Interview with Balbino Fernández, associated general manager of DEPISA Center-North area

Balbino Fernández is part of the DEPISA board from 1980. He accounts for more than 35 experience years in the sector. His first project was the painting of the Opel plant in Zaragoza during its building process. Today, his main mission is to prepare offers and manage projects for the big customers with whom he shares a long commercial relation.

– How would you describe DEPISA mission?

DEPISA is a company specialized in every kind of surface treatments, from anticorrosive to restoration and maintenance of concrete, waterproofing and stratification of glass fiber, for the industry.

Moreover, since the acquisition of SIASA in 2000, we are present in the naval sector, which requires a higher level of specialization and involves using very specific production machinery.

What are the main differences between the services that DEPISA offers today and those offered 30 years ago?

All the differences you can find in the dictionary. 30 years ago DEPISA manufactured paint and competed for painting new industrial sites. With just a couple of clients it was a medium size player with dispersed shareholders worried of the short term profit.

Today’s DEPISA no longer manufactures paint, uses the most suitable products for every situation. It has a clear service vocation with a large number of clients worldwide, a compromise to continuous improvement of its staff and project management processes, a huge change that made DEPISA become the leader of the Spanish market.

What do you remember from the earlier years?

I remember my initial projects, the Zaragoza Opel plant, the Enursa Uranium Storage Facility in Salamanca, the Group IV from the Thermal Power Plant in Ponferrada and so many other projects where the customer asked us to paint their facilities for the aesthetics.

Today, the aesthetic part has become less and less important, the customers demand the paint process to protect the steel. This has been demonstrated to be not only essential but also profitable. The paint has evolved very positively. Its application increases the service life of the steel.

A customer, what ask for to DEPISA?

Effectiveness in solving problems, to be close to them in order to avoid being a problem for them but being a helping hand.

They trust us because we are a referent in the management of the people that work on the different projects. We train them to know the customer processes, with continuous improvement speeches and demonstration.

A referent in steel treatment, in permanent contact with the paint manufacturers, participating in the improvement process of both products and application processes.

And all of these without forgetting our social responsibility in the areas where we develop our job. 

What is the issue the most valued by the customer?

In my opinion, they value specially our positive management of the contracts, our quick adaptation to the inevitable changes, the fulfilment of deadlines, and the quality and security warranty.

They also value our solvency, technically and financially speaking. We have always fulfilled our commitments. We can face any unexpected situation responding promptly to fulfil the required deadline.

Moreover, the DEPISA workers have been able to work in dangerous environments avoiding unnecessary risks. All that added to our competitiveness at the cost level makes us a strong player in this sector.

After these years of crisis, how do you see the future?

The near future in the naval sector is going to be fantastic. We have contracts already signed for the next 6-7 years. It will not be so good in the industry area, where there are no great investments, and we are concentrated in maintaining existing facilities. That’s the reason why we have to take care of our strongest point, the maintenance of the big industrial complexes.