24/04/2020 - Careers
Alex Ramirez is Vice President of Operations for Vallourec Tube Alloy in Houston. He brings his entrepreneurial spirit, thirst for challenge and enthusiasm for teamwork into every project he tackles.
What has been your path to Vallourec?
I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering that specializes in manufacturing, graduating from Instituto Tecnológico de Celaya in Mexico. I did international commerce studies that helped me open my eyes to think globally. Growing up in American, Mexican and German cultures from family links made me very open to a global perspective and how rich we can be when we mix different cultures together.
I started in VAM USA in Houston, doing all types of process improvements and Capex investments. When Vallourec bought Atlas Bradford in 2008, I was responsible to integrate the capabilities in VAM USA facilities and reorganize the industrial footprint.
At Tube Alloy, we repair threads and do accessories for customers within a 24-hour turnaround. We are very reactive and customer-oriented, focused on service, always looking for ways to reduce lead time and improve on-time delivery.
Tell us something most people don’t know about you.
As a student, I worked in a company that made animal feed supplements. I was so successful in doing improvements, the owner trusted me to build a brand new manufacturing plant. For a student, this was a great opportunity and I learned there not to be afraid to fail in anything I have my eyes to do.
Also, in my early days during college and once graduated, I had my own company of textile goods, a small shop of eight people. I was able to create sleeping bags, backpacks and commando tents that I sold to the Mexican Army. But given worldwide competition, I was not able to compete and closed. So I came to Houston and I found Vallourec.
Your track record shows that you have a strong entrepreneurial spirit. How do you square that sense of independence with working within corporate constructs?
Yes, well, I do like to push the limits of what we can do. I think that even though we are a big corporation, we need to keep focused on making things simple and pragmatic.
Even though we are a big corporation, we need to keep focused on making things simple and pragmatic.Alex Ramirez Vice President of Operations for Vallourec Tube Alloy
What are your expectations for Vallourec Tube Alloy?
The spirit at Vallourec Tube Alloy is so unique and creative. We don’t waste resources and time with endless meetings, rules and PowerPoints. We have moved two plants and opened a new shop in the past two years. The team has delivered amazing transformation. For sure, we have much to do and it’s a never-ending improving cycle but I want to show our customers our new Tube Alloy and that we are becoming the benchmark in what we do.
What is your best career advice?
First, be passionate for what you do, or get out of it. Life is too short to stay in an area you don’t enjoy. Work very hard and never give up! Obstacles are there to make you stronger but not to cut your objectives or dreams.