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FAPIM: 40 SUCCESSFUL YEARS SELLING ITALIAN-MADE HANDLES TO THE WORLD
With a 40-year history of research and investment, this enterprising company offers a huge range of accessories for doors and windows, as well as some completely new products in the field of curtain walls, below-door hermetic closures and sliding doors and windows.
All these articles are entirely made in Italy, manufactured by Fapim, a metalworking company based in Altopascio, province of Lucca: a business which has built up an international reputation among operators in the sector.
Fapim boasts a catalogue of 18,000 articles, produced in its two factories, both of which are located in Italy. In recent years, the company turnover has exceeded 50 million Euros. We asked Massimo Bellandi, the Managing Director of Fapim, how he would describe the company’s future plans and challenges.
Fapim is an international company which has always remained firmly rooted in Italy.
How have you managed to maintain this position during the economic crisis?
We are very proud that our production is entirely based in Italy, without any factories abroad. Our export quota is over 90%, and this has certainly helped us maintain a healthy turnover in a sector such as the building and construction industry, which has contracted heavily in many European countries, and elsewhere. This factor has enabled us to operate with peace of mind, without being forced or tempted to outsource and look for countries with lower labour costs. Instead, we focus on the added value which is still accorded to Italian products and manufacturing, and on the huge professionalism and loyalty we find amongst our collaborators.
Why do you see Italy as a country worth investing in?
In general, we believe it is best for western companies to invest in their own countries, Italy included. This was our view at the beginning of this century, when, during a phase of strong growth, we decided to double the number of our factories in Italy and focus on automation and investments in production. And we hold this belief even more strongly today; at a time when we see production leaving countries with low labour costs and returning to the West. In particular, basing production in (for example) China is becoming increasingly pointless for our sector, because costs have more or less levelled out, while all the difficulties of manufacturing in these countries have stayed the same or even increased.
In addition, the high standards of quality and services and control and streamlining of processes which are characteristic of our top-of-the-range products would be impossible to maintain with outsourced production and an unskilled workforce. In short, we believe that investing in Italy means continuing to invest in the best possible quality.
How are you positioned in the international market?
We are world leaders in the production and sale of accessories and closure systems for aluminium doors and windows, and the chosen partner for all the most important players in the sector.
Our products occupy the top end of the market, and are characterised by their very high quality and innovative technical content. Through our central and local offices, we are also able to supply a high quality, personalised, customer assistance service, and so offer our clients the very best service we can.
Which countries or areas do you think offer the greatest added value, and where have you invested most heavily?
Nowadays, Fapim has a reputation in most parts of the world. Some countries are our traditional markets, where we have good systems in place, others are soon to produce good results, and yet others have still to be developed. Certainly, our established markets are those which have produced the most important results in recent years. These include Central European nations, in particular France, the Benelux countries, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and Eastern European countries such as Russia and Ukraine. During the last seven to eight years, we have also invested heavily in the American market: both the USA and Canada, and then more recently Central and Southern America. We believe that both these markets, for different reasons, offer us very high potential.
In which parts of the world would you like to establish a presence?
Apart from the American markets, which we have already mentioned, we are now looking towards the east and in particular towards the Chinese and Indian markets. We are working on some important plans for entering these markets.
What are your short-term strategies and objectives?
We want to continue to design, produce and supply high quality products with innovative technical features, and to keep the standards of our products and services at the very highest levels.
Another important objective is to build up a totally comprehensive product range, so that we can cover 100% of the needs of the market.
Also in the short term, we certainly want to consolidate our presence in our “younger” markets, such as North, Central and South America. And we want to launch the Fapim brand in new markets like China, India and the other Asian states, establishing a basis for solid and consistent growth in the medium term.