Organized by the Argentine Center of Engineers (CAI) in conjunction with the Argentine Agency of Investment and International Trade and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship of Argentina, the seminar was dedicated to sharing real experiences of exporting engineering services from the perspective of two SMEs: AC&A and Hytech.
The training was opened by Emilia Garrido, representative of CAI – CEPSI, who introduced Eng. Miguel Wegner, President of Hytech. The renowned engineer contextualized the 125-year history of the Argentine Center of Engineers and explained the importance of the Center for Engineering Service Providers (CEPSI) that is part of the CAI. He then stressed the premise that “it is essential to export engineering.” To deepen this concept, he listed the tasks carried out in the CAI – CEPSI, as well as the diversity of companies dedicated to engineering. Then, he highlighted the development of a series of recommended practices used by top-level companies for the growth of SMEs in the development of Technology: “One of the most important points is, without a doubt, innovation,” said Wegner, who also highlighted the added value of engineering, the export of equipment and services, as well as the knowledge economy law.
To learn more about the experiences, Miguel Wegner gave the floor to our Director of Engineering and Site Inspections, Eng. Bruno Agosta, who shared his experience on the export of engineering services. He began his presentation by underlining that AC&A’s motto, “People innovating for people”, became a line of work. He explained the importance of providing top quality services to meet the expectations and needs of our clients and then added: “We maintain an engineering services company approach based on the concept of adding value for the client, going beyond the traditional definition of the consulting company to solve problems in a comprehensive way”. Eng. Agosta highlighted the importance of “understanding what it is that we do differently and how it can be offered in the market and thus gain positions in other countries.”
He also specified that the search for quality defines a company that seeks to achieve results and invent alternative solutions to common problems. He then asserted that “dealing with uncertainty and risk management is part of our company’s expertise,” adding that the importance lies in “focusing on the essential by knowing our work.”
As a result of its meticulous work of excellence, AC&A is also supported by a Tri-Certification Accreditation in ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001.
He then reviewed the multisectoral composition of our company, which gives it an interdisciplinary approach for a more in-depth evaluation made up of multiple visions. In line with this more extensive approach, “we seek alliances with organizations that stand out in the development of knowledge.” A clear example is that all AC&A directors participate in universities as part of the knowledge transfer that our company proposes as an added value, attending conferences and academic meetings in various countries of the region.
Regarding management, Eng. Agosta highlighted the participation in more than 30 projects in different countries nowadays. He highlighted the expansion of the firm with branches and subsidiaries in Argentina, the US, Uruguay, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras and, soon, in Chile.
In relation to training, Eng. Agosta explained that “export must be thought of in an integral way and as a company philosophy. We have to be integrated into this world”. And he added: “There is an opportunity for development and expansion. That forced us to develop a ‘multicultural’ perspective and thus understand that when you work in another country you have to bring the best you have and look for solutions applicable to that local context”. From the organizational point of view, “it requires knowledge and requirements, regulations, contexts and a consistent organizational structure throughout the company. In that sense, with the experience of European countries, one realizes that they have been achieving it by showing seriousness and knowledge. Exporting requires a long-term commitment in order to transfer trust.” Along the same lines, the Director of Engineering and Site Inspections of AC&A explained that the starting point is “to understand what I can offer and define an adequate commercial strategy.”
Regarding the existence of risks, he explained: “We are defined as an experienced company and that makes me very proud. Because, in order to achieve something different, it is necessary to take risks and get out of the Status Quo.” He also emphasized that solving problems for clients in remote locations clearly requires an effort. However, “the pandemic has brought the opportunity for virtual meetings that help us generate links. But that requires maintaining the commitment over time, because in order to achieve the objectives it will be necessary to take risks, make investments and adopt a general organizational commitment.” Finally, from his experience, he stressed the importance of knowing the particular situation in each country and he clarified that in order to be competitive “It is necessary to learn the rules of the place.”
Then Eng. Wegner took the floor to first support the perspective provided by Eng. Bruno Agosta, and then he gave a brief review of his years leading Hytech: “I call luck an opportunity,” he said and invited the audience to pursue that goal.
Finally, there was a space for the virtual audience to ask questions to the speakers, appealing to their experiences in the development of their companies.
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