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Plant Manager

After nearly two decades at Flex-Tek, Humberto Martinez still loves what he does, thanks to the people around him.

Prioritising people

As plant manager of our largest facility in Reynosa (Mexico), which manufactures the TUTCO range of heating solutions, Humberto has a very broad remit.

It stretches from fiscal management, and negotiations with the Unions and various local authorities, to ensuring compliance with numerous regulations including Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) and Employment Law. He also facilitates close customer and supplier relationships, and ensures service standards are maintained, to help the corporate sales team achieve their sales targets.

But, whatever he’s doing, his people are his priority.

He starts every day with a safety tour of the production area, which has helped gain the site an exceptional safety and security record. Along the way, he takes time to chat to people, acknowledge achievements and listen to any concerns they might have.

By 8am, he’s checked the site’s latest performance metrics and has begun a relentless schedule of meetings – typically starting with updates from the cross-border sales team, before tackling anything from supply and production issues to employee communications and marketing.

The power of inclusivity

But he doesn’t work in isolation. Humberto strongly believes in the positive impact of a culture characterised by inclusivity and teamwork, saying, ‘It doesn’t just improve the work, it makes for a happier workplace too – and that’s where our real competitive advantage comes from.’

He enjoys getting to know colleagues through their busy calendar of industry exhibitions, social events like the annual Mother’s Day or Independence Day lunches, and community outreach activities such as baseball games with special-needs children, community picnics and house repairs.

And he’s keen to ensure everyone feels they have a voice and are growing both personally and professionally. To empower them, he has spearheaded training, scholarship and development programmes and encourages them to share their knowledge and different perspectives to collaboratively build a culture of continuous improvement.

As a result, their regular ‘Kaizen’ discussions have seen numerous productive ideas, great and small, generated throughout the operation, as well as people’s sense of value grow.

Humberto has always got a buzz from acknowledging his employees’ achievements through the Smiths Excellence Award programme – but, with characteristic humility, was surprised to recently find himself the very popular winner of the Smiths Excellence Award for Inclusive Leadership.

Angela Bruce, HR director for Flex-Tek’s Heat group, said, ‘Humberto naturally exemplifies the leadership behaviours we admire and encourage at Smiths.’

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Humerto Martinez
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Smiths culture of inclusivity and teamwork is where our real competitive advantage comes from.