Need to know about Leon Guanajuato?

23 03 2007

Yet another Squidoo lens. This time focused on Leon Guanajuato Mexico. Happens to be the town I’ve been living in for the past 15 years.

Information about Leon Guanajuato

Leon is internationally “famous” for the shoe making and leather industry (80+% of all Mexican shoes, boots and leather goods come from Leon).

Leon is also growing due to the automotive industry and an “industrial corridor” being created between Leon and Celaya.

On top of all this, the service sector continue to expand and grow due to the population growth, the Poliforum Convention and Exhibition Center and the Poliforum Cultural Center.

Related Links

Information about Leon Guanajuato

Hotels in Leon Guanajuato

SAPICA International Footwear and Leather Goods Show

ANPIC Fair of the Americas

Mexican Footwear – How to Find Competitive Suppliers in Mexico

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ANPIC 2007 Leon, Guanajuato Mexico

17 01 2007

ANPIC 2007. This is the annual international trade fair for leather tanning, leather chemicals, machinery and supplies for the footwear industry held in Mexico since 1980.

The “Fair of the Americas” (Feria de las Americas) is held in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico from February 17, 2007 through February 20, 2007 at the Poliforum Exhibition Center in Leon.

Leon, Guanajuato is the leather tanning and shoe making capital of Mexico.

Visitors will find 1200 national and international suppliers of:

  • Shoe machinery and equipment
  • Tanning machinery and equipment
  • Chemical products
  • Hides and skins
  • Synthetic materials and textiles
  • Lasts, heels and soles

Related Links

How to do business in Mexico 

ANPIC 2007

ANPIC 2007 calendar of events

ANPIC 2007 Hotel list

ANPIC 2007 contact information

Business South of the Border





How to negotiate with Mexican business people

25 08 2006

Mexico has a culture that embraces and enjoys negotiations. From the schoolyard to the local markets to the executive boardrooms, negotiations are an important part of everyday life for Mexican citizens.

Mexican business people are good negotiators and enjoy the process.

You can expect tough negotiations if you are doing business in Mexico. Tough negotiations in the sense that they will question everything, and spend a great deal of time trying to get you to accept their point of view or conditions. The arguments may be based on emotions or facts, or both.

You should always come into the negotiation very well prepared. Know what you want, and have the evidence to support your claim. Your arguments, supported by facts, will be heard and processed by your Mexican counterparts. If facts are presented that are new, take the time to verify the information and sources before you reach a conclusion.

Negotiations in Mexico can be compared to the first round of a sporting event, both sides desire to “win”, but rarely do they burst onto the field with all their energy in the first 5 minutes. The process of “feeling out” the opponent, observing their strengths and weaknesses, are critical to understanding how to develop a winning strategy and understanding what you are up against.

Mexicans are often seeking a long term, stable relationship with suppliers and clients. Focus your negotiations and decisions on creating a long term business relationship and strategy with your Mexican counterpart.

Your ability to negotiate will be a reflection of your company, your character, and your abilities as a business person. Take your time, don’t get emotional, support your arguments with facts, and be consistent with your demands or desires over time. The negotiation process is helping to build trust and credibility, it’s important to build solid foundations for your future relationship.

Don’t be in a hurry to end the negotiations. The Mexican culture is more permissive about time and deadlines than you find in USA or Europe. If you are in a rush, you will lose important negotiating power.

Always start your negotiation with some margin and leeway. It will always to be to your advantage to “give” a little before the negotiations are over. It may take 4 hours for you to “give in”, but the gesture will be seen as your willingness to do business and enough for the negotiator to claim a little victory. Everyone wins.

Write down your final agreement, and the results of your negotiations and have both sides sign and retain a copy. This simple step will avoid any language, communication or interpretation problems that may develop in the future.

Related Links

Meeting People in Mexico – kiss, shake hands or hug

Before you go on a business trip to Mexico

How to do business in Mexico, parts 1 – 28

16 Essential Questions – International Business Traveller’s Quiz





When leadership fails – an example – the Mexican shoe manufacturing industry

24 07 2006

It’s quite interesting to watch certain businesses and industries succeed and fail, and try to identify the factors that lead to these very different outcomes.

For example in Leon, Guanajuato, the shoe-making capital of Mexico, the industry is under severe pressure from imported product, and lower costs from China, Vietnam, Brazil, and other countries.

It’s quite clear to everyone in the industry that there are several solutions to the problem.

  1. Ask the government to create trade barriers and import tariffs. This will only support the inefficiencies in the national industry, postponing the inevitable.
  2. Invest in design and create a brand. Shoes are purchased for two reasons, fashion and protecting your feet. The fashion market has much higher profit margins, but requires constant investment in research and development and marketing.
  3. Invest in technology. If your product is focused on low prices in the market, you must have low costs, and lower costs than your competitors. This might be achieved with new technologies.
  4. Create alliances within the industry. If China production costs are cheaper, but it takes 60 days for the product to reach the US, doesn’t it make perfect sense to create an alliance where the initial production comes from Mexico (5 days to market), followed by the mass production from China?
  5. Purchase the shoes from the overseas competition and close your production facilities.
  6. Create new markets, export to new markets.

Those are the choices, and what do you think is happening?

The majority of companies are pointing out the danger and requesting government intervention, but not implementing any other strategies to avoid the “doomsday” scenario.

The few companies (industry leaders) that have invested in branding, design, technology and purchasing from competitors are thriving, earning money and making profits.

Why is avoiding the obvious or inevitable, such common behaviour in most organizations and groups?

I believe it has to do with the failure of the leaders to move out of the Thinking-Identifying stage and into the Planning and Implementation stages.

The cycle of business leadership and management consists of:

  • Thinking-Identifying. Thinking and identifying important internal and external factors and understanding how they interact.
  • Planning. Using the data and information to formulate a plan and strategy
  • Implementing the strategy. Putting the resources and motivation behind the plan and “making it work”.
  • Reaction-Modification. Reacting and modifying the plan as the conditions change.

Many leaders are uncomfortable or unable to identify the major factors that are and will affect their companies. They are unable to create strategies and delay important and critical decisions because they lack data, or have too much of it, or don’t know how to properly analyze it and find conclusions. Without a strategy there is obviously no implementation, and the organization begins to react to situations created by others (crisis management).

This inability to read the market, identify market forces, create strategies and adapt to changing conditions will eliminate those organizations from the market. Creating strategy is not easy, and creating successful strategies is even more difficult. It requires excellent leadership and management decisions.

What are the known problems in your organization and industry?

What strategies are waiting to be created and implemented in order to prepare your business for the future?

Why isn’t it happening now?





Leon, Guanajuato – Footwear and Shoe Industry contacts

21 06 2006

I live in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico….which might mean nothing to you unless you are involved in the leather industry or shoe business. Leon is home to the majority of the leather tanneries and shoe factories in Mexico.

For those of you seeking industry contacts, here is a brief list of links to the major shoe related organizations in Mexico.

SAPICA

The biggest and most important international shoe fair in Mexico. Held two times per year. Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter.

CICEG

The Mexican Shoe Association in the State of Guanajuato.

ANPIC

The National Association of Suppliers for the Footware Industry.
COFOCE

If you want to find reliable exporters of shoes, leather, and leather goods contact COFOCE. Highly recommended.

State Government of Guanajuato

Good overview of the State of Guanajuato, business opportunities and contact information for government and industry.

For more information or consulting assistance, do not hesitate to contact me.

Related Link: Mexican Shoe Manufacturing on Squidoo