When the leadership of KUKA, a Chinese upholstery and furniture manufacturer, made the strategic decision to set up operations in Mexico to be closer to its primary customer base in the united states, they were initially unsure how to proceed and worried about legal issues and risks to their capital assets and intellectual property rights. Though the company already had 4,500 stores in China and was selling its products in over 120 countries, arriving in Mexico was new territory in terms of language, culture, legal matters, customs, and human resources practices, to name a few.
In their search for shelter providers, Kuka contacted American industries through the recommendation of one of its local business partner in Monterrey. Though this helped set the tone for earning Kuka’s trust, its leadership still had many questions, especially regarding the business models for setting up legally in the country. Kuka’s executives had received conflicting information about whether they would need to establish their own entity or not and wanted to minimize their exposure to legal and fiscal liabilities as much as possible while ensuring they could operate autonomously and have complete control over their operations. American Industries worked diligently to explain the process and the advantages of working under their shelter program versus setting up a separate legal entity.
As the only provider of shelter services in Mexico with AAA certification through the IMMEX program, American Industries offers international companies in Mexico the option to operate under its legal entity in the shelter modality. This is advantageous for companies like Kuka looking to start up business in Mexico as it ensures full compliance with the law, offers the least exposure to risk, and provides access to various cost-saving programs, among other benefits.
Kuka also had important language and cultural barriers to overcome in regard to its operations team. Starting up business in Mexico meant bringing personnel from China, people who would relocate their entire lives to a new country and city that was unknown to them and very different from China. Through their expat services, American Industries helped Kuka’s team find a home to rent, figure out transportation options, locate schools, and even search for extracurricular activities, social groups, and events.
Just like Kuka’s furniture helps turns a house into a home, American Industries provides all the services and support needed to ensure that companies and their employees feel welcome in Mexico. As we say here, mi casa es tu casa (my home is your home), and American Industries treats Kuka and all their clients like special guests in Mexico, ensuring that they can adapt as quickly and smoothly as possible.
This is how Kuka established a foundation upon which to continue to expand despite a global pandemic, opening their plant and implementing health and safety guidelines without any delays in March of 2020. Throughout the process, Kuka even brought in their team of executives, as well as human resources and accounting managers, from its main offices in China with the goal of fully understanding and adapting their model to the very distinct business culture, legal system and regulations in Mexico.
As the plant continues to grow with over 800 people now currently employed at its facilities in Monterrey, American Industries continues to treat them like family, there to help every step of the way.
By Stephanie Pan | Chinese Account Executive | American Industries Group®
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