After the acquisition of Overmec by Galli occurred in 2019, the Vigevano based company, a leading player since 1979 in the market for the design, production and sale of leather goods machinery, has started an integration and interconnection process for Industry 4.0, made even more necessary by the crisis triggered by Covid-19.
Carlo Galli, CEO of the family business, bets on the ability to question himself and change quickly to adapt to such a change. Carlo Galli, we met last November at the headquarters when, after spring’s lockdowns, Covid-19 began to strike again. How has the company reacted to the new impact of the pandemic?
Today, as after the first phase of the pandemic, we lean towards an optimistic view. Unfortunately, there is no clear forecast for the future because in the last year and a half there has been a drastic change of paradigm and perspective. We are trying to adapt to the needs of the moment, to changes, using flexibility tools such as remote working, turnover, no more resorting to payroll subsidies. Fortunately, our employees reacted well by forming a nice compact group, they understood the difficulties and made themselves available to change their work style. We reviewed the entire company organization, trying to make the most of the situation and transform a weak condition into a strength. We questioned ourselves and the facts seem to prove us right.
After the merger with Overmec, a deep reorganization period to optimize productivity started: what advice do you feel you can give to companies in the sector affected by the consequences of the Coronavirus?
Compared to November 2020 when the merger was still on paper, today we can say we became a single true identity, stronger than before, which has certainly led to positive results both in terms of optimization of the production process and bureaucratic simplification and streamlining. The drop in work that occurred in this particular period allowed us greater peace of mind and more effective running-in times. We are no longer focused only on the final result, instead, we have focused on training, research and innovation, and the acquisition of new customers. Beyond the Galli-Overmec case, whose merger benefited from an already structured starting point, I believe that the watchword for companies in crisis today is “integration”: collaboration is essential in order not to become victims of the system, crushed by taxes and by customers who ask for increasingly complex and expensive product certifications.
Postponed to September, Simac Tanning Tech is finally back, but there’s no certainties about the presence of foreign buyers: do you think it is still important to participate despite the risk of “wasting an edition”?
For us, Simac, one of the most important trade fairs in the world, has always been a good starting point, a hub where to discuss and share ideas, an opportunity to understand the annual trend and the mood of the market. The cancellation of the February edition avoided wasting an edition for which we were not yet prepared due to the widespread climate of fear and uncertainty. Instead, I believe that the upcoming live fair was urgent, to finally give a signal to restart, to express the desire to relaunch, to demonstrate that companies have not stopped, but have reacted and returned if possible stronger than before. Will it be a national, European, international edition? We do not know, but we rely above all on a highly qualified presence, made up of buyers ready to face travel restrictions because they are really willing to place orders, rather than just poke around. If the attendance at our stand will be smaller than in previous years, will be able to devote more time to those who will come. We hope that the numbers give us a good feedback. Machine simplification is the basis of your philosophy: how is the restyling of Galli and Overmec products going?
The restyling is proceeding very well, we have worked hard to unify the two entities Galli and Overmec more and more in terms of logic and production process, in favor of more simplified, usable products and faster responses. We have now integrated 70% of our machinery. Thanks to mutual collaboration and the union of different experiences and views, we were able to question our work and evaluate new development opportunities. We are aiming for a constant evolution that customers seem to appreciate.
The demand for green certified production plants is growing on the market: how do you face the sustainability challenge?
We do it through interconnected machinery able to analyze a growing number of information in order to help our customer, producer of consumables, to reduce waste in terms of time and materials.
How many new machines will you display at Simac?
Due to the reduction of the exhibition spaces we will bring a limited number of machines, among the most significant and representative of the restyling work we carried out so far. There is no absolute news worldwide, but revisited machineries, renewed in terms of construction and the materials, smarter products, more interconnected according to the Industry 4.0 standards, which we have totally embraced. We will draw attention to the entire range of services we offer, from the creation of customized software to the of multiple likewise machines interconnection, up to their integration with our customers’ systems.