Alejandro Baiz, focused on the future of Vallourec

12/04/2019 - Careers, United States
Alejandro is very involved in the construction of our new range of services,

What does your work involve?

I am the General Manager of Vallourec Global Solutions for North America. I am based in Houston, but I travel quite frequently within North America - to Veracruz, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, New Orleans...

My mission is to deploy Vallourec's range of services, i.e. to understand the needs and issues of our customers in order to respond with adapted solutions. In my personal opinion it is not enough to provide innovative products to our clients, we need to enhance our customer experience by delivering solutions beyond the product and the way to do it is  by adding services and digital solutions to our offer. Therefore, I am very involved in our new services offer, designed to support our customers across their value chain.

Can you tell us more about how customer experience is improved with the services offer?

We have gotten closer to the end users in order to understand their needs. We have fully assessed the value chain, to notice any problem the customer might experience, and we offer physical and digital solutions.

We can, for example, personalize the offer for each customer. We have developed three solutions packages, with a different level of services to better answer our customers' needs.

Do you have more concrete examples?

Yes, of course! We have established that a pipe can be measured many times after it is manufactured without going through any kind of transformation. It is measured during manufacturing, before delivery, at reception, at first use… It is a considerable amount of time and money for both Vallourec and customers. The digital solutions enable customer to use product information at any given time in the value chain.

What makes the project exciting?

First and foremost, I interact with everyone! Both internally and externally: internally with sales team, quality, operations, VAM® Field Service, and externally with end users, distributor and service companies across the industry.

Also, I have the opportunity to contribute to Vallourec's future. It is fascinating. Selling digital and services together with our product is a true cultural revolution:  we will produce the pipe and we will stay with it "until the end". We are now thinking beyond manufacturing the "perfect pipe" (even though it is essential!): we want our customers to optimize pipe usage at every step.

What do you like about working at Vallourec?

My colleagues and my manager! They're always available to help me. The environment is very positive, and management is really supportive on what we are doing. My manager has given me the opportunity to work on the project, he trusts me and allows me to work independently (even though I still have goals).

Tell us about your background.

I was born in Argentina, and I moved to Mexico when I was very young, as my father was expatriated there. That's where I studied at the Universidad de las Américas Puebla, in the industrial engineering field.

I did my end-of-course internship in Argentina in 2004 with a competitor. I was then hired by them and I stayed on for fifteen years working in several different departments (supply chain, operations, sales, inside sales, marketing and development).

Between 2010 and 2012, I did an MBA at the University of Houston, and I got two diplomas, one in energy investment analysis, and another in energy and finance. I continued to work during my MBA, so as to not lose two years of my working life - it was very hard, but rewarding at end!

I found out about Vallourec in 2017 and a few weeks later, I had an interview with the human resources department and my future manager. I was immediately attracted to the project, their enthusiasm and Vallourec as a whole.

Who are you outside of work?

I love and enjoy my family – my wife and my two children – as much as I can. So after work and during weekends I love spending time doing things with them.

I love playing tennis and soccer which are my passions outside of work and family. I am a big supporter of the Argentinian soccer team Boca Juniors!

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?

It's difficult to choose just one! My parents told me: "Be honest, work hard, and always be grateful". I owe my ethics and professionalism to them.

In the workplace, I've been told to always report a problem as soon as I see it and report it with an action plan. Bad news is bad, but bad news communicated late is worst!

But I think that the piece of advice that affected me the most was: "Never forget where you came from". It's easy to forget one's origins in the current context of globalization: I am Argentinian, I have lived in Mexico, my wife is Spanish, my children are American, but my roots are in Argentina. And I'll never forget that.