Biesse and Italy

We often forget that Italy is one of the biggest customers for wood and furniture solution and technology manufacturers, as reaffirmed also by the latest edition of Biesse’s “Tech&Design Days”, dedicated to Italian operators.

We immediately accepted the invitation to Pesaro, last June 20 to 22, taking the opportunity to go deeper into the peculiarities of the Italian market, the current trends, the “big changes”, talking with Mirco Anselmi, Country Director Italy, and Lanfranco Fontanelli, recently appointed to Sales Director Italy.
It was a stimulating conversation, we believe, far from the products and focused on the vision of what has happened, is happening and might happen…

Mirco Anselmi

“The Covid season has offered opportunities for companies to expand their horizons and undertake the digital transition”, said Mirco Anselmi. “Many industry players exploited this dramatic period to grow and evolve, acknowledging that Industry 4.0 requires culture, formal education, training, companies that collaborate with other companies. Partnership is a more and more critical keyword and the reason why we organized these days, where not only we show our latest technology, but we also create opportunities to meet and discuss with excellent Italian players, small and medium business that – having started from a small workshop or a car shed – have grown into companies with revenues of several million euros.
Our meetings and seminars have high attendance rates, they are part of our storytelling approach and the way we present our technology; during these meetings, companies find ideas to evolve not only in technology, but also in human resources and education.
Additionally, we want to stress our commitment to multi-materials, a key trend in the new story that Biesse is writing, showing to our traditional customers in the wood industry that they can also meet the increasing demand for furniture and products that are more and more often produced with combinations of different materials. Today, Biesse can offer an independent ecosystem, starting from stone for kitchen worktops, up to glazing for windows, just to make two examples. Without forgetting composites, advanced materials, and plastics. Many companies have already moved into this direction and have been processing different materials for some time. It’s not just wood approaching other domains, but also other materials being attracted by similar worlds…
As you all know, Biesse has turned page, and in these three days, we have also shown that we don’t have just a new logo, a new color, but a deep change and new strength”.

What about the market?
“There are still some worries, at every level and in all areas, but we are facing the open sea as expert sailors!”, Anselmi replied with a smile. “Also in Italy we are going back to normal market values, though still sustained. After a couple of years of “doping”, now it’s time for Biesse to work side-by-side with the companies that have invested and want to carry on.
The whole industry and supply chain are experiencing a slowdown in production, approximately 25 percent less than the record levels of 2022 according to industry analysts, but the order backlog is still significant.
I believe that the peak of investments, after all, had many positive aspects, as it allowed many companies to test their capacity to face deep and fast changes, showing their flexibility and managing double or triple volumes to meet customer demands.
For Biesse, working in four different domains, the waves of this tsunami crossed with each other, offering benefits that others cannot have”.

Lanfranco Fontanelli

“This has helped us start a deep transformation of manufacturer-customer relations: it’s no longer just about trade, it’s a closer relationship built on knowledge transfer”, said Lanfranco Fontanelli. “We are in the age of digital and physical communities, where easy digital contacts open the door to in-person meetings. I believe the big lesson we learned from the drama we have experienced is really this deep change in relations and the search for contacts that are richer in contents, expertise and knowledge. The roads that guide potential customers to choose their industrial partners have also changed, and we have benefited from this, as we have been “globally digital” for a long time.

 “The economic and manufacturing landscape in Italy is made up of small and medium businesses that have proved to be willing and capable to undertake big changes”, Fontanelli continued. “Think about machining center, a popular technology now, and the impact of their success on the definition of our portfolio… it’s a relentless process where we are committed to developing integrated systems with multiple machines working together, a further step that many small companies are already facing, obviously with machines of suitable size.
Our duty, and at the same time our strategy for success, is to encourage the companies that want to innovate to make further steps, in all market segments. Production systems have changed, technologies have changed, we talk more and more about control software. The way we manage working environments and production cycles has changed, as well as maintenance: there is a host of services that Biesse has been enhancing and expanding for years, starting from a platform like “Sophia” that allows to monitor the operation and efficiency of machines.
Today, in Italy and in all advanced markets, it’s not about producing big volumes, but producing efficiently, with a focus on resources and energy consumption. I believe that no one else has undertaken a transformation process like Biesse, aiming to become an end-to-end partner for our customers, independently of the material they must process or the product they want to create”.

“Our competitors have also moved and, just like us, have realized that our mission has changed, going beyond the supply of tools to produce or to be more effective and efficient”, Fontanelli added. “This is a big driver for us, it urges us to work hard to stay on top, knowing that innovation is no longer centered around technology, but it is a process to solve different situations in markets that are constantly evolving”.

Do you think Italy is a peculiar market?
“Absolutely. I’m not saying we are better or worse than others, but we keep searching for a balance between creativity, spirit of survival, capacity to overcome challenges, willingness and necessity to make operations more effectiveness. We have been promoting these concepts also in Biesse: increasing efficiency, eliminating redundancies, being creative without exaggerating… creating less but better, so we don’t end up being too many doing the same things”.

“I believe that designing and manufacturing technology should be the result of an accurate mix of experimentation, expertise and ingenuity”, said Mirco Anselmi. “That’s true all over the world, but maybe in Italy we have an intuition that often guides us along different routes, but more profitable. The ability of humans to process data and materials will always be the key differentiator, and that’s why, in our “Tech Days”, we love to present success stories, hosting companies we collaborate with, our suppliers, so that they can tell how bold choices have allowed them to grow exponentially.
At Biesse, we are constantly aware that it is our duty to turn everything our customers want to do into something extraordinary, providing them with the tools to transform materials into something that differentiate them from the others.
I believe that “digital humanism” will be one of the biggest challenge of the future, as human beings will really make the difference, interpreting signals and processing them with more and more performing, sustainable and flexible tools, to create new and better items. These people will also be able to promote themselves, to manage the communications and visibility of their company, to “move” more or less virtually in wider and wider landscapes, in a borderless world”.

We can actually say that technology will be more or less the same…
“…and the key differentiator will be the capacity to turn data into insights to give everyone what they dream. I don’t want to make easy philosophy: our task is to create good technology that is adopted by as many people as possible, but it is also clear that markets and needs change rapidly. In recent years, we have seen that a digital approach can radically change our way of interacting”.

A widespread change that has also involved machinery…
“Yes, fortunately. In Italy, we have realized that we must interact with an increasingly fragmented customer base that, when possible, has pushed hard on investments to integrated machinery and plants into a sort of “unified organism”, with the support of logistics, automation and handling solutions that I would call “critical”, compared to the past. Small and medium Italian businesses have invested a lot, proving their determination to look ahead, although we have to say that new companies are now created less frequently than in the past, so it’s mostly replacements of existing machines.
Similarly, we are also seeing that being too small now seems to be a limit, therefore acquisitions and other forms of aggregations are more frequent. This will be another topic of discussion for our industry…”.

By Luca Rossetti

Biesse and Italy ultima modifica: 2023-09-06T13:01:12+00:00 da Francesco Inverso