Established in 1982, Performance Designs is a canopy manufacturer with operations in Guadalajara, Jalisco. Though it currently is an international company with operations in the US, Spain, and Mexico, its founders first began working out of a house in Miami rented from a friend using just a few sewing machines to create their first nine-cell canopies and later seven-cell ones. As the company grew, its owners decided to expand operations to Honduras, but in 2012 they decided to relocate the plant after 14 years of operating there. Civil unrest and violence in the country had begun to affect their employee’s lives and the company’s day-to-day operations, forcing them to look at other options.
This change meant that the company needed to hit the ground running when starting up operations in Mexico. Performance Design’s upper management knew they needed a trusted partner to help them do this and found American Industries Group when looking online for companies offering shelter services in Mexico. They had already talked to other providers and been considering a few different locations in Latin America. Due to their previous experience, Performance Designs was focused on finding a place that would first and foremost be safe and allow them to keep their operating costs in check, be easily accessible via air and land, and be closer to its primary market in the United States.
Out of all the options they considered, Performance Designs decided that Guadalajara, with its high level of safety, excellent accessibility, and ample and skilled workforce, was the ideal place for their new plant. Once the location was chosen, American Industries got everything ready for operations to begin in only eight weeks. They found a space in a secure industrial park to set up, got all the equipment and supplies needed, recruited all the employees necessary to start, and even obtained visas for key personnel, in addition to helping them to adapt to a new city and country, including finding housing, vehicles, and schools.
Although the company and its management team had experience manufacturing in Latin America, the company understood that they still needed help adapting to the local labor culture and market. Due to the highly sensitive nature of their product, that peoples’ lives depend on, and with safety being such a high priority, it was a challenge to finding personnel with the specialized skills required. With the help of American Industries, they were able to define attractive salaries and benefits packages to recruit the personnel to meet production goals under the strictest quality standards.
Today, Performance Designs is enjoying the peace of mind and many benefits of manufacturing in Mexico, including a safe place to operate and the substantial savings it offers not only in labor costs but customs duties and tax savings, among others. For international companies in Mexico looking to speed up the process of starting up business in Mexico, it’s a good idea to find a trusted partner that can help be a lifeline to ensure a soft and smooth landing like Performance Design’s parachutes do for its customers.
By Marian Garibay | Guadalajara Regional Director | American Industries Group®
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