Local cement players have edge in responsiveness, says CeMAP
(The Philippine Star) - February 27, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - As the Asean economic integration draws closer, the Philippine cement industry’s aftermarket service infrastructure has been identified as a key competitive advantage compared to importers from abroad.

 “Local cement manufacturers have an established aftermarket infrastructure,” said Ernesto Ordoñez, president of the Cement Manufacturers’ Association of the Philippines (CeMAP). “This allows them to respond to consumer needs and concerns more quickly and effectively.”

In any industry, occasional product issues are unavoidable. But when it comes to locally manufactured cement, Ordoñez emphasized, consumers can rely on a proven track record of after-sales service.

Ordoñez cited four after-sales service advantages of the local cement industry over its foreign counterparts: cost-effective communications, faster manufacturer-to-customer correspondence, reliable on-site guidance, and sustainable business relationships.

As opposed to importers who solely rely on local dealers to explain product applications to customers, local manufacturers have directly employed specialists in the country that can readily address concerns and conduct on-site visits.

Likewise, geographic proximity allows for faster and more cost-efficient communication between consumers and manufacturers. Consumer concerns can also be quickly escalated to top management when necessary.

Ordoñez added, “Since local manufacturers are based in the country, partnerships can easily flourish and build confidence and familiarity.”

In terms of quality, the Philippines is known for having one of the most-stringent testing procedures for cement in the world. CeMAP tests five product samples (three from factories and two from stores for every type of cement, for every Plant, for every month) to ensure that their cement meets the required standards of quality and safety. CeMAP members include Cemex Philippines, Inc., Holcim Philippines Inc., LafargeRepublic Inc., Northern Cement Corp., Pacific Cement Philippines Inc. and Taiheiyo Cement Philippines Inc. These members are ISO certified, where customer satisfaction is emphasized in their procedures for dealing with customer complaints.

In the past, Ordoñez states, there were five reported cases of substandard cement imports. These products did not pass quality control standards. But because of consumer vigilance, CeMAP close monitoring, and help from the DTI Bureau of Standards and Bureau of Customs, they were banned from being sold in the country. This ensured consumer welfare and possibly even saved lives.

In 2014, the country’s cement sales reached 21.3 metric tons - up by 9.6 percent compared to the previous year. This growth is expected to continue with increased spending on public infrastructure, as well as residential and commercial developments resulting from the continuing confidence in the government.

Ordoñez concluded, “With the oncoming challenges this year, the local cement industry will continue to be a valuable partner in nation building

 

AS THE ASEAN ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES BUREAU OF STANDARDS AND BUREAU OF CUSTOMS CEMENT CEMENT MANUFACTURERS CEMEX PHILIPPINES ERNESTO ORDO HOLCIM PHILIPPINES INC NORTHERN CEMENT CORP
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