With the demand for scaffolding suppliers growing at a fast pace in the industrial sector, Catari Chile outlined a roam of continuous growth to keep up with the market needs. As a result of the modernization of its habits, the Chilean market is currently in a transitional moment and starts to perceive scaffolding as an increasingly valuable asset in the demanding industrial maintenance sector, instead of an equipment formerly bonded to construction, a more conservative sector in Chile.

Catari Chile, nowadays a reference in scaffolding sales and rental due to its extraordinary performance, intends to respond to this trend through a value proposition based on reliable engineering services for demanding technical solutions, immediate scaffold availability even in challenging geographic areas, and the use of certified scaffolding exclusively.

To understand the challenges of the scaffolding business in the region and how his team is ready overcome them, we spoke with José Cunha, Commercial Director at Catari Chile. The experienced manager also took the opportunity to address the opening of Catari Chile’s new branch in Antofagasta, a new scaffolding rental and sales park complementary to the existing ones in Los Angeles and Santiago.

Which are, currently, the main challenges for Catari Chile?

"In Chile, the active force for this sector is sited in three regions: Los Angeles, due to industrial forestry and pulp processing plants; Santiago, capital and larger region of the country; and Antofagasta, where the mining industry is centred.

In Los Angeles and Santiago, where our other two branches are located, Catari Chile was already managing to keep up with its value proposition. In the North, however, the challenge was greater. Santiago, the northernmost delegation that Catari Chile had so far, was still about 1350 km’s from Antofagasta."

The opening of this new delegation in the desert of Antofagasta, is, therefore, Catari Chile's reaction to the main challenge it faced: the extension of Chilean territory.

"Motivated by our industrial maintenance customers who needed Catari scaffolding available in this region, and pursuing Catari Chile's strategic vision for the market, we decided to proceed. Today, we can assure Catari Chile is present in these three main regions and that the complete coverage of scaffolding distribution in Chile is possible from them. This allows faster delivery times and a close, premium service for all our customers in the mining, desalination and energy industries."

The evolution of scaffolding equipment in Chile is another topic that José Cunha addresses. In his words:

"There is a trend towards modernization and the introduction of multidirectional scaffold systems, driven by the industrial sector that is highly demanding comparing to the more conservative construction sector.

Catari Chile was born in 2012. Since then, I have realized that scaffolding is seen in construction as a mean to an end. Unlike formwork, concrete, and lifting equipment, which are highly valued, scaffolding has been historically undervalued and became an undifferentiated product competing for price.

The lack of interest from scaffold rental companies in replacing facade scaffold, as it is not profitable, has in turn motivated a renovation of the scaffold parks towards new and and certified multidirectional scaffold systems, which are mainly sought after by the industrial sector. This led to an organic introduction of multidirectional scaffolding in construction as well."

José Cunha states that, facing the current scenario, even the most traditional companies are coming along.

"Builders who have realized that scaffolding suppliers are investing in modernization, safety and quality materials, are following the trend. This happens mainly with constructors of larger dimension. Smaller construction companies, which are still essentially looking for price, end up resorting to small local scaffold renters and this is a segment that Catari Chile avoids as it drifts away from our core. Despite this evolution, we still focus mainly on industrial maintenance, where the reality is already different. The demand is huge and that's where we position ourselves, competing among the best players."

And what about the role of product certification?

"For Catari Chile, there is no doubt regarding the relevance of certification and innovation.

Forestry, petrochemical and mining industries require certified scaffolding. Technical drawings and a calculation note are mandatory in every single project. Construction, on the other hand, only require the scaffolding to comply with the Chilean standard, which is much more simplified. Our value proposition at Catari Chile is clear, we have certified products and capable technical teams. We have scaffolding components and provide solutions that others do not. The fact that Catari is a scaffold manufacturer, allows us to access a much broader portfolio of parts and ultimately create engineered and certified solutions that others generally cannot provide. With the new facilities in Antofagasta, we have one of the largest scaffolding parks spread over three branches, guaranteeing nationwide coverage with fast delivery times -- the main requirement of all customers in Chile. Catari locally stands for safety and technical capacity, and we are already recognized and sought after by these standards.

Customers come to us because they know we find solutions for complex projects. Those who come to us essentially do it for the quality of the product and technical response capacity. In this segment, we are positioned among the main players in the scaffolding market."

Regarding workers safety and ensuring the correct assembling, the process is transparently led.

"Catari Chile supplies scaffolding and engineering. However, we always supervise the assembly process to ensure that the scaffolders are capable. Whenever the customer requires assembly, we source companies trained by our own to do so. If the client has its own workforce, we provide training sessions so that they can assemble and disassemble their own scaffolding, and we issue their certificates. In both cases, we always guarantee that Catari scaffolding is assembled safely and in accordance with all regulations."

With the opening of the Antofagasta branch, Catari Chile intends to consolidate its position as a reference scaffolding supplier for industrial maintenance and, considering the growth over the past years and the forecasted strategy, market leadership is the ultimate goal.

Contact Catari