Senzani’s presence around the world is becoming more and more far-reaching, thanks to its ever-growing network of partners. Through these partners, the company is able to interact with a market as distant as the Australian one: this is the subject of today’s interview with Gabriel Nuti (LACO Automation & Service), the face of the company on the other side of the globe.
What are the main characteristics of the Australian market, where you operate?
Despite what one might expect, the Australian market holds quite a few surprises. To the distant eye, Australia appears to be a country that is wild but at the same time modern and innovative. The reality is that the Australian market, in the broadest sense of the term, is unevenly developed, with sectors that are undoubtedly ahead of their time and others that are as much as 20 or 30 years behind. As far as the design, manufacture and know-how concerning automatic and semi-automatic machines are concerned, Australia also pays the price for the absence of a widespread knowledge and culture linked to this industry, that, instead, in Italy we breathe on a daily basis. These characteristics have resulted in a market full of companies and agencies that represent, sell and import solutions produced abroad, mainly in Italy, Germany, the United States and China.
So, who are the companies you mainly come into contact with?
Even though it was founded over 25 years ago, LACO is part of a very competitive environment, with established and experienced players trying to shorten the physical and cultural distance between suppliers-partners and local clients. The manufacturing industry we address is based on a growth/development model that slowly started around 30 years ago, but which, over the last 5 years, has witnessed a significant acceleration and still has considerable room for growth. The closure of the national borders and the general slowdown in import/export activities due to the pandemic have made Australia more aware of the need to increasingly free itself from reliance on the importation of basic and second necessities. The government has therefore launched a new strategy for the development and support of local manufacturing, contributing $1.3 billion in investments for the timeframe 2021-2024. In this context and with the ease with which local laws allow the opening of start-ups and newco’s, the market consists of thousands of medium and small companies, some of which are extremely small, with people starting their business from their own garages/kitchens and with the possibility, for the very best, to quickly scale up production and become nationally recognised brands. So if on the one hand we have international brands, well-structured and experienced, with maintenance, operation and production managers, on the other hand we have entrepreneurs with small facilities and little know-how but still hungry for knowledge and in need of training, guidance and help in managing new technologies. The daily challenge with all these interlocutors is to find the right balance between the professionalism required with big companies (observing hierarchies, responsibilities and roles), and being able to adapt to smaller clients, simplifying processes and terminology and remaining accessible even for ‘minor’ projects.
How did you learn about Senzani and why did you choose them as partners?
LACO also works as a consultant to find the best solutions for clients’ needs, and if you are looking for a certain type of performances, you cannot do without Senzani. In the past there had been sporadic contacts, but over time, thanks to mutual acquaintance and meetings both in Australia and Italy, we chose to work together, as we share common values and the same desire to grow together and offer innovative solutions.
How, do you think, can Senzani solutions be competitive in your market?
There are two further key factors to be considered in the Australian market. The first one is the size of the market both in terms of quantity and in geographical terms, essential in order to be able to evaluate a return on investment together with the client: Australia only has 24 million inhabitants and is so large that distances exponentially increase distribution costs and lower margins if certain production levels have not yet been reached. The second aspect is the proximity of the Chinese market and Asian markets in general, which offer automatic machines that apparently achieve the same performances at much lower prices, and are therefore more appealing to small and medium-sized companies. It is a different matter for the big, but not very numerous, international brands that have the budget and know-how necessary to really appreciate the advantages of Senzani solutions.
Which reputation does the Senzani brand have in your target area? Could you possibly name three adjectives that your market associates with Senzani?
Senzani is renowned all over the world and Australia is no exception. Moreover, as it is an Italian brand, it carries with it a series of values that are quintessentially associated with products manufactured in Italy. To be more specific, in Australia Senzani certainly stands for innovation, speed and reliability.
Which feedback has the Senzani equipment gotten so far? What is your opinion on this partnership?
Excellent feedback in terms of functionality, speed and reliability, and the management of maintenance, service and revamping of the machines never presents any surprises as well, thanks to the support of the after-sales department. Our relationships are excellent, as always, and it is a pleasure to work together. On the more practical side, so far we have only managed, with our technicians, the fleet of machines already present in the area, but we are looking forward to closing our first project. Fingers crossed!