Features

Antonio Neri – Deacero 

Innovation in steel manufacturing 

Antonio Neri, a visionary leader with a track record of driving organizational change, serves as the chief transformation officer at Deacero, spearheading a monumental shift within the company’s operations. With an eye for innovation and a relentless commitment to excellence, Antonio is propelling Deacero into a new era of efficiency and competitiveness in the steel industry.  

Antonio Neri | Chief Transformation Officer | Deacero 

Antonio Neri | Chief Transformation Officer | Deacero

Deacero is a Mexican company with a long history in the wire and long steel production industry. It is in over 20 global markets and includes 21 recycling centers, three steel mills and 20 plants. 

Under his leadership, Deacero is embarking on a transformative journey characterized by strategic projects designed to modernize operations, boost productivity and fortify the company’s standing as a frontrunner in the global steel sector. These initiatives represent a bold step forward for Deacero, positioning it to thrive in an increasingly complex and competitive marketplace while reaffirming its reputation for excellence and innovation.  

As the architect of this transformative endeavor, Antonio’s vision and strategic acumen are instrumental in shaping the company’s trajectory and ensuring its continued success in the years to come. 

“We’re not just transforming our operations; we’re shaping the future of Deacero with innovation and efficiency at the forefront of our efforts. Each project we undertake is moving toward our goal to redefine industry standards and solidify our position as a leader in the steel manufacturing sector,” Antonio says. 

Modernizing operations 

One of the central initiatives spearheaded by Antonio is the deployment of SAP, a comprehensive enterprise resource planning system. This project entails overhauling how orders are processed, ensuring alignment with market segmentation strategies, and establishing seamless connectivity between customer interactions and internal operations. By institutionalizing these processes, Deacero aims to optimize efficiency, improve profitability, and enable informed decision-making across the organization. 

Antonio Neri | Chief Transformation Officer | Deacero 

In parallel with the SAP implementation, Deacero is embarking on a journey of application modernization. This endeavor addresses years of technical debt while leveraging emerging technologies to consolidate and optimize capabilities. Collaborating with Raken Data Group, Deacero is streamlining data management processes and harnessing the power of cloud computing to enhance agility and connectivity. By 2027, the company aims to reduce its digital footprint to 40 percent, fostering a more integrated and responsive digital landscape. 

Deacero also focuses on defining its capabilities and competitive advantages as part of this transformation. By identifying areas where it excels and differentiates itself from competitors, the company hopes to continue delivering products and services that meet the evolving needs of its customers. With Antonio at the helm, Deacero is charting a course toward a future of innovation, efficiency, and sustained growth in the global steel industry. 

“Through these strategic initiatives, we’re leveraging advanced technologies to streamline operations, maximize productivity, and enhance decision-making capabilities. Our overarching aim is to drive efficiency and profitability and solidify our position as a pioneering force in the ever-evolving landscape of the steel industry,” Antonio says. 

Driving change 

Antonio brings experience and a proven track record of driving digital and business transformations across diverse industries. At the heart of his approach lies a commitment to comprehensive business transformation, encompassing process architecture, data utilization, digitalization, organizational restructuring, and cultural change. Antonio’s vision for Deacero involves articulating a unified strategy that addresses these facets, laying the groundwork for profound and sustainable change. 

Antonio Neri | Chief Transformation Officer | Deacero 

One of the key initiatives under Antonio’s leadership is the design of the Enterprise Process Model, which aims to evolve critical processes such as Strategic Sourcing, Talent Management, and Order to Cash. These processes are being institutionalized and transformed as Deacero implements its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, marking a significant step towards digitalization and efficiency enhancement. By modernizing its ERP system and embracing digitalization, Deacero is positioning itself to adapt swiftly to evolving market demands while maintaining its competitive edge. 

Incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning into the company’s operations is another priority for Antonio. While the journey has just begun, initial models have already delivered substantial savings and cost avoidance, demonstrating the potential for AI to drive impactful results.  

“I am prioritizing select, robust AI use cases to swiftly deliver tangible benefits to the organization while laying the foundation for broader AI integration,” he explains.  

Antonio acknowledges that navigating the transformation journey comes with its challenges. Balancing short-term demands with long-term objectives requires strategic decision-making and constant adjustments. Sustaining momentum while driving transformation efforts forward is akin to constructing and piloting an aircraft—a delicate balance that requires careful navigation and strategic trade-offs. 

Despite the challenges, Antonio remains committed to advancing Deacero’s transformation agenda, ensuring the company remains agile, responsive and competitive in an ever-evolving business landscape.  

From athlete to executive 

Antonio attributes much of his success to his background as a high-performance athlete. For Antonio, discipline is the cornerstone of achievement, instilled through years of rigorous training and competition. This discipline, honed on the field, translates easily into the corporate world, where every action is guided by a clear goal and dedication to continuous improvement. 

Antonio Neri | Chief Transformation Officer | Deacero 

Drawing parallels between sports and business, Antonio emphasizes the importance of preparation and daily performance. Just as athletes train tirelessly for a single event, professionals must cultivate a mindset of consistent improvement, striving to enhance their performance each day. Antonio’s relentless pursuit of excellence fuels his drive to achieve corporate objectives and lead transformative initiatives at Deacero. 

With a vision extending beyond his current role, Antonio plans to continue his journey in the business world until the age of 60, envisioning a retirement spent as a trusted advisor. He views experience as a product of learning from mistakes, sharing knowledge, and embracing new challenges. Motivated by the opportunity to contribute to ongoing projects and drive organizational success, Antonio remains committed to his quest for personal and professional growth. 

“My success stems from my sports background. The discipline learned on the field translates to the corporate world. Just as athletes train daily, I focus on constant improvement, and I aim to lead Deacero’s transformation and keep growing personally and professionally,” Antonio says. 

View this feature in the Spring I 2024 Edition here.

Published on: April 23, 2024

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