Volume 15 | Issue 1 | Year 2012

When it comes to building a facility or other complex, clients often have a multitude of questions. They may want to change certain plans they had set in place at the beginning of the project, or hear advice about unforeseen problems their company is facing.
For these circumstances, Copachisa (Constructora de Parques de Chihuahua, S.A. de C.V.), a company specializing in construction and design, is eager and willing to help. “We make sure a client is satisfied throughout the entire construction project,” explains Guillermo Baca Trespalacios, engineer and CEO of the company.

While reaching this goal usually entails answering a customer’s questions and concerns, it also extends to additional matters. “We offer solutions not only for the construction, but also regarding any business needs they might have,” adds Baca.

For more than five decades, Copachisa has developed and carried out building projects for both Mexican and international companies. Its core business lies in industrial works, with a list of completed projects in the real estate, automotive, electronics and telecommunications, aerospace, paper, appliance, manufacturing, food processing, healthcare, textiles, and mining sectors.

Copachisa’s commercial project list includes hotels, shopping malls, convenience stores, food warehouses, and distribution centers. In the institutional sector, the company has overseen numerous public works for Mexico’s federal government. Some of the services Copachisa offers for these projects include: finding an appropriate location, developing the architectural design, installing interior safety features such as fire systems, and providing landscaping on the exterior grounds.

After a project is completed, Copachisa offers several services to clients, including maintaining a training plan, remodeling, building extensions, and complying with established guarantees.

The company has 300 fulltime employees that carry out daily operations. During periods of construction, that figure can stretch up to 2,000, or even slightly more, as Copachisa hires additional workers to help meet the company’s ongoing demands.

Corporate offices for the company are located in the city of Chihuahua, Mexico. Copachisa also has branches in the cities of Juarez, Monterrey, Querétaro, Guadalajara, and Mexico City.

Operations at Copachisa date back to 1960, when its founders signed a contract to build their first residency. After a slow start, the company built a good name for itself in the community. Soon others were actively seeking out the firm, and asking it to take on additional projects.

“One of the main characteristics in our company lies in our ability to live out our values, something we’ve done since the very beginning,” says Enrique Terrazas Torres, founder of the company. The company has set three main values: honesty, respecting other workers, and respecting the environment.

When it comes to honesty, Terrazas notes that the idea goes beyond the concept of simply telling the truth. “We make sure that everything we do, we do well,” he explains. If the company presents a proposal to a client regarding a building project, and the proposal is accepted, it ensures the construction process is carried out exactly the way it is described in the proposal. “We deliver a high quality product on time,” explains Terrazas.

The second core value of Copachisa involves respecting the dignity of others. The third deals with the environment. “We respect the laws and follow the established regulations in every place where we work,” notes Terrazas.

The company actively promotes green projects, focusing on three basic areas: energy usage and material recycling; water and drainage conservation; and comfort for the personnel that will use the buildings.

When sending proposals to clients, the company incorporates green items as suggestions. Some of these include sound and weather isolating windows to save energy, landscapes that coincide with the region’s climate conditions, water-saving systems, and controls to save energy during idle hours. In addition to taking careful measures to make sure these core values are followed on a day-to-day basis, company officials have set additional standards to guarantee customer satisfaction. “When we commit an error, we correct it, regardless of whether the client is aware of the mistake or not,” says Terrazas.

This strive for excellence stems from the early years at the company, when workers were often asked by clients to repair mistakes made by other construction companies. Customers appreciated the way Copachisa corrected these errors, and the company gained a reputation for delivering a high quality product, each and every time.

As part of its commitment to delivering a high quality product, Copachisa is dedicated to maintaining a workforce that share and reflect its core values. When employees come to work at the company, they often remain for long periods of time. “We have personnel that have been with us for 35 years,” says Terrazas.

Besides sustaining a working environment that many find attractive, the company reaches out on a regular basis to others with specific needs. Copachisa collaborates with nonprofit organizations in the area surrounding its corporate offices, including those geared to helping the deaf and elderly. It also makes regular visits to the Sierra Tarahumara, a mountainous area near the city of Chihuahua where an indigenous group known as the Tarahumara people reside. The company delivers resources such as food products to those living in the region. It also carries out projects designed to improve living conditions in the community.

In recent years, overall investment in the industrial construction market in Mexico has fallen, notes Terrazas. During this timeframe, however, Copachisa has undergone tremendous growth. “We’ve had a lot of work and record-setting years,” explains Terrazas.

Looking into the coming years, Baca notes the importance of factoring in market shifts and changes when setting plans. With that in mind, the company has laid out goals to increase sales by 10 to 15 percent in the next years.

In addition to growth in sales, company officials are working to strengthen Copachisa’s institutional and commercial segments. “Right now, we’ve consolidated our industrial segment,” explains Baca. The company is carrying out plans to build up the two remaining segments, with the idea that these two might be consolidated in the same way as the industrial segment already is. These efforts will help maintain overall balance in the company, Baca adds.

Copachisa has carried out projects in areas throughout Mexico during its years of operations. While its plans for the coming years include more construction within the country, company officials are also setting their sights on expanding beyond Mexico’s borders. “We want to internationalize Copachisa,” explains Baca.

Extending into other countries may be appealing for the opportunities it would present to increase revenue. Still, Baca emphasizes that the company’s main focus is not to expand at the cost of other factors. “Even more important to us than economic success is the maintaining of our values,” he explains. “We want to have growth and balance, but keep our focus on our core values and people.”

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