Gustavo Mondragon – Stanhome Mexico
When Gustavo Mondragon joined Stanhome Mexico five years ago, the direct sales company had a 75 percent local area delivery accuracy rate.
Since implementing a program he calls “last mile consolidation”—which bolsters communication, improves efficiency and reduces transportation costs—Stanhome Mexico has upped its local area delivery accuracy rate to 99 percent.
As for the remaining 1 percent, Mondragon says he and his team rely on metrics and data to identify service and communication gaps and other hiccups in the system.
“The supply chain must be high flexibility and ready for changes,” Mondragon says, particularly in the direct sales industry, in which short delivery times are par for good customer service. That might be especially true in Latin America, which presents logistical challenges not found in the U.S.
Little room for error in a growing business
Established in 1931, Stanhome Mexico supplies home care, personal care, anti-aging and cosmetic products via direct sales throughout Mexico, Venezuela, Spain, France and Italy. The company has a base of 150,000 customers and an average 15-day order turnaround. Mondragon says he is constantly seeking ways to optimize processes around material availability, supplier networks, warehousing, transportation and overall logistics.
This is where his “last mile consolidation” program comes in. The initiative has a dedicated crew and fleet, as well as a suite of monitoring technologies, delivery record tracking and customer service logistics systems.
Similarly, Mondragon recently initiated a raw and packaging material availability project. Through it, his supply team analyzes all information related to lead times and production planning, scheduling and inventory controls; the team also reviews the value of stock and stock rotation, safety and handling procedures.
As he explains, he set a mandate that employees touch base with suppliers at least once a month to review requirements and delivery performance.
All told, he oversees five managers, 70 employees and all of the company’s service providers, he says, and is also in charge of a contact center housing all customer information, industrial supply chains and a commercial supply side involving marketing and sales.
“I am focused on process and situational leadership, and I like to develop my team,” Mondragon says. “For me the most important facets of the leadership process are to focus on results, to help my team to develop their skills and to never, never lose the floor.”
Direct sales: A constant challenge
Mondragon has always been one to tinker: He recalls disassembling and reassembling his toys as a kid—then, as a teenager, helping fix his father’s car. Today, he is an avid motorcyclist and rides a BMW GS 700.
After studying industrial engineering, he put his natural aptitudes to work at L’Oreal, Pfizer, and Clarins Mexico, ascending from roles as a project lead, to a manufacturing supervisor, to a manager of planning, production and packaging engineering. At Clarins in particular, he grew his skills around standardizing packaging processes, timing delivery launches, forecasting, managing purchasing and budgets and implementing new technologies, he says. He also had the opportunity to communicate directly with the workers’ union.
He initially joined Stanhome in 2014 to lead efforts around commercial logistics, client services and distribution. He was attracted to the company for the quality of its products, its “strong, passionate and committed” sales force, its “persistence” in areas of procurement, industrialization and quality, and the inherent creativity in its marketing and sales department.
What’s more, “Stanhome offered me the opportunity to lead a different area as a director,” he says. “So I took the chance to implement my expertise acquired over the previous 12 years.”
Today, Mondragon is focused on being equitable and impartial as he develops a team “with synergy” and fosters strong relationships with suppliers, he says. He has also worked to bring together different divisions within the company that previously acted more as rivals than as partners working toward a common goal.
“In direct sales, you never get bored, you always need to challenge the status quo and be very focused on details,” he says. “Because those details are the difference between making a sale or not.”
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