The importance of in-house production: interview with Mikel Noguerol


After joining CMZ's manufacturing department in 2006, Mikel Noguerol Ramos, Production Manager for the CMZ group has been able to experience the company's growth first hand. His main duty is to produce the industrial strategy and planning required to achieve the company's manufacturing objectives. This work involves channelling the investment in technical resources in the right way and harmonising the performance of the team.

"Keeping our philosophy has enabled us to become a manufacturer of CNC lathes of international renown"

"The company's growth has been exponential" The company that Mikel joined after completing his Industrial Engineering studies bears little resemblance to CMZ now.

In a clear commitment to own manufacture, the company has integrated most of its production processes, manufacturing over 80% of the components for its lathes at its own facilities. He himself defines the

philosophy of "in-house production" as "a philosophy directed at the integral control of the production process so we can optimise it and align the results with our objectives".

First of all, Mikel, what were things like when you started at CMZ?

When I first set foot in CMZ I found a team of people with enormous determination. They had managed to start up the serial manufacture of high quality CNC lathes tackling practically the entire production process for the machine. At that time CMZ already had great expectations for the future and was making a huge investment to achieve its objectives for growth and product improvement.

How would you define CMZ's philosophy?

CMZ's philosophy is based on holding fast to the values that enable us to keep and grow our aim to become an internationally renowned manufacturer of CNC lathes. Our tenacity and discipline identify us and have meant that the dream this family firm once had is now a reality. Growing that dream has become the firm objective of all of us at CMZ.

And what type of actions have been taken to develop that aim?

We want to do it well and do it in-house and so we have kept on investing in a financially sustainable way. Ever since I can remember the number of qualified profiles has continued to grow, increasing our own resources.

The investment in design engineering means that year after year we can rely on a more capable and competitive product.

From production engineering we keep careful control over the production process which helps us to be highly efficient. We have provided our logistics with intelligent systems organised down to the smallest detail to make the most of our resources.

We have our own business planning system developed specifically by our IT department which is a real privilege.

Our production facilities already total 40,000 m2 divided into 7 industrial plants owned by us, incorporating the latest manufacturing technologies into each new project. In the last 2 years we have opened Neoprec and extended Precitor, both machining plants are benchmarks for automation and precision.

We have made customer service our vocation. We are committed to having our own subsidiaries abroad, as well as an extensive distribution network. We provide the best commercial advice, with highly qualified profiles in our technical support service and our applications engineers facilitate the integration of our lathes in the customer's production process.

We are not alone on this journey. We have great companions. We have the best suppliers who add value to our product and enable us to be more competitive and training centres of reference who do invaluable work in helping people's talent to emerge.

Our human resources department is fully focused on recruiting and retaining talent and to that end we are always on the move, relying on the best recruitment partners, participating in the educational process for the new generations by collaborating with local schools and universities and conducting a comprehensive monitoring of the performance of talent.

We have made ourselves visible thanks to the work of our own marketing team. Telling our story has made us reflect and take notice. All our actions implicitly involve generating a positive social impact. We know that by doing things in-house, the social impact stays in our area.

Before you talked about the importance of having "a positive social impact". What does CMZ contribute to people's personal development?

It is a direct consequence of doing things in house and moving in a technological and competitive industrial ecosystem. It is a priority for us to keep the best talent in the company and that has an impact on people's personal and professional development. Our activity also contributes indirectly to improving the area's industrial and educational fabric.

Why the commitment to own manufactured products?

We currently manufacture 80% of the components for our machines which provides us with a high degree of specialisation and that differentiates us and makes us competitive. Getting here hasn't been easy, a lot of determination has been needed to invest in what we believed to be necessary and transform that investment into the competitive advantages we have now.

Having integral control over the production process enables us to optimise the process and reduce costs, guarantee a top quality product and services, have the necessary flexibility to adapt to changes in production patterns and to our customers' needs and have technologically advanced means of production. All of this enables us to generate value directly and indirectly.

How do you retain the company's know- how?

We are aware of the importance of diffusing corporate know-how efficiently and for that purpose we have tools to standardise, classify and diffuse information and people's commitment to the training of new employees. Know-how is something more than corporate information, it also lies in the experience of the people in CMZ, in their constructive attitude and the quality of their working life together.

CMZ needed to grow and to do that we needed to be efficient when training new staff. That would not have been possible without the more experienced people in the company taking on leadership positions. We know the result.

How would you define the technological level of the teams in CMZ?

Our teams have a high technological level. Each year we promote the incorporation of new technologies, choosing those which serve to increase our productivity while maintaining a low degree of dependency. We have highly qualified personnel who are responsible for incorporating the technologies which deliver the most competitive advantages for us.

And as for the human factor, how would you define that?

The human factor is the base of th the organisation, it is the commitment of all of us who work here and have previously worked in CMZ which makes it possible to make the proposal to be a great manufacturer of CNC lathes into a solid sustainable business project.

At present CMZ is possible thanks to the more than 500 of us who are driving forward this great project while also developing our more personal aspects.