December 2013 | Case Studies | Reader Profile

Magaly Garza Takes on the World

Tags: Education & Careers, Global Logistics

Magaly Garza

Magaly Garza has worked as international business manager at Vienna, Va.-based home automation and security technology vendor Alarm.com since February 2013.

Responsibilities: International operations, including support for supply chain, marketing, pricing, legal, sales, and other areas.

Experience: Marketing manager, Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma (now partly owned by Heineken); trade manager, Wine and Spirits Shippers Association; account manager, Panalpina; international trade consultant, Decision/Analysis Partners LLC.

Education: BA, international commerce and business management, Monterrey Tech (Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey), 1997


While finishing my degree in international commerce and business management, I had the opportunity to work at Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma, Mexico's largest brewery, which is based in Monterrey, my hometown. I gained experience in international logistics, export operations, and marketing, all of which served me well when I came to the United States and worked for the Wine and Spirits Shippers Association.

Some of my most fascinating and rewarding work has involved delivering humanitarian aid around the world. For example, at Panalpina, I managed projects on behalf of the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Agency for International Development. These projects involved designing logistics and supply chain management solutions for delivering wheelchairs, medicine, beds, ambulances, and other aid from remote locations such as China to Latin America, Africa, and other areas of need.

Despite all the difficulties, it was rewarding to see the difference we made by getting these shipments to the people who needed them.

At Alarm.com, I design international business and logistics practices to help build our business around the world, and find better ways to distribute products and sell services into various locations.

Alarm.com currently sells in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Chile, Colombia, Panama, and Brazil. We're expanding into all of Latin America. The video cameras we use in our systems are made in Taiwan; the electronics in our radio modules come from New York. We distribute these products through a DC in New York to our network of authorized dealers.

For the Mexican market, which we recently expanded, we send some product to Texas. From there, our Mexican distributors import the goods into their country. We also ship product from Taiwan directly to our distributors in South Africa.

As our products find new markets, one challenge our team faces is how to keep up with the growth while developing new distribution channels. We have to work fast to make our products accessible in new regions, and ensure our services and software are available in the local language. Our platform and website can be accessed in Spanish; we're currently working on other languages as well.

As we prepare to enter new countries, we have to comply with all the regulations for bringing in product. We also must plan the logistics to send equipment, marketing displays, and personnel for future launches, so we can demonstrate our unique platform to potential dealers. Opening countries, spreading the word about our solution, and seeing people get excited about our services makes me proud of my work.

The Big Questions

If you were shipwrecked on a desert island, what kind of music would you want to have with you?

I prefer classical music, but I'd also want something peaceful, such as the music of Enya.

If you could go back to school just for fun, what would you study?

I'd learn another language—probably Mandarin—to add to the four I already speak: Spanish, English, Italian, and French.

What's the last book you read?

And The Mountains Echoed, a novel by Khaled Hosseini.

What's one more thing we don't already know about you?

I'm an artist. I enjoy creating oil paintings in vibrant colors, with a lot of texture. Many of my ideas come from my travels around the world.