Casa Sauza constantly develops innovations and improvements. This implies that our whole supply chain has to improve and innovate with us. An outstanding example of this innovating-together job is our packaging supplier, Grupo Owens-Illinois (Mexico). We talked to their general manager, Jesús Zubiría, who has more than 26 years of experience in the glass industry. He shared his experience as a Sauza supplier with us, in terms of innovation and quality. In this blog post, we will describe the most important topics of the interview that we held with Jesús during our Casa Sauza suppliers event, in terms of quality and innovation.
Interview with Jesús Zubiría, Sauza's Supplier from Owens-Illinois, Mexico.
Which are the challenges of being a Casa Sauza supplier?
Let me first tell you that as we all know, working as a team is not easy, either inside or outside a company. It specially becomes a challenge when one has to work with a third party, since the different in beliefs, goals, strategies and objectives will eventually come up.
The biggest challenge was to be able to sit at a table and have an open communication in order to better understand which were the objectives that Casa Sauza had. It was from that starting point, that we were both able to standardize our objectives together. We started by doing this so we could, at the end of the day, deliver a good quality product, in a timely and professional manner. Also to have it all done in the most efficient way possible, so our operations could benefit from it as well.
Another big challenge was to meet up with the high quality standards that Casa Sauza demands from its suppliers, since you (Sauza) offer your products in the very competitive market of wines and spirits.
How was the definition of quality in Casa Sauza's bottles reached?
It is at our work meetings that all of the products start being developed. We always have some problems and obstacles at the beginning but, as we discuss them together and better understand what each part needs, we then start creating good quality products. The market's voice and needs must be heard, and Casa Sauza is the one who in the end, brings that voice to us, since it is also Casa Sauza who delivers the final product and receives direct feedback from the consumer. Based on this client's feedback, along with the Sauza's operational areas feedback as well, we bring into the table the problems that need to be solved and thus, we look for solutions in order to try to comply with all of the requirements made.
How hard has the process of becoming a Casa Sauza supplier been?
I would lie if I said it has been easy. It has been a tough process not because of Casa Sauza but because we are two different companies that somehow work differently. When you try to bring these two methodologies together in a timely and professional manner, some serious challenges will quite naturally come up. We have been able to cope with these challenges and create solutions together by creating intelligent interdisciplinary teams. This vision of a single team that seeks for solutions, saves us time and makes us more assertive, since at the end of the day, the expectations are met for both parts.
What innovation and sustainability projects are carried out by the Owens-Illinois Group, Mexico?
Where from and how does the Mexican Owens-Illinois group, experience this sustainability? We experience it, for starters, with the very definition of our own product. Among the qualities that describe it, we have it called "the glass with purity", pure glass. Similarly, by means of our culture of integrity and respect, where we seek to guarantee work spaces that employees really value; we seek to work shoulder to shoulder with them, always committed to our community and, at the end of the day, along with Casa Sauza, we seek to bring safe and healthy products for our final customer.
Which is why we created a sustainability plan in 2017, which focuses in 4 specific areas:
- Use of energy
- Gas emissions to the environment
- Recycling of glass
- Creating safe places to work
Going a little deeper into this sustainability topic, let me tell you about a concept that we believe is very important, which is obviously, glass recycling. As the glass is being recycled, it is also being combined with raw materials which also helps reducing the emission of gases that are released in the environment, since it then requires less energy to melt.
Having this on mind, we many years ago created raw material processing plants. These plants are in charge of going out there (businesses, markets...) to collect some of the glass that has already been used, and bring it back to the processing plants. Once there, this glass gets decontaminated and the labels, caps, etc. are removed. Once it is clean, it is sent to get mixed with its raw material formula. This is also how we contribute in caring for the environment.
What challenges does Mexico face in terms of glass recycling?
Many are the challenges that we face. Although we have indeed came a long way in this matter, we are far from being able to compare ourselves with other countries, such as the European countries. In Europe you can find some recycling plants of our own where we have managed to achieve a recycling formula that is 20% glass and the rest is raw material. Another example is the USA, where they have achieved formulas that are made of around a 25% of recyclable glass and the rest of raw material.
When comparing it with our operations in Mexico, we have only been able to achieve a 10% recyclable glass and the rest of raw material. There is still a huge opportunity for giving a greater benefit to the environment and our communities here. And by this I mean that if we haven't made it yet, we are on our way of making it. Our main obstacle is the lack of infrastructure as well as of those community-oriented regulations that would promote a recycling culture.
This situation encourage us to continue working shoulder to shoulder with government agencies, owners of restaurants and hotels, the community itself and with clients such as Casa Sauza, in order to continue looking for ways to boost this recycling glass culture, so that we can tomorrow overcome the goals that we have set around this matter.
How much glass is produced in Mexico?
I would like to start by saying that Owens-Illinois gruop is the numer one producer of glass in the world. We are currently using around a 10% of our glass catchment for the production of new packaging for the industry. Here relies the big opportunity we have for catching more glass.
One of the strategies that have worked best in order to promote this recycling culture, is the one that we carry out with the support of the FISAC, Fundación de Investigaciones Sociales AC (Social Investigations Foundation). This foundation helps us get in touch with consumer's centers in order to get them interested in our glass recycling program and thus, contribute with the promotion of a recycling culture. With the implementation of this strategy, we estimate that by the end of 2016, we would have captured approximately 500,000 to 550,000 tons of glass from the one million 500,000 tons that we produce.
This is how the interview with Jesus Zubiría ended. We very much appreciated the information that he shared with us.
We, at Casa Sauza, like to develop our tequila's chain of production with companies that have within their company values, the innovation and respect for the environment, since we share those values as well. Which is why we will continue working with Grupo Owens-Illinois in order to bring our consumers and customers the highest quality products, with a sense of respect for the environment.
Find out more about how Casa Sauza works in order to always improve their processes, as well as about their care for the environment, in the following links.
- Premiumization of Tequila, a Trend in the Industry
- What is The Gentle Extraction of Agave Sugar?
- Lean Manufacturing in Tequila
- Casa Sauza, a Sustainable Company with a Sense of Belonging.
- Tequila Industry Challenges
- What Does it Take to Become a Sauza Supplier?
- TPM, an Improvement in Working Culture
Come and visit Casa Sauza and see for yourself how the modernization of our production processes delivers the purest tequila that you will find in the market.