Being on the market for over 60 years, Bulloneria Villa makes an effort to innovating both production and managing together with paying attention to energy consumption and protecting the environment also thanks to some recent investments.It also plays a role on global markets.
By Roberto Carminati
Turning some “at first sight simple” metalware such as a bolt into an innovative product is a possible perspective if you focus more on what’s around the item rather than on the item itself.It’s certainly a matter of both competences and knowledge coming from manufacturing; but it also comes from work organization and logistics which happen to be a more and more important side of current business.The example is set by a small company in the deep western suburbs of Milan which has been able to oversee the reference markets for tie-bars, bolts lathe-shaped and pressed fasteners in the last 60 years.This is Bulloneria Villa which started off in the National Mechanic just after the second world war, in 1946. An activity that, so far, has been able to lead both sides, special items production and direct trading on markets that got steadily larger and larger.As a result, after turning healthily 65 in 2012 , the company, opened up in Milan, usually has a business relationship with small and medium companies spread all over Italy. Anyway its expertise allows it to meet production needs of big plants for bigger customers.It now has also contacts with companies building new structures in China, in Russia, in India and also in the emerging countries of Asia, Central and South America.A path covered with innovation, first of all in terms of products.” If, in first place our production included elements of standard fastening and special products upon request” said Mr Doniselli, chairman of the Board, to SubfornituraNews, “later on we started focusing on special components for projects or for both tailored material and treatments for customers”
A clear final customer orientation
Together with markets extension and customer portfolio enlargement, Bulloneria Villa has witnessed the shrinking of the time to meet customers’ needs.
“Being committed to supply oil or energy companies or environmental ones means working and delivering very quickly” said Mr Doniselli “without wasting time and steadily delivering within 48 hours from order”.
Also because of this, Bulloneria Villa that works on ordinary and special steels, beyond inox and other alloys and it is also certified Iso 9001, pays particular attention to both precision of its processes and handling the stock.”Mr Doniselli said: “First of all it is important to point out that on every item coming out of the company there is a 0% of scrapping.”
On a second step “based on yearly contracts we can supply our customers in a few days, the latest” said Mr Doniselli “because in the warehouses we have the right sizes to deliver right away and we handle logistics according to the Kanban methodology” This philosophy comes from Japanese industry with the so called just in time concept which is based on a labelling that catalogs products according shapes and colours.
There is no need for philosophy to understand that Bulloneria Villa has always tried to meet end user’s needs, very often big companies. This kind of attitude is also followed by the well-known gurus of global business.
“For customers who are reachable in just one day” pointed out Mr Doniselli “Bulloneria Villa’s staff can arrange the re-assortment of all their products in the warehouse”
Having its 15 staff members among production, logistics and finance, Bulloneria Villa delivers the finished product, ready to use and certified, if needed, by thermic treatment such as burnishing, hot-galvanizing or zinc-plating.
Smallware and service value.
“Of course these partners or external cooperators must meet well-defined requirements.We more often tend to transfer out thermic and galvanic working”Mr Doniselli reminded.”And in line with our strategy, suppliers must be quick and financially competitive, capable of matching speed and top-class quality”
This is a pair Bulloneria Villa has been able to cultivate with profit despite the fact its working is still largely made according to some sort of handcraft strategies:”there is no doubt that automation and proper machinery meant a lot to developing our company” commented the interviewed, “but a few work orders still need every single item to be worked at a lathe.”
On the other hand this inherited from the past ability can turn into a competitive edge right in these hard times for both the industry and small companies generally speaking: “Sometimes main difficulties are about timing and amount of orders” Mr Doniselli pointed out “and some companies do often ask for materials just when running out of stock.Because of this perfect timing is needed but it is clear that if amounts are small, having back up tools can really help us. It allows us to meet also this kind of requests in time and positively.”
The recession ghost calls for pondering every single investment and thanks to this Bulloneria Villa made the decision to invest somewhere else.” Between 2009 and the beginning of 2010 in particular”, Mr Doniselli explained “Bulloneria Villa decided to invest in structured allowing energy cost reduction, in particular heating and electricity by safeguarding the environment at the same time.
In this perspective Bulloneria took care of rebuilding his plants and coverings by adding a thermic overcoat on the perimetral walls and installing a solar panel system”
Being an ecofriendly company is just part of the social responsibility concept Bulloneria Villa has developed throughout over sixty years , given the cooperation with the association “I bambini delle fate” dealing with children disabilities.
Aware of being able to bring added value most of all in terms of creativity and new solutions customer tailored, this company from the western side of Milan really knows the guidelines that will let it play an important role on world markets in the near future:
“ We do not have a mass production in the litteral sense” Mr Doniselli commented “and this means we really care about bringing value to the customer.We are going to keep doing it by betting on services and also trying to steadily improve them”. In the meantime we will keep offering our feather in the cap that is special bolts”.