From local to global player

On the 20thMarch 2018, the Slovenian Regional Economic Association (SDGZ) hosted entrepreneur Alessandro Vrech of Cervignano, who answered questions relating to the success of his family business in recent years. “In 2008 our customers were 4 companies for which we worked as subcontractors. 3 of these companies have since then closed and the 4th one does not do business with us anymore. Had we not radically changed the strategies of our company in 2009 and 2010, also as a result of the global crisis, I would also be in bankrupt” Vrech said at the beginning of the meeting.

Today, his company regularly employs new employees and generates 80% of its turnover in foreign markets (mainly USA, France, Finland, Gulf countries). The fact that he and his brother had no previous experience in the stone sector when they took over the reins of the family stone company in the end it proved to be an advantage, because they tried the methods of doing business that had not yet been introduced in the stone industry.

The importance of managing human resources well

The keys to success are many. Much effort has been invested in the internal organization alone and assigning accurate tasks within the company itself. “Previously, the company worked well, but in certain cases it was not clear who was responsible for something. With the introduction of a job description for each employee, all employees now know exactly what their tasks are”. The second decision was to start working with foreigners and to expand the range of sectors in which they operate, Vrech added. If in 2008 the only sector in which they operated was shipbuilding, today the company is tackling works in luxury hotels, villas, shops and luxury yachts.

During the meeting, the discussion revolved also around themes like marketing, sales and the need for foreign language skills. Here Vrech emphasized the fact that customers are increasingly demanding and they demand not only an excellent product, but also an excellence service. ”We solve problems as soon as they arise. Also, we can sell products at a higher price, because customers trust us and believe that, in spite of everything, the work will be done”.

A clear vision is key

At the conclusion of the meeting, the director of the Slovenian Regional Economic Association, Andrej Šik, asked Vrech for advice on how our local companies can meet the challenges of the market, as he did. The answer is clear: ” First, we have to decide what we want to achieve with the company, have a clear vision. All subsequent decisions are adapted to this vision, “concluded the Friulian entrepreneur.

The meeting was the first of the “Innotalks” meetings organized by the SDGZ as a member ATS Confcommercio Trieste.