Case study: Investing in the future of our lime business
Acquisition has been one of the cornerstones of Sibelco’s growth strategy, and in 2015 we added a number of niche businesses to strengthen our position in various markets.
The integration of El Volcán, a South American lime producer, not only allowed us to significantly increase our sales volumes across the Southern Cone region, the quality and configuration of El Volcán’s mine allowed Sibelco to concentrate its mining activities, enlarging the scale of the operation and enabling better allocation of investment.
It was the successful integration process that clearly demonstrated our operational excellence goal of leading operations and technology that set a benchmark for future integrations at Sibelco. Impacting on 12 individual processes; including sales and marketing, IT, HR, and logistics, as well as two separate operations in Argentina and Chile. The entire organisation was fully consolidated into Sibelco within a year.
Business continuity was critical to the entire project, with four key areas identified at the outset: Safety, customer care, operational synergies and financial control.
Alongside a customer roadshow, designed to introduce Sibelco and its manufacturing processes to enhance customer support, we developed a structured 16-week integration plan, covering the entire pre- and postacquisition period. Each of the 12 business processes had its own detailed action plan, which was then implemented by the local leaders resulting in an outstanding integration result.
A communication strategy was introduced to keep employees, customers, authorities and the local community informed of the changes, while a number of talented people within El Volcán were quickly integrated into the newly consolidated leadership team.
After 200 days, Sibelco had integrated El Volcán´s operations into Sibelco, implementing an accounting routine and the ERP alongside Sibelco’s own processes and standards. Furthermore, during that time the team achieved significant procurement savings, while increasing quicklime sales through Sibelco’s sales channels.
Following the acquisition, Sibelco has become an important industrial lime supplier for Argentina and Chile, serving the mining, steel and power generation industries amongst others.