Written by: Simone Talarico
Developing the partnership between its employees, customers and suppliers, this foundation, in addition to being a large differentiator in the civil construction market, has been the basis of the operational structure of J. Fonseca Construction since its founding in 1995 by its Founding-Partner Joao Carlos Fonseca in Campinas, state of Sao Paulo.
“The policy of client retention is our principal focus. For us, the client is always right. As a result, we have a 50% retention rate”, explains Marcelo Fonseca, Director General and Partner.
J. Fonseca also invests heavily in retaining, motivating and training its employees. Through programs such as Guardian Angel, whose goal is to create a culture of safety and continually improve the health and safety of its employees. Motivational campaigns on the topic are carried out at all its worksites.
“Our employees practice safety policies on job sites and are also incentivized to do the same things in their own homes,” he adds. On the job sites, Daily Safety Dialogues (DSD) are carried out. In these meetings, which last 10 minutes, a work safety specialist or safety engineer leads an informal conversation with employees regarding the risks of their tasks and ways of preventing injuries.
Strategic partnerships with suppliers complete the pillar of the company’s activities, according to Marcelo Fonseca. “We understand that suppliers who work well, meet deadlines, and do quality work safely will always be working with us. We have partners for metallic structures, electrical and hydraulic installations, as well as for earthworks.”
CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT PROCESSES
Regarding the quality of its services, J. Fonseca seeks continuous improvement through, for example, process analysis. “We work to identify in which stages of the process we get it right or get it wrong. We announce what we did right and we learn from our errors,” explains the executive. With these results in hand, training for other projects is carried out.
Conformance with environmental protection regulations is also one of the company’s focuses. “We have a corporate engineer that does all the necessary documentation for our projects and also works in the field enforcing environmental laws as well as safety legislation,” he details.
The company also invests in cost control planning. Through integrated civil construction management systems, such as Sienge, J. Fonseca manages everything from the budget for each project to the accounts payable department.
WIDE RANGING ACTIVITIES
Despite its headquarters’ location in the state of Sao Paulo and its being one of the leaders in the Campinas metropolitan region, the builder’s projects are spread across the country. Currently, J. Fonseca has projects underway in six states – Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Bahia, Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul.
The company’s activities include projects in the industrial, commercial and residential sectors, as well as in the railway sector. However, its main focus are industrial projects, as the Director General explains: “We don’t have groups of clients that are diluted. We have more specific clients such as Goodyear, Vale, Bridgestone, Pirelli and Prosegur. Recently, J. Fonseca completed work on a multi-modal terminal, considered to be the largest in Latin America, for Vale’s integrated logistics subsidiary in the city of Santa Luiza in Minas Gerais. The project, with an investment of approximately R$55 million, lasted 8 months and involved nearly 400 employees. “It was a growth opportunity for the company and recognition for a job well done. In fact, our company has been hired for two more projects for the group, one in the city of Paulínia, in the state of Sao Paulo, and a train-car repair facility in Lavras, Minas Gerais. We are pleased to continue to work with VLI”, he says.
Another important J. Fonseca project is the expansion of the Bridgestone factory in Camaçari, in Bahia. The execution of this project symbolizes the arrival of the builder to yet another Brazilian state. The project will be 9,000 sq. meters in build area and is expected to be delivered in December 2014. “We worked for three years at Goodyear in Americana in the state of Sao Paulo, and after this period, in which no accidents occurred due to our precise construction process, we had demonstrated that we understand the factory process and we won the project in Camaçari,” the executive details.
RESULTS AND PLANS
In 2013, J. Fonseca earned a total of R$75 million and delivered more than R$ 100 million in construction projects.
In three years, from 2010 to 2012, the builder grew by 225%. From 2012 to 2013, growth was 107%. According to Joao Carlos Fonseca, these results were achieved due to his company’s focus on clients and on employee and supplier retention.
J. Fonseca moved recently to a new headquarters in Campinas. “There are 500 sq. meters of office space and 300 sq. meters of warehouse and parking area, which makes for a better environment for our employees”, he says.
Regarding future plans, the executive reveals that the company is planning a national expansion and that the state of Maranhao is likely to be one of the company’s new markets.