The supplement of "Il Resto del Carlino" newspaper, considers the first 500 companies operating in Romagna (Forlì-Cesena, Ravenna, Rimini) and selected according to their 2018 turnover. Following the interview with the CEO Andrea Aureli, entitled “Scm Group, turnover and recruitment boom. The secret? Tireless innovation”
A turnover in excess of 700 million Euro, 7% of which is invested annually in R&D: Scm Group, a multinational corporation based in Romagna, produces machinery and complete manufacturing plants dedicated to processing a wide range of materials such as wood, plastic, stone, metal and composites, and industrial components. The group has three main production centres in Italy, 4 thousand employees and a direct and capillary presence across the globe. In the last two years, its overall turnover has increased by 200 million and its staff by around 900 people, as well as completing two strategic takeovers in the USA and Germany.
Andrea Aureli, Scm Group CEO, the company has nearly 70 years of history behind it: what are the challenges that lie ahead?
"We have a clear vision of our key objective and we have demonstrated this throughout the years: generating worth. For us, this principally means having the right profitability of the capital invested, but from a long term point of view, reinvesting most of it. We concentrate on 3 priorities: people, innovation and sustainability. We have a large internal campus for theoretical and hands-on training with management and technical courses aimed at advancing the skills of both our employees and industry operators. We collaborate with the best universities in the world, but especially at regional level, as well as science parks and research centres. Being part of a group like ours means working and interacting with colleagues from all over the world, with the best practices, procedures and standards".
How much is innovation worth for a global group like yours?
"Working in such highly competitive and continuously evolving sectors, means we have a strong, constant need for innovation. We have an internal 'Innovation' function but our relationship with research centres, universities, science parks and start-ups, is equally important. We work with them on a number of European projects, one of which involved a new human-machine interface combined with our technologies, which won the prestigious international RedDot Award. We participate in numerous competitions, including our very own award programme for innovation, so we remember to wake up each day ready to improve not only our products but also the small and large processes in our everyday working life which hopefully then seeps into our private one".
What kind of rapport do you have with Emilia-Romagna?
"Nowadays, access to all the partnerships and intuitions from the vast world of industrial research is much easier and free flowing: it is essential that all those with an innovative spirit can continue to come together in a variety of contexts. We are open to those looking to join us and those looking for assistance in carrying forward activities that are of significant relevance to our group. We do, however, need to be well balanced and dedicate the right attention to each of the areas that hosts us, as the competition, nowadays, keeps us alert: from Zogno and Bergamo, with its keen eye on the world of business, to Thiene and Vicenza, which ask us to invest, as is the case with the companies we have in Germany, the United States and Brazil: all of them worthy of receiving equal treatment in terms of investment".
You are involved in different sectors, from construction to the car industry: in which of these do you predict the largest development?
"Diversification is a huge opportunity for us to really be innovative, transferring technological ideas and solutions from one sector to another, in an increasingly dynamic fashion. But it is also of relevance to the group's performance as it allows us to better organise investments, compensating the more static sectors against those with higher growth".
Home or abroad? where are the highest growth margins?
Exports represent 90% of our turnover. Alongside a decisive and continuous focus on the national market, our strategy involves a widespread, well-balanced presence across all the markets which contribute both to stimulating product development, each product with its own requirements, and to stabilizing group performance thanks to their various dynamics. As well as investing in human resources growth, we are always on the lookout for possible takeovers, carefully monitoring our sectors. We are working on merging two companies recently purchased abroad: DMS in the USA and HG Grimme in Germany, specialised in solutions which further complete our range".
A corporate social responsibility itinerary has been established in your group. From the environment to well-being: what are the initiatives?
"We gave the floor to our collaborators, the real driving force behind the group's global success, and encouraged spontaneous programmes for improving company life. Innovative projects were set up with a social and environmental leaning and a desire to provide support locally: a general plan to reduce waste and refuse for a more awareness friendly lifestyle, a gradual elimination of disposable plastic and paper in the refectories and break areas, glass water bottles for every employee, organic, locally grown products with zero carbon footprint and high social impact and, the donation of meals to charities, that were not served in the refectories. These initiatives require a considerable amount of effort from everyone, but we are convinced they will make us more aware when dealing with the challenges ahead".