2021 Thought Leaders: Martin Broglia
What opportunities do you predict for growth in your industry in 2021?
Each year brings a host of new innovations and possibilities to the manufacturing landscape. We at Bonfiglioli are set to launch two new products. These will broaden our service capabilities and will once again showcase that we have listened to our customers’ needs.
Industry 4.0 and energy savings remains at the centre of our sector, and this is set to continue. Adding to this is the emphasis on local manufacturing, lights out operations and the decoupling of supply chains as a result of COVID-19. For us this means better and faster service to our local customers.
What are the biggest challenges and threats facing your industry in 2021?
Naturally, everyone has a lot of market share to go after and there is still major emphasis on recouping profits that were lost over the lockdown period. The lockdown impacted on companies both big and small, and the landscape is extremely competitive.
We anticipate delays in projects and a more conservative approach to investment and spending due to the uncertainties. Stricter credit criteria are also a factor when it comes to capex investments.
Bonfiglioli has cemented its name in the industry over the past 30 years and we stick to our guns. We always focus on what we can do to better service our customers and this will remain the same for 2021.
What impact has COVID-19 had on your industry and your business strategies for 2021?
Looking back at the start of COVID-19 and what we have learned, there has been so much good too. Resilience has become the buzzword among business circles during this unprecedented time, and it’s certainly what has kept us going over this period.
In 2020, we took a proactive approach to face the challenge of finding the right balance between operational costs and meeting customer and staff needs. We had to overcome the ability for onsite visits to resolve issues. We implemented online platforms and anticipate that these will continue as we keep looking for new ways to be agile and ready for any eventuality.
Our lean business model and focus on happy staff and customers sets the tone for 2021 and puts us in good stead.
How has the current international uncertainty impacted your cybersecurity or supply management plans?
COVID-19 has taught us to prepare for every eventuality. We have invested in innovation and technology to keep up with the ‘new normal’ and to ensure that both our staff and customers feel supported.
In terms of our supply chain, we are supportive of the government’s efforts to bolster skills and local manufacturing. Being in a different time zone to our parent company in Italy has helped us to become resilient and self-sufficient over the years. We have spent a lot of time and resources investing in local manufacturing and based on this, it’s business as usual. We have the stock (product supply) and skills to support customers around the country.
What are your thoughts about the post-COVID-19 ‘new normal’ in relation to remote working technologies and supporting staff?
The safety of our staff has always been a key focus for Bonfiglioli. During our 30 years in the industry, Bonfiglioli has prioritised the safety of its staff, teams, clients and customers, and as the coronavirus pandemic took hold, this resolve only strengthened.
We welcome remote working — it adds flexibility and a good work/life balance. It has also been evident that our team doesn’t work less because they are at home and it has strengthened our trust bond in one another. As a global company, we have always had strong communications resources in place, and this has only been further developed over this time to best support remote working.
What sustainability strategies will be at the forefront of your business in 2021?
Sustainability comes in various forms. We are conscious about our environment and pride ourselves on implementing energy-saving practices and developing sustainable solutions to as far an extent as possible. We also focus on giving back at a global level. This aligns with our founder, Clementino Bonfiglioli, who believed that helping our next generation of leaders guarantees both a better future for them and for the communities in which they live. We therefore are firmly convinced that a better future is only possible by fostering education for all youth.
How is your industry preparing for AI developments or advanced manufacturing?
The demand for robotics is increasing year-on-year and traditional component manufacturers are keeping pace. We at Bonfiglioli are working our way towards our smart factory goals and will continue to support the industry in terms of advanced manufacturing requirements.
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