SANTOS MORTE: the Company in the eyes of its founder (chapter 3)
Innovation gains strength
Before long, the first R & D projects were started, especially regarding the abrasion resistance of different materials. In 1999, the first steps towards export were taken, by attending trade fairs, conferences and conventions; making sure that MORTE could compete in quality, price, design and profitability with any of its competitors abroad.
Santos remembers that, until that time at MORTE, there was no Commercial Department, as orders came by word of mouth as the prestige of the company increased.
In 1999, the TM-EF Die was manufactured and patented. It had an innovative core holder fixing system and was at least 18 years ahead of its time.
This die, which is still being manufactured with little change from the initial model, opened the door to foreign markets and was a turning point in the growth of the company and its functional structure.
At this time, the need to open up to new markets was identified, in anticipation of a real estate crisis in Spain which took time to arrive, and it was decided to support R & D projects aimed at improving quality and extrusion processes.
In 2002, new warehouses were rented to house new machinery, and in 2004 MORTE moved to its current facilities.
This was around the time that Santos Morte realised the need to delegate some of the workload to his children, which he did, and with whom he sometimes did not agree. However, he became aware that, although the work was delegated, the responsibility was not; and he realised more and more that the future of MORTE was theirs, and it was time for them to lead the way. Thus, there was a gradual change in the direction of the company.
Little by little, the structure of MORTE was transformed to adapt to the new reality: there was a new R & D Department, Commercial Department and managers for the different sections of the company were recruited. The dream of Santos Morte was becoming greater, but MORTE itself was straining under its success, and it was time to change the management process.
When he remembers, he is proud of the decision he made at that time, in the certainty that he did the right thing and that MORTE had a great future.
Esperanza, his wife, who he considers the most intelligent person in the family, reminds him that a company is like a child: at the start, when you are pregnant, you have to go to the doctor regularly to check up on the baby’s progress. When he is born, he receives all the attention. Then, little by little, he learns to walk, eat, sleep and wash; before being left to go alone to school, where he learns and gets on with people.
This process has its ups and downs, until the son you’ve raised for over many years finishes his studies and you have to leave the field open for him.
Santos, is especially proud of his children, his company and of knowing when to retire at the right time.
MORTE conquering foreign markets
In 2006 and 2007, an export-oriented expansion process was begun, in anticipation of the real estate bubble bursting in Spain, two years ahead of schedule. Initially, some market research was conducted, finding out about the competition and identifying their strengths and weaknesses; and visiting customers and engineers to find out their demands. In a short time, Santos realised that, as happened with the Thermo-clay block die, his company was more than ready to compete successfully in the most demanding markets.
In 2006, Cristobal joined the Commercial Department, not to increase sales, qualified Santos Morte, but to better serve and listen to the needs of customers.
In 2007, Marcos Morte implemented an ERP and PLM system to manage the company, recruiting more personnel to the areas of Design, Administration and Quality.
In 2009, the process of international expansion began on the well-established foundations of a company philosophy based on commitment to quality, constant innovation and customer service.
In 2010, Santos Morte retired, leaving his three children, Marcos, Raúl and Talleres Morte on a common path; leaving behind what was once the dream of a small craft workshop turned into a great company; thanks to the hard work and perseverance of a child who liked numbers, but who especially liked to learn from facing new challenges every day: Discovering solutions where others could not see them.