Carlo Perini, CEO of Viterie Italia Centrale SPA (VIC) win Finance Monthly CEO Awards 2015
About Carlo Perini
Born in Fabriano, Marche, Italy, in 1969, Carlo was educated in his hometown, attending grammar school before moving to Milan where he graduated in Business Administration, with a specialisation in Economics of Industrial Enterprises, at Università Bocconi.
He started his commercial career within a European based multi-national company where he developed a wide knowledge and desire for entrepreneurial success - this would stand him in good stead when he decided to put his skills to the test and join Viterie Italia Centrale.
VIC was founded and run by his father and manufactured small screws. Carlo soon realised that such an unglamorous product (in some eyes!) provided the very foundation from which to build an innovative exciting business model, both from an engineering and customer service perspective.
Despite an apparently simple shape, in fact, screws “keep together” more complex products, we couldn’t do without in daily life: automobiles, tablets, washing machines, computers, and smartphones telephones… If properly managed, screws and fasteners in general, can offer almost endless opportunities for differentiation, customization and market segmentation – all of them, key to the development of smart niche strategies, the building of high barriers to entry and, finally, healthy and stable margins.
Carlo’s natural passion, curiosity and a very Italian instinct for “working smarter” to deliver “highly customized products” and “tailored logistic services” to individual customer needs matched well with this strategy, and … turned VIC from a small family company into the European leader of a quite important niche within the fasteners industry.
In 10 years, under Carlo’s stewardship VIC has organically grown 5x, leveraging its traditional competitive advantages and core values through a flat organisational structure which delivers:
- smart application engineering and innovation
- customisation of high quality products and tailor-made solutions
- tailor-made logistics, up to customer’s assembly line
Daily interaction between the team and management ensures that information flow is efficient, improvement is continuous and motivational and targets are evident. One of Carlo’s personal objectives is to ensure that everyone at VIC is given the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge base as, everyone at VIC plays a part and personal contribution is rewarded and appreciated.
“The focus on ‘continuous improvement’ and ‘customization’ has seen VIC not only to keep up with technological advances, but also act as an innovator, reinforcing its competitive positioning”
VIC commenced its operations in 1964 in Fabriano Italy, and since the beginning focused in the production and distribution of screws for large and demanding industrial users of fasteners.
Following ambitious development plans, the manufacturing capacity was enlarged and rationalized, whilst being relocated into the larger factory of Fossato di Vico in 1996, in a specially built new works.
Whilst investing resources and efforts in a wide variety of manufacturing processes for key products, the company took the strategic decision to outsource some high volume, more common parts, to lower cost countries – and offer our Customers world class competitiveness and greater supply flexibility.
The use of VMI, DLF, Kanban techniques and warehouses strategically placed in five different countries, allowed VIC also to be considered as the preferred or single source of fasteners and category C products by the largest multinationals in the home appliance arena, as Whirlpool, Electrolux, Indesit, Bosch und Siemens Hausgeraete, amongst others.
As far as R&D is concerned, VIC successfully use 3D CAD, FEM, additive manufacturing of prototypes, various custom test benches for application testing and validating, DOE, FMEA and FMECA.
In 2007 DGPA, an Italian Private Equity Fund, invested in the business – helping it to achieve its next ambitious stage of evolution. Another opportunity was on the horizon which would extend its offering whilst safe-guarding the culture. In May 2014 VIC became an integral part of the global fastenings group, Trifast plc. (LSE: TRI) an excellent strategic fit for both parties.
In the year to March 2015, Trifast group reported sales in excess of £154m and underlying PBT of £14.2m. VIC contributed in the ten months since acquisition, revenue of £19.57m and an underlying operating profit of £4.43m - a very respectable 22.6% underlying operating profit margin.
VIC remains the undisputed market leader in the design, manufacturing and distribution of fasteners for the European domestic appliance industry. In addition, VIC has widened its market focus and is becoming an important player in the automotive Tier 1 and electronic components industries whilst, at the same time, its traditional skills are being shared around the Trifast footprint in Europe, Asia and the USA.
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