Member Spotlight: José Antonio Fernández Garza–Lagüera, General Manager of PTM, Mexico

Garza–Lagüera is also co-founder and member of the board of Conex, a company that supplies infrastructure for the telecommunications industry, and of Bomi de México, a supplier of logistics services mainly for the health sector. He is also President of the Eugenio Garza Lagüera Entrepreneurship Institute of Tecnológico de Monterrey and a member of the Management Council of Endeavor México.

José Antonio Fernández Garza–Lagüera, CEO of PTM, Mexico

José Antonio Fernández Garza–Lagüera, General Manager of PTM, Mexico

Editor: You worked at Coca-Cola and Heineken before becoming General Manager of PTM. What interested you in leading a company that provides reusables?

Garza–Lagüera: Mexico is one of very few countries where beverage manufacturers still use cardboard crates. The crates become wet and messy, and they hold bacteria and rot. Plastic crates are much more cost efficient and better for the environment, and they protect the glass bottles better so they can be used for a longer period of time.

Becoming General Manager of PTM was a fantastic opportunity for me. There are many exciting innovations in the plastic world. Companies are converting from wood to plastic pallets at a fast pace, and there is a lot of growth opportunity for plastics crates, too.

Editor: PTM provides plastic solutions and projects tailored to customer’s needs in different industries including the food and beverage, automotive, and retail. What sets you apart in these markets?

Garza–Lagüera: We don’t just sell crates or pallets; we understand supply chain logistics. We help customers reduce their overall supply chain costs. Also, we provide quality products and quality customer service. The lifecycle of our Ultra Pallet® is up to 100 trips: double that of our competitors’ products. This was proven by tests conducted at The Center for Unit Load Design at Virginia Tech.

Editor: How does the reusables market in the US compare to those in Mexico and Latin America?

Garza–Lagüera: The US market is about 50 times bigger than the Mexican market, and 20 times larger than Latin America’s. Growth in the US is driven by the adoption of automated processes. In Latin America, the growth of reusables is driven more by concerns for the environment and the need to reduce the consumption of wood as well as companies wanting to reduce their costs in the supply chain.

Editor: PTM prides itself on being a socially responsible company. How important is that to your customers?

Garza–Lagüera: The most compelling reason they buy products from us is because we reduce their overall costs in the supply chain. We have proven that consistently. However, they like the fact that we walk the talk on sustainability. We just invested in a new recycling line that can process 4,400 lbs (2,000 kgs) of materials per hour. This number represents 66% of the plastic used in our annual operations.

Having an internal processing line lets us recycle our customers used materials and make brand new items. We can create products that are made from 100 percent recycled materials and that are 100 percent recyclable at the end of their useful life.

Editor: What benefits does PTM gain by being a member of the RPA?

Garza–Lagüera: Being a member of the RPA has allowed us to put our products in front of key decision makers and show them the advantage of our products. Being in the RPA Pavilion at PACK EXPO was a great place for us to showcase our products. We wouldn’t have this much visibility without being a member of the RPA.

Editor: Is there anything else you would like to share with the RPA membership?

Garza–Lagüera: At PTM, people come first, then product, then profit. We have been successful because we have very strong technology. Our Ultra Pallet® is cleaner, stronger, and can support very large loads.