Martins.
The raw materials themselves fall into three categories. Firstly, Regional Telhas imports galvanized steel, as it is the most economic and effective form of protecting steel from corrosion. Since 2000, the company has also been using Galvalume, which is steel galvanized with an alloy of 55 percent aluminum, 44 percent zinc and 1 percent silicon. Roofing structures made from this durable, easily installed and easily painted metal have become the flagship of Regional Telhas. Finally, primer based, pre-painted steel, which is resistant to scratching and atmospheric corrosion is also imported. In total, Regional Telhas manufactures around one million square meters of roofing material every month.
The company’s head offices are located in Assis, in the central west region of São Paulo state. The 5,500-square-meter facility has recently been complemented with a new 9,000-square-meter plant in Bataguassu in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, to accommodate growing demand. Both units manufacture the same lines and employ a total of 150 staff.
The opening of the second location at the start of 2008 not only greatly increased productivity, but also facilitated logistics. Regional Telhas has its own fleet of delivery vehicles, which have been adapted to satisfy all the transport requirements of the company’s products. The timely arrival of accurate orders contributes to the high sales volume.
INVESTING IN THE FUTURE
The fleet represents just one of the company’s investments in guaranteeing quality to its customers. “Our promise is everything, and when we speak of quality, we mean not only of our products, but of our service too,” confirms Martins. The costs of importing raw materials and updating technology at the two facilities are also priorities for the company.
“We have a team of architects and engineers, who are responsible for research and development, and this area also requires our constant attention and investment,” continues Martins. The results of such research projects have been new products such as the Telha Zipada (Zipped Roof), which comprises a two-layer system and uses folds to prevent any form of leakage, making the structure 100 percent watertight. Another recent development for 2009 is the Telha Forro (a ceiling tile), which uses a sandwich concept of different layers of material to produce a strengthened structure ideal for warehouses.
Regional Telhas provides roof structures for airports, factories, shopping malls, supermarkets and many other commercial buildings. Clients such as TAM Airlines and Ford, as well as countless national industries are loyal customers.
The new products and an increasing client base have helped Regional Telhas to continue growing. Despite the obvious impact of the international economic crisis on the construction industry, the company has maintained sales. Martins predicts that sales for 2009 will increase by 10 percent on 2008, and although previous years have averaged 30 percent growth, he is more than satisfied with the company’s performance. “We are increasing our staffing levels, and expanding overseas markets.”
International sales to Paraguay, Uruguay and Angola, currently account for 10 percent of Regional Telhas’ annual sales figures and the company anticipates that the Angolan market will increase significantly in the coming years. “Chile also has huge potential for us, and is a definite market for the future,” says Martins.
In spite of an aggressive sales strategy, Regional Telhas’ growth has been organic, and the leadership position maintained through consistent quality, efficiency and commitment. “It is also vital for us to know and understand our market. We were prepared for the crisis, and we know our clients’ needs. This helps us plan our strategy for the future and continue to raise our standards,” explains Martins.
Another reason for the company’s success is the internal structure. Martins explains that Regional Telhas “is run like a family company, which values the employees, their needs and their training.”
Attention to every detail of its business has distinguished Regional Telhas from others in the market. From its products made from the very best raw materials available on the market, to its highly qualified team of professionals, the company is firmly focused on excellence. Sustained growth, new products and a growing client base prove that more and more businesses are trusting Regional Telhas with the roof over their heads.