Case of the Port of Tuxpan: from the idea to the implementation of the strategy in Mexican ports

Alerts and different tools help you and your organization to maintain strategic focus

In 2006, the history of Mexican ports was not very different from those organizations that started their Balanced Scorecard projects with great enthusiasm, but that, over time, stopped using it. Among the main aggravating factors were strategic indicators not yet measured, a non-socialized strategic map, lack of visibility of the real progress of strategic projects, lack of communication between the areas, lack of proposals for new actions to improve the performance of objectives, among others.

As a consequence, the model was not used by the port management to follow up on the execution of the strategy. On the contrary, the activities were solved on top of the bond. Operational problems were the main concern of the port terminal.

And it was not for less.

Ensuring that the docks were in adequate conditions to receive the vessels, carrying out the expansion of the capacity of the deposits, permanently monitoring the good maintenance of the jetties to protect the vessels from strong waves and carrying out the dredging of the river so that the vessels do not run aground are some of the many activities carried out in the port precincts necessary to guarantee the permanent flow of cargo loading and unloading.

In view of this situation, in the same year, the Secretariat of Communications and Transport of Mexico started to encourage its Integral Port Administrators to improve their strategy implementation processes, using the Balanced Scorecard as a methodological tool. Among them was Tuxpan, a port located on the Gulf of Mexico.

Port of Tuxpan, in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo: RCGA

For many years, the main activity of the port of Tuxpan was the management of general cargo (wood, grains and minerals). Therefore, its infrastructure, operations and even people’s thinking had been designed for this type of cargo movement.

In this sense, it is not difficult to imagine the incredulity of the managers when the director of the time began to dream of something new for the port. The objective was very clear: to diversify the port’s sources of income.

For this, two major projects were created:
(1) Implementation of the Specialized Container Terminal;
(2) Attraction of tourist boats.

During the following months, a detailed and disciplined strategic execution process was developed. The change and the new challenges have undoubtedly generated a lot of resistance. However, the foundations were laid for what today can actually be assumed to be the port.

In March 2017, President Peña Nieto inaugurated the Container Terminal at the Port of Tuxpan, involving an unprecedented dynamism of the local economy. On the other hand, even if few tourist boats were received, the port’s aspiration would be to attract more people who enjoy its beautiful beaches and learn about the heritage of its priceless cultural legacy.
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In 2017, President Peña Nieto opened the Container Terminal at the Port of Tuxpan. Photo: Mundo Maritimo

The main risk is “forgetting” to manage the actions that promoted the organization’s strategic change

About ten years have passed since the Container Terminal implementation project. It is possible that situations of lack of monitoring of the plan have been presented and, as a consequence, the challenges have increased. As described, it is very difficult not to solve the operational problems since, without them, the service would not be guaranteed.

The main risk is “forgetting” to manage the actions that promoted the organization’s strategic change. Undoubtedly, having a technological solution will contribute a lot to the non-neglect of your strategic management. Alerts on indicators that do not reach your performance, alerts on project delays, alerts on lack of actions and other tools help you and your organization to maintain strategic focus.

Ernesto Centeno
Estratex Manager, Lima, Peru
Strategic allied company of Interact Solutions

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