The fact that success in foreign markets is crucial for Italian businesses means however that the prestige and the technological leadership of Made in Italy are exposed to the hostility of foreign competition, which up until now has been able to count mostly on price differential as the best means of attack. The effort required to maintain a leadership position is extremely demanding, because it requires a two-pronged approach: working toward product innovation and optimization of manufacturing processes.
The demand for quality is growing again, and at a considerable pace, in the primary global economic zones. According to Cinzia Schiatti, President of Gimav, Italy's glass processing machinery industry is ready to fulfill its acknowledged, long-standing role at the forefront of technological leadership. PHOTO If this is true for the vast mechanical and engineering industry, it is even more so for the glass processing sector. With emphasis on two fundamental features – the Italian firms in this sector, represented by Gimav, produce approximately 80% of sales volume on foreign soil, and their technological leadership, in addition to being a recognized and well-established fact, also constitutes a competitive advantage of decisive strategic importance. This is the dual key to understanding what the immediate future holds.
As far as estimated growth is concerned, even Gimav abides by the fateful 3% -- cautious, perhaps, but still pointing to a turnaround that should strengthen over the course of 2011. “It might seem like limited growth compared to results achieved in the recent past – states Cinzia Schiatti, President of Gimav – but we can still consider it a good outcome when compared to the modest performance of the last quarter of 2010. The signs from the market are all good, even the propensity for investing is becoming apparent – the thinking is no longer just about small-scale investments, but about major commitments that respond to a longer-term logic. It’s a clear change over the year just ended.” The other element of fundamental importance for competitiveness is defense of Italy’s position of technological leadership in the global market. If price wars have paved the way, especially over the last two years, for competition from emerging countries, today the phenomenon seems to be softening considerably. Even better, there will always be those who offer machinery that appears to be less expensive in the short term, but the trend is once again toward the quest for quality, precisely because manufacturers intend to lay the groundwork for development of long-lasting business. “Many customers have realized opting for quality is a winning decision, and that being able to guarantee around-the-clock processing shifts 24/7 is crucial to staying competitive – continues Cinzia Schiatti - These are objectives that can only be reached with the use of Italian machinery and, in fact, as we recently saw at Glasstec, there’s a refocusing of attention on the Italian mechanical industry”.
The demand for quality is growing again, and at a considerable pace, in the primary global economic zones. According to Cinzia Schiatti, President of Gimav, Italy's glass processing machinery industry is ready to fulfill its acknowledged, long-standing role at the forefront of technological leadership.