But the company’s three keywords remain unchanged: tradition, know-how and innovation.
Although he doesn’t quite feel like a key player yet, he is truly honored to continue the family bu- siness in the Vitrododi company of Settimo Milanese, which has now reached the fourth generation. Luca Dodi, who will turn 33 in March, entered the company two years ago, after a significant period of international experience accumulated in the financial sector. The choice to return “home” came naturally as a result of a combination of factors, including the opportunity to work together with the third generation, represented by his father Luigi Dodi, who is still fully active in the market and industrial strategy. Vitrododi’s core business is the production of practically custom-made washing machines and related products (laminated and insulating glass lines, automatic loaders, roller conveyors, etc.), which is complemented by traditional grinders and rectilinear bevelling ma- chines. This solid foundation has now been consolidatedeven further with the added experience acquired by Luca in other circles, with a particular focus on the company as a system. As he explains, “this means working on the efficiency of the processes and products, innovating them without radically changing the company system.”
And it couldn’t be otherwise, for a business started in 1929 by his great grandfather and which flourished under the direction of his grandfather Adriano, during the post-WWII period, already em- bracing the three keywords that still characterize the business today: tradition, know-how and innovation for a global solution. “Tradition is essential for a manufacturing company because the entire spectrum of behaviors of the raw material, glass in our case, can only be thoroughly understood through the wide variety of case studies accumulated over the years, and this in itself provides the company with the appropriate know-how to deal with production process innovations and the continuous transformation of the material,” explains the manager. Tradition is also a decisive factor since it represents the reputation which the business has built over the years by never failing to meet expectations: always new, yet able to supply spare parts for a machine sold over 30 years ago. “For a medium-sized company like ours, this is a strategic asset when competing with multinationals in the sector.” As for the “know-how” and “innovation”, these are simply part of Vitrododi’s essential nature.
The founder was certainly innovative, having designed a protective paint for mirrors, and the company continued to be innovative over the last 35 years. While continuing its standard productions, it invested its resources in increasingly complex and customized projects. This choice was driven by the customer’s need and ability to respond to the evolution glass has undergone as a raw material, especially in terms of the surface treatments, metal coatings, acid etching, glazing, tempera painting and lamination, as well as the more recent use of photovoltaic and solar panels.In this quest for highly advanced specialization, Luca Dodi made an important choice for the company: “Last year we sold the Sup- ply branch, which had been successfully operational in the marketing of glass accessories since 1979, in order to focus our investments, research and development on the Production and Solar business units.” Hence the branch was sold to the American company CRLaurence, “not to pull out of the market, but in order to grow within it,” he stresses.
The stage was set in 2009 when “two challenges”, as he calls them, were successfully met and overcome. The first involved the construction of a horizontal washing machine for a low-emissivity glass production line in China. And the second, even bolder, “was a horizontal washing machine for a French research laboratory dealing with production, research and development of thin-film panels.” In both cases, the feasibility study and design stage took place within the company, based on the corporate know-how appropriately developed and suited for the needs of the customer’s production process, which actually enhanced the company’s already broad range of skills in the processes of degreasing, washing and drying glass sheets.“We are positive that satisfying the customer, by drawing on the strength our tradition, know-how and innovation, is our true strength with which we can meet new challenges, while always learning more in doing so,” he concludes.