We introduce you to Arturo Flores, Forward Design Director, who tells us, in this interview, about his career and experience throughout the 8 years he has been working in Hermosillo. He majored in Architecture at UABC at Mexicali, studied abroad in Germany, and has a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Mega Buildings from Cardiff University in the United Kingdom. He is currently studying for an MBA in Senior Management at CETYS University Campus Mexicali.
What drove you to dedicate yourself to design in construction?
My father is a civil engineer, so ever since I was little, I have been in contact with the construction industry. He had a construction company and then worked in real estate. I grew up visiting the offices and seeing the process, from brainstorming ideas to construction to sales. I think all of this greatly impacted me, and that’s why I decided to study Architecture.
What do you think has been the most important factor that has helped you get to where you are today?
Getting out of my comfort zone. I like to test myself and face challenges. For example, the Master’s Degree I did in the United Kingdom. I could have done it in Mexico, but I decided to go out of the country. When I finished it and returned to Mexicali, I was offered a new role in the Mexico City office, which I accepted, once again stepping out of my comfort zone to move to a new city. I believe that making these decisions has led me to learn many things and to always look for something more, which I believe has been perceived in my work.
How did the Forward Design area start within Hermosillo?
The idea for the Forward Design area came up when I was still in my previous role as VDC (Virtual Design Construction) Manager. Our department was in charge of implementing all technical issues in the company (BIM and others). On one occasion, in 2020, a client asked us to become their advisor to improve the BIM implementation they had in their company. We worked with that client, who later recommended us to their corporation in Mexico. This is where the opportunity arose to have a first design client with a standardized process. So, as a result, we thought that there must be other clients with similar needs, whether they are looking to bring their project from the United States to Mexico or are already in Mexico but are looking to standardize the construction of their buildings.
How would you explain the area of Forward Design?
In the Forward Design area of Hermosillo, we help clients standardize buildings that they are going to repeat multiple times in different locations. With this, instead of starting from scratch, they already have the foundations. By streamlining the pre-construction part in this way, customers can shorten and make their process more efficient.
What has been your experience being in charge of a new area of the company as innovative as Forward Design?
It has been an exciting and enriching experience. Every day we face new challenges. To start with, I had to form a work team from scratch. To look for and find the right people with the knowledge and are interested in technology, BIM, construction system specifications, etc. It has been a long process, of more than a year, to establish the team. We are currently 20 people.
We started with a single project and little by little we got involved in more. By working with different companies, we have had the joy of learning from each one, knowing their ways of working and how they adapt to their changing environment and face the challenges that arise. It is very satisfying and comforting for us to be an ally for them to meet their goals.
What have been the most enriching experiences you have had working at Hermosillo?
In every opportunity I have received, the most enriching thing for me has been dealing with different people. In each project I get to meet people from different areas and, whether they have been in the company for 2 months or more than 20 years, they all have different perspectives, experiences to share, and lessons to leave you with.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced while working at Hermosillo, and how did you overcome it?
I have faced various challenges, but three come to mind. The first was when we began to implement the BIM methodology, working on projects with the new Revit tool. The company allowed me and several colleagues to get trained and certified and then start with the first project (Business Hub in Tijuana) using the tool. We didn’t have any background in the construction of this type of building, so we faced a double challenge. Fortunately, I worked with a very good team, and we successfully carried out the project, with many lessons learned.
The next challenge I remember was when I took on my previous role as Virtual Design Construction Manager. It involved a lot of contact with people from different areas of the company, since I had to listen to their needs and seek solutions to their problems based on technology through various tools and software. When the pandemic arrived, we saw the need to transform the way we followed up on these cases and do it all online and more efficiently.
The last challenge I would like to share is forming an almost completely new team since we only have 3 or 4 people who already worked in the company. It was difficult to recruit a group, relatively quickly, that meets the objectives, with an important workload, and aligns with the values and culture of Hermosillo.
What do you think is the key to the company’s growth?
I have realized how the commitment that one has to the company and doing a good job is a common denominator among the employees of Hermosillo. This has opened up many opportunities for us, including me. This opportunity that is being given to the Forward Design area speaks volumes about how the company is open to new ideas, how it pays attention to changes in the industry, and how it has adapted to them throughout its 60 years. I believe we must always be willing to adapt quickly to the changes and challenges that arise, as they will always come with great learning.