Many companies that consider establishing manufacturing operations in Mexico grapple with the decision of whether to enter the country as a stand-alone, wholly-owned subsidiary, or to establish production facilities in partnership with what is known in Mexico, as a "shelter company."
Simply put, most variations of the Mexico shelter business model (there are several to choose from) enable companies to manufacture, while the "shelter company" focuses on the provision of non-core functions that are of fundamentally important to the day-to-day operations of a production facility. These services may include, but are not limited to:
- Human Resources Management
- Payroll and Benefits Administration
- Import & Export Operations Management
as well as a host of other services.
Companies that have decided to explore the possibility of working in Mexico in tandem with a shelter company have much due diligence to perform in making sure that they choose the service provider that is best suited to optimize their chances for Mexico manufacturing success.
As a tool for companies doing this important and detailed research, The Offshore Group has developed its What to Ask questionnaire. The document is a three page compilation of the most frequently posed queries that manufacturers have addressed to The Offshore Group staff of Mexico outsourcing experts over the last 25 years. It contains information that will help companies to review basic site selection criteria such as infrastructure composition and availability, workforce capabilities and educational infrastructure, industrial park and building considerations and transportation variables. Additionally, the document includes questions that should be asked of each Mexico shelter company that is being contemplated as a potential service provider. Asking each company a similar battery of fundamentally important questions will enable manufacturers to make "apples to apples" comparison and optimize making the choice that will be the best fit.