As a construction manager in Haskell’s Mexico City office, Waldo Salado delivers solutions.
Salado helps to lead projects undertaken through Haskell’s EPC delivery method. Short for engineering, procurement, and construction, EPC jobs are those on which Haskell bears responsibility for facility design and construction, as well as process and packaging design, which includes specification, procurement, installation, and start-up of all manufacturing systems necessary to meet the customer’s objective.
If that seems complicated, well, that’s because it is. “The EPC delivery method aligns a myriad of moving parts, many of them under the field direction of construction managers like Salado,” said Luis Jiménez, vice president for Haskell’s Latin America Region.
“We are doing more and more EPC work,” Jiménez said. “The construction manager is the natural leader for those projects and critical to their success. That’s what Waldo does very well. He understands what it takes to build the building, and what it takes to install the complex manufacturing systems.”
“He’s truly the person you put in charge of an EPC project. Waldo can oversee everything from procurement, going into the field with the building, and installing the manufacturing equipment. That combination of skills is difficult to find.”
The ability to deliver EPC projects differentiates Haskell from many other design-build companies, particularly in Mexico, Salado said.
“I think that Haskell is very advanced compared to what is commonly found in the country,” he said. “Here in Mexico, the businesses are very traditional, and they are resistant to change. The challenge we have is that all of our subcontractors are from here, and they have those bad habits. It’s a matter of finding a balance between their traditional ways of working and adjusting to ours.”
His ability to find that balance, with people and across disciplines, differentiates Salado.
A civil engineer by training, he is a generalist by evolution. He learned Haskell’s high safety and quality standards while working as a superintendent for Ingenieria de Proyectos, a subcontractor that specialized in electromechanical projects. It was then that he was drawn to the Haskell company’s culture, vision and stability, he said.
He joined Haskell as an assistant superintendent in 2000, climbed the ranks and recently ascended to his present position. Working in Haskell’s Consumer and Packaged Goods Group, he has appreciated numerous opportunities to take part in complex projects and expand his knowledge base.
“I think that its primarily the opportunity to work on projects that are multi-disciplinary and that I have been able to respond to them in some way,” Salado said. “I have an education in civil engineering and lots of experience with electromechanics, but I now feel capable of being able to work on a project with whatever discipline.”
As a construction manager, he reports directly to the project director and is responsible for ensuring that schedule, cost, quality, and safety standards are met. In addition to leading Haskell staff, tradesmen and subcontractors, he forms a rapport with clients.
“One of the things I feel like I’ve done differently is that for the past two years, I have put myself in a position to directly support the client, including their cap-ex approval process and design solutions in such a way that Haskell is more attractive to them,” he said. “Not just in the services we offer, but by giving them an added touch of customer service.”
His current assignment, the Collins Expansion project, is actually two complex jobs – the expansion of a metal sheet-manufacturing facility and a composites plant to expand the manufacturing capacity of each.
Having grown into a leader in the company, his ongoing mission is to expand the EPC capabilities that distinguish Haskell from the competition. His commitment to that goal is motivated both professionally and personally.
“I’m convinced that … as a company, we do need to train more people, because in Mexico we don’t have a lot of people with all the skills and experience that our projects and clients require,” he said. “It’s something we need to continue doing as a company. On a personal level, it’s also something I want to do. If I had the opportunity, it’s only fair to give back to others what I have received.”