As Vallourec Mexico's Sourcing Manager, María Josefina López Ruiz is responsible for all purchasing, with her main activities ranging from raw material purchases, CapEx projects, reporting, supplier evaluation and claims, contracts negotiations, to supervising import-export activities.
She graduated as an Industrial Engineer from the Instituto Tecnologico de Veracruz and is currently working on her master degree of Logistics & International Management at the Instituto de Posgrado en Comercio Internacional. Since joining the company in 2006, Maria has had the opportunity to relocate and work at Vallourec France in Aulnoye, then later in Vallourec USA Corp in Houston, Texas, before taking on her new responsibilities in Veracruz, Mexico. She describes working and living outside her birth country as one of her best experiences. Knowing other cultures, languages and operations has enriched her personal and professional life: "This opened new perspectives for me, and allowed me to grow. If some of you have this opportunity, do not hesitate and take it, you will not regret it!"
Maria works with a wonderful team she calls "the dream team": Beatriz Jimenez, expert in Sourcing, has worked for 21 years in the department, and Martha Figueroa who is in charge of import-export. Through teamwork and thanks to her colleagues' helpfulness, she honed her skills and developed into her role. She adds that her management team, stakeholders, and end users have been extremely supportive. In short for her, it is the people at Vallourec Mexico that are the most rewarding aspect of her job.
Maria also acknowledges the challenges due to the location and size of the business, such as exchange rates, import taxes, international trade complexities, and integrating a multicultural environment. To minimize the impact, she finds that involvement in all areas, mutual support, and working groups help resolve issues; in addition to the strong safety, quality and savings culture the Vallourec Mexico teams have developed.
While she started at a young age with minimal experience, her takeaways are clear: "Work hard, be consistent, seize opportunities to understand your colleagues' job, stick to your values, and above all learn from others. Coworkers are the best source of knowledge, and in the Vallourec group we have a great team, in all areas, and all around the world".
Maria stresses the importance to pursue personal continuous improvement. "When faced with challenges either in your professional or personal life, the difference lies in your attitude. This is a key element my colleagues have taught me". Maria also counts on the support of her personal network, her parents, husband and daughter, to create a balance between work, family, beliefs and hobbies. She concludes: "A friend told me to give the best I have, and that's what I try to do every day".
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