A big industrial construction project is a complicated endeavor, requiring expertise in many different areas. SCS specializes in making large metal structures and carrying out industrial maintenance, and is part of a consortium of companies called ICEC that has all the experience needed to organize and oversee big projects.
“ICEC has within its network various companies that are specialists in some area, all focused on the client, on giving the best solution for the client,” said CEO Marcos Antonio Silva. “SCS does civil construction, and is also in the market of industrial maintenance and construction of metallic structures.”
ICEC was first founded in 1979, and after some difficulties in its early years, in 1995 began a process of professionalization of its management, which sparked the steady expansion that has since made it one of the 15 biggest builders in Brazil. There are 12 companies in the consortium, with various different owners who have decided to band together to compete better in their markets.
Each company functions separately, with its own sales staff, and cooperates with the other companies when a contract requires their help. ICEC also has its own sales staff, based in São Paulo, that seek out new clients and helps put together proposals. Once a contract has been won, the company that first made the contact with the client becomes the project leader, handling all interaction between the client and ICEC’s members.
“Our system has the advantage of giving agility and economy to the investor,” said Silva. “Imagine a client that has a turn-key project. He might have to hire and deal with many different companies. We have all these companies within our network. When the client wants to change something, if they need to change some specifications, normally they would have to give the information to every company involved in the project. With us, it’s faster and more agile because we can handle all the interfaces.”
When a project calls for large metal structures, for the chemical, petrochemical, steel, oil, ports or other heavy industries, SCS is the unit that can provide the solution. Its plant in Mirassol, in the interior of São Paulo state, possesses state-of-the-art equipment capable of producing more than 3,000 tons of pieces per month, and individual pieces weighing as much as six tons.
The plant measures about 75,000 square meters (807,300 square feet) on a property of 217,000 square meters. The factory has earned recognition for its quality, gaining the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 9001certificate, and is in the process of earning the ISO 14001 certificate for its environmental protection processes.
In September the Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento, a state-owned lender that finances projects that will have an economic impact, approved a loan for ICEC unit SCI (Sistemas Construtivos Inteligentes Ltda) to build a new factory to make metallic structures for buildings. At the same time, BNDES, as the bank is known, also approved financing to increase production capacity at SCS’s plant in Mirassol. The bank will lend a total of R$62 million to ICEC for the two projects.
SCS invests constantly in new equipment, and its completely modern processes include computerized plans for every project that are available online and in 3D. Having all the information online means that clients can keep track of a project’s progress, and quickly and easily inform SCS of any changes that might arise during the planning and construction process.
“Our factory is totally managed using electronic follow-up, which is how we know where any part is, how close it is to being completed and other pertinent information,” Silva said. “Clients can see online how their project is progressing and can monitor every piece as it’s being made. Our engineers use software that develops projects in 3D, and this system means quick access to any kind of information; for instance how much a project will cost, what parts will be needed when.”
SCS’s system, and the quality of the projects carried out with ICEC, have won the company many big, international clients. The company has worked with ABB, Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, Thyssen Krupp and Alcoa, along with an extensive list of Brazilian companies. For Vale, SCS put up a mining structure weighing 7,233 tons that was made in SCS’s factory, and also tested, painted and transported the project to the site in Minas Gerais state.
A recent project for Thyssen Krupp involved manufacturing, painting, transporting and erecting the structure for buildings in a steel-making complex in Rio de Janeiro state, while SCS built the metal structure for an industrial unit for Alcoa at the Canadian company’s facility in Para.
PLANNING FOR GROWTH
As Brazil’s economy boomed over the past few years, demand for new factories, housing and shops also grew rapidly. SCS, and ICEC, were perfectly positioned to take advantage of the boom and their sales skyrocketed. At SCS, revenue jumped from R$29 million in 2004 to R$39 million in 2006 and more than R$149 million in 2008.
The slowdown in investment caused by the international economic crisis led SCS to forecast sales of R$138 million for this year, but the company expects investment to pick up again next year and in following years. SCS forecasts total revenue of R$278 million for next year, R$322 million for 2011 and R$361 million in 2012, with profit increasing accordingly.
SCS has a strategic plan to spur the expected sales and profit growth that includes diversifying into areas such as the construction of windmill towers to generate electricity, and other areas of energy production. At the same time the company will invest to modernize its manufacturing systems to make them more efficient and productive, and continue its research and development activities. SCS has other ideas for expansion through merger or purchase of another company. SCS also intends to invest in land along the coast where it can build a shipyard.
CARING FOR PEOPLE
In addition, SCS plans to spur its expansion by investing in staff training. The company funds a school, along with ICEC partners Senal, Senac and Sebrae, where workers and other members of the community can take free classes to learn soldering, painting and other skills that they can put to use either at an ICEC company or elsewhere.
SCS is active in other social areas as well. The company sponsors a program that promotes physical health through classes in Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art, and is involved in blood donation drives and programs to help feed needy families. SCS has a health and worker safety program to make sure employees take care of themselves and to reduce indus-trial accidents.
The company also does its part to help protect the environment. Waste steel is recycled, as are many other materials the company uses in its manufacturing processes. All sewage and other waste is treated and the area around the company’s painting area is covered to make sure no chemicals can seep into the ground and contaminate local water supplies.