Luis Humberto Eraña Arroyo is Chief Executive Officer at Solistica, a company in FEMSA’s Strategic Businesses Division.
End-to-end 3PL logistics services have become the best alternative for integrating the supply chain and allow companies to focus on their core business.
Luis Humberto Eraña, CEO of Solistica, a FEMSA Group company, has more than 30 years of experience in the global logistics and consumer goods sectors. He speaks today about the strategic presence of the company in Colombia, and the expectations for becoming the sector’s strongest player in our country.
Please, tell us more about Solistica in Colombia
Solistica is a company of FEMSA; it merges the amazing success stories of FEMSA Logística, Expresso Jundiai, Zimag, Atlas, and Open Market into the largest end-to-end 3PL logistics solutions company in Latin America, supported by the best talent and world-class processes. We create value solutions to plan, control, and make the logistics chain more efficient; these solutions include transportation and distribution management, multimodal, warehousing, and value-added services as well as other services such as maintenance, fleet management, and international logistics.
We have over 23,000 employees across the region and serve more than 4,000 clients; we own 6,278 vehicles, 76 Cross Docks, and well over 1,600 strategic partners. Our warehousing capacity exceeds 430 square kilometers, we make 1.9 million FTL (Full Truck Load) trips per year, we serve 40,000 delivery locations and offer 128 manufacturing lines with 15 production areas and 162 million cold units per year as added value.
How relevant is Solistica for such a dynamic sector as transportation is?
Growing number of operations, changing road environments (weather, accidents, rush hours), regulations, and traffic restrictions, force Solistica to strengthen operational models like last mile services, which supplement the monitoring function, with more technologies that create a smart and interconnected supply chain that focuses on clients. This helps us move from controlling 100% of the operation to controlling by exception, delegating the minute by minute decisions to the newest technologies and processes, guaranteeing a customized service and a better forecast of demand and risks.
What makes you so strong when it comes to end-to-end logistics services in Latin America?
There is no other logistics company who knows the region as well as we do. We are experts at solving the challenges arising in supply chains, and our human team and focus on clients, are our main competitive traits. We have always been known for paying attention to details, for being flexible and innovative, and for motivating clients to stick with us and grow together as strategic partners by bonding to their needs, aspirations, and wishes at Solistica Clients Summit. This event, by the way, will take place in Colombia on August 15 and we have extended invitations to Chairmen, CEOs, and Logistics Managers of the country’s leading Domestic and International companies trading their products on the country’s main distribution channels. We created this stage to strengthen our commercial bonds covering high-impact and interesting topics about logistics.
SOLISTICA’S MAIN CLIENTS ARE OXXO’S 18,200+ STORES. OXXO IS ONE OF FEMSA’S BRANDS AND PARTICIPATES IN THE FUEL SECTOR WITH OXXO GAS’ SERVICE STATIONS. THIS MAY OPEN THE DOOR TO TRANSPORTING FUEL.
What does it mean for your clients that you are part of Mexican giant FEMSA?
FEMSA means reliability, strength, knowledge, experience, and growth through the integration of different companies in Latin America. This has created a robust offer of end-to-end logistics solutions that add value for clients by planning, adding flexibility to, and controlling the supply chains, adapting them to the everchanging nature of the markets and making them more efficient. We cannot underestimate FEMSA’s Values and Culture, they have been rooted in the ethos of the group’s companies for the past 130 years, and they have become benchmarks on how to behave with integrity in everything we do.
Where is the company’s evolution heading?
We are heading towards becoming the leading end-to-end logistics services company from Latin America to the world. We wish to solve our clients’ logistics challenges by integrating end-to-end 3PL logistics solutions throughout their supply chains with the help of the best talent and technology in each of the services we offer, which range from warehousing and added-value services like secondary packaging, transportation, and distribution, to the design of multimodal solutions and the management and maintenance of fleets, and the design of customized solutions that focus on results.
We wish to give clients real-time traceability of shipments, managing events and developing more accurate systems for sending valuable information. Solistica will actively look to participate more in the transportation of controlled-temperature goods and fuel; it will also aim to develop services to lead the evolution of logistics, such as e-commerce and multi-temperature transportation, among others.
Has the investment in technology proven essential for the company?
Of course! The experience we have gained, and the newest developments in our technology platform have let us achieve a flexible, safe, and reliable technological infrastructure that we offer to our clients. And this is the best way to provide logistics services backed by human talent and in accordance with the multiple requirements coming from aligned databases. We have tools such as Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and JDA – a cloud technology that lets us see all the warehousing activities in real time, and control and monitor productivity and service continuously. We have also added supplemental technologies like RF, RFID, Voice Picking, and Pick to Light.
Datapack lets us manage our manufacturing lines on time and integrates the regulatory digital technical documentation, generating productive control per hour while the Transportation Management System (TMS) software gives clients the chance to learn about their product’s status, and our Oracle CRM have allowed us to automate our sales and move them to a socially-enabled commercial intelligence to give our clients a superior service experience.
Must we lower our logistics costs and optimize operations to remain competitive?
Even though some companies try to lower their logistics costs by cutting jobs, there are more effective methods such as optimizing the inventory, creating shipping and processes networks, or improving the relationship with suppliers and partners. This is why 3PL has become the best alternative for integrating supply chains; offering clients end-to-end services with operational synergy, better service levels, and cost savings by increasing productivity, innovation, and implementing continuous improvement in the processes, turning more competitive in the market without neglecting the most important element: The Client.
Do you think that Solistica is a partner for the country’s growth beyond the tax income it creates?
I cannot agree more, logistics is destined to be the country’s growth backbone, and an engine for driving new infrastructure investment. In a context of commercial openness and financial globalization, the development of innovative and efficient logistics services that match the global trends for change is fundamental for raising competitiveness by lowering costs and time. End-to-end logistics platforms are the professional way to link supply and demand.
SOLISTICA HAS THE NECESSARY KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE TO INNOVATE AND OPTIMIZE THE MANAGEMENT OF SUPPLY CHAINS, LOOKING TO MAKE THEM MORE EFFICIENT AND PROFITABLE.