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Gnutti, 100 years in industry
Roma - (Adnkronos Multimedia) - Almost one hundred years of industrial performance, beginning from 1906 with the manufacture of agricultural implements, leading to weapons, and lastly valves and taps, becoming one of the Italian and European leading industries in this sector. During the Seventies, exports to the main European markets, as well as to the United States and the Middle East, began to take hold. A new factory was built in 1975 in order to expand production capacities, where today the main manufacturing processes are carried out. This is the history of Sebastiano Gnutti & Sons spa (www.gnuttisebastiano.com) one of the oldest industrial firms originating in Lumezzane, a town in the Valli Bresicane area having the highest density of industrial firms and employees throughout the whole of Italy.
Almost a century on from its establishment, Gnutti remains one of the great leaders in the taps and valves sector. Last year sales exceeded 21 billion euro, of which 14 million deriving from foreign markets and around 7 million from the home market. So what are the ingredients for this success?
"There are a lot of ingredients - says Alberto Gnutti who personify the third generation of entrepreneurs in the Gnutti family. I believe that the first is seriousness, widely recognised now by all trade members. And then there is the quality of the product, always constant over time, which has proved to be a winning card over recent years, faced with the invasion of cheap Asian products. But it is also the continual research and development of new products, the total dedication of the firm on the part of all its employees, as well as its position on the main world markets, representing for us more than 60 percent of sales".
What role has technological research played in the development of your business?
"Technological research has had, and will continue to play a fundamental role, both in the sector of taps, as well as that of valves. Without research, it is not possible to get ahead of the times and to offer avant garde products to a market which is ever more challenging and selective".
How much does design count in your products?
"A great deal. A least as much as technological aspects, above all in the sector of bathroom taps which for some years now has been heading towards ever more sophisticated products. Today the bathroom is becoming an increasingly important part of the house and one to which large economic resources are dedicated. The offer of products for the bathroom has to be adapted to the needs of the consumer and it is for this reason that over the last three years our firm has launched 8 series of bathroom taps onto the market with a design aimed for the medium to high-level bracket."
Who does the designing for you?
The entire planning of our products, both for bathroom taps as well as valves, incorporating all technological and design elements, is undertaken by our own technical department.
Is durability still considered to be a value on international markets?
"Durability is a decisive factor. A production which lasts over time is a decisive factor involving quality levels, seriousness, a readiness in resolving problems, all characteristics which in the end pay dividends and still have a strategic value, despite the massive invasion of products of every nature and at all price levels coming from the Far East."
What development prospects do you have in mind for the future as regards foreign markets?
"I believe that it is absolutely vital to maintain and possibly strengthen the positions reached. Naturally we have development plans for the short and medium term, both for foreign markets as well as the home market, which I am convinced will give us great satisfaction".
What are the problems connected with the dollar exchange rate at 82 cents?
"The present euro/dollar exchange rate is very punishing in that it causes us to lose quotas on foreign markets, thus making Chinese production still more competitive. We therefore believe that to give a thrust to exports it is vital for the euro to decrease in value against the dollar".