What challenge(s) do our clients face?

Metals and mining businesses face a constantly changing environment shaped by global forces of supply and demand, technological innovation, industry consolidation and environmental legislation.

When facing these complex challenges, metals and mining organizations are continuously forced to adjust their strategy and operations to maintain profitability and competitive advantage, whilst meeting the needs of a diverse range of global clients.

This may involve addressing challenges ranging from:

  • pivoting between increasing production in an up-cycle and reducing costs in a down-cycle
  • achieving sustainability targets across a global supply chain
  • protecting margins and profits in the face of commodity price cycles
  • building scale and diversifying portfolios to protect market share
  • leveraging automation, IoT or AI to increase efficiency
  • determining which commodities/regions/customers are most attractive to serve, and how to enter the market segment

How do we help?

Integration has delivered successful projects for clients across numerous geographies and from a local, regional and global perspective.

Our projects have addressed a wide range of issues, from mergers and acquisitions through to Go-to-Market strategies. Our experience spans the entire production cycle, from upstream mining and raw material inputs to primary metal production, fabrication and distribution.

Beyond just our industry knowledge, Integration is able to bring a tailored approach that recognizes and adjusts to the unique circumstances and context of each of our clients. Whether this is internal cultural or organizational challenges or external market-related pressures, we ensure our solution truly address your specific needs. Our multidisciplinary team work closely with your in-house team and leadership to adjust our recommendations to match your reality and embed the change.


We have worked with clients in different categories, geographies and positions along the value chain:


Ricardo Barbosa points out that the GTM project, carried out by Integration, was extremely important and with a very satisfactory result, because Integration is a company that has flexibility in discussions, works with 4 hands, shares all its experience, focus on work, firmness in conduct and its professionals are participative and work with pride and passion.

Ricardo Barbosa, President | InterCement



Our client, one of the world’s leading steel and mining companies was facing a context of increased competitive pressure, in a business with low growth expectations. Their main competitor in Argentina was expanding its production plant and the country was becoming more open to importations.

They needed to react, but they lacked coherence between their strategy and the commercial execution, without a clear definition of service level by segment. They recognized that their sales force lacked clarity in terms of roles and responsibilities and routines which was affecting performance.


To help them protect their market share, we divided our approach in three main phases: assessing the Argentinean steel market, conducting a channel segmentation redesign and finally a sales department restructuring.

  1. In order to understand deeply the market, we analyzed competitors, consumers and channels, as well as visiting several distributors to gain a perspective on their operations and particularities of each channel.
  2. As a second step, we helped our client redesign their go-to-market by completing a segmentation of the consumers and defining strategic objectives and service levels per segment. This was supported by our creation of a tool to calculate the cost to serve, making clear the investment and profitability by segment.
  3. Lastly, together with our client, we detailed the roles and routines of the commercial team and the variable remuneration framework which would support and operationalize the segmentation strategy.


As a result of this project, our client was able to make informed decisions about their commercial strategy:

  • increasing margin through balancing the clients being served directly;
  • increasing distribution strength through developing new channels to serve the market (including digital); and
  • increasing profitability through adjusting service level to match client needs’.

Ultimately, our client could maintain their market share, even in the face of the increasing competition.


Our client, a global refractories mining company and manufacturer, acquired elements of a competitor’s Asian business in order to expand their production footprint and support growth in China.

The deal significantly increased our client´s capability to serve the Chinese and Asian markets, giving them market-leading access to one of the world’s largest consumers of refractories. However, the challenges were:

  1. To ensure plants were operational from Day One to fulfill the demand pipeline that was pre-generated by the sales team.
  2. To design and manage the 100-Day plan to begin integrating the new business unit into the existing global organization, capturing synergies quickly without loss of productivity.


We helped our client both with the planning and implementation of this merger, addressing the two aforementioned challenges in parallel through:

  1. Closing Day Preparation and Execution:
    • Creation of a financial control plan that met legal and operational requirements
    • Built communication and engagement plan for announcement day
    • Planned “sprint” to ensure production lines came online as expected
    • Undertook production systems contingency planning
    • Undertook raw materials preplanning
    • Coordination of 12-hour drill on closing day to switchover
  2. 100-Day Plan Preparation and Execution:
    • Identified production and operational synergies
    • Created roadmap for synergies capture, including team consolidation, systems implementation and redundancies planning
    • Planned integration for global processes and structures
    • Built plan for communication and talent retention
    • PMO and governance coordination to deliver the plan


As a result of this project, our client managed to:

  • Have the Joint Venture functioning from Day One, with production capabilities deployed, successful test runs accomplished, and plants online and ready to fulfil pre-generated order pipeline
  • Achieve operational integration during the first week, with new business unit plugged into existing global processes and structures
  • Achieve systems integration and changeover during the desired six-month timeline


Our client, one of the world’s largest iron ore miners, was facing an increasing demand mainly due to China’s economic growth. Whilst this was a great opportunity, their current productive capacity was insufficient to meet this demand and there was no certainty if the ongoing investments plan would be able to deliver the capacity required.

Our client asked for our help to understand in detail their value chain and define where best to invest in order to supply the growing demand in the most efficient way possible.


Our first step was to understand and model our client´s entire value chain. Speaking with stakeholders and technical experts all the way from the mine, through the railway system and the processing plant till the port, we were able to build up a solid picture of the companies’ operations, capacities and technical challenges.

We used this information to create a sophisticated model, which allowed us to run dynamic simulations to pinpoint the bottlenecks in the system as the volume increased.


Based on this simulation we defined an investment plan to unlock these bottlenecks and be able to supply the expected demand on time to capture the market opportunity. Here it was critical to work alongside the company’s technical experts to build up an accurate picture of the investments and supply chain improvements required.

As a result of this project, our client managed to supply the increasing demand on time, preventing market share erosion from competitors, whilst also increasing the ROI of the group as a whole.


Augusto Ribeiro

Augusto Ribeiro is a Managing Partner at Integration and has been working since 2003 in the Marketing & Sales practice. Augusto built a solid international experience, leading and implementing strategic Marketing & Sales projects in industries ranging from Consumer Goods through Construction & Property Development to the Financial Industry, especially in the Private Equity sector.

Francisco Pereira Leite

Francisco is a Managing Partner and has been working within Integration since 1999. An all-rounder, Francisco has moved across our practices, working for the first eight years with focus in Supply Chain and then increasing his scope to the Finance & Management and Implementation areas. His experience over more than 150 projects includes Implementation and [...]

Gilberto Sarian

Gilberto is a founding Partner at Integration. Over the course of more than 25 years he has led the development of Integration`s award-winning Supply Chain practice, advising international clients across Latin America, Europe and USA. With a background in Engineering, he frequently participates in events and lectures across the world, to discuss latest trends and [...]