Offshoring the production process to Mexico needs detailed planning and careful investment of resources by manufacturers. However, successfully expanding to Mexico requires U.S. businesses to be constantly communicating with the managers of their maquiladoras and ensuring their supply chains are working efficiently.
While partnering with a shelter company provides manufacturers with onsite human resources and transportation management services, manufacturers can still encounter operational challenges if they neglect to communicate with their personnel in Mexico. While offshoring may take the fabrication and assembly process to another country, the new plant remains a vital part of the company's operations and requires as much care as a factory in the U.S.
The ongoing importance of internal communication
In an article for Inc. magazine, contributing editor Darren Dahl argued successfully managing multiple business locations hinges on communication. According to Dahl, businesses can experience long-term struggles if they don't ensure everyone within the company is aware of business changes. However, fostering communication begins before companies even offshore their manufacturing to Mexico.
According to an article on Industry Week by John Mills, executive vice president of business development for Rideau Recognition Solutions, expanding a business relies on internal communication. Mills wrote current workers should be made aware of business developments so they are prepared and not caught off-guard. While this is true at the beginning of the expansion, it holds after the manufacturer has offshored to another country. If can be easy for businesses to communicate with their U.S. locations, but their maquiladoras might suffer from poor communication due to cultural differences and the geographic distance.
To facilitate communication with plants in Mexico, manufacturers can adopt a few strategies. The Globe and Mail, a Canadian newspaper, suggested businesses improve their internal communication by constantly sharing information with various worksites, such as through webinars and company blog posts. Manufacturers can also encourage managers at their maquiladoras to distribute these materials to workers and train supervisors to consistently communicate business developments to employees. Since the former may be difficult if many Mexican workers don't speak English, manufacturers can create Spanish-language videos and media for their Mexican workforce. The language barrier can be a difficult challenge to overcome, but being able to communicate with employees at offshore locations is crucial to the success of the company.