PBM puts the questions to industry members
November 28 2011
PBM meets Flavio Buccianti, Managing Director of Ferroli
Italian boiler manufacturer Ferroli has been in heating appliance design and development for more than half a century and now operates in 14 countries throughout Europe and Asia. Manufactured in Verona, the company boasts that its range of domestic and commercial boilers and renewable energy products are as technologically advanced by today’s standards as they were in 1955 when the company was founded. PBM spoke to Managing Director Flavio Buccianti.
How did you get into the industry and to your current position?
My career in the heating industry began in 1994 when I joined the logistics department of Biasi. After acquiring invaluable working knowledge of the heating industry from the ‘coal-face’ with Biasi in both Italy and France, in 1999 I joined UNICAL France, part of Saunier Duval / Hepworth, which was later bought by the Vaillant Group.
I took a sideways step away from the heating industry when I joined Italian shower enclosure manufacturer Novellini as MD, which meant moving to the UK, but when I was approached by Ferroli in February 2011 to take over the management of the firm’s UK operation I jumped at the chance.
How do you feel the industry has changed in recent years?
Climate change and the environment, without a doubt, has been the biggest driving force for change in the heating industry. Not only is it our responsibility to produce appliances that are increasingly energy efficient and adhere to strict guidelines on emissions, but we also need to keep one step ahead of customer demand for environmentally friendly products.
Over the last five years or so customer expectation has rocketed. Before that everyone was pretty much the same but because there is now so much pressure on the industry to come up with increasingly innovative products and faultless service, it’s a race between manufacturers to come up with the next big thing that’s better than anything else.
What are the current challenges facing your company?
Externally, apart from the environment, the economy has to be top of the list. Consumer confidence is down and people are unwilling to spend. The challenge we have to meet is to produce boilers and renewable energy heating products that appeal to consumers more than our competitors’ products — it’s as simple as that.
We are continually improving our range to make smaller, lighter, more efficient, more powerful and more cost-effective appliances — quite a tall order, but that’s precisely the kind of challenge I like.
Internally, forming a new management team to give the company renewed impetus to succeed is certainly a big challenge. But change is good; change is what keeps industry moving forward.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Taking on the management of Ferroli’s UK operation. Whilst the products have always been excellent, there has been a lack of leadership over the last three years and the brand has not been receiving the recognition it deserves. I am determined to put it back where it belongs.
To be given the opportunity to lead a company out of the shadows and back into the light is a tremendous opportunity.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I am 100% committed to taking Ferroli forward into the future and securing a top 5 spot in the UK boiler market. We will shortly be launching a new range of boilers that will introduce new features and standards of performance so far unseen for customers seeking cost-effective, energy efficient and exceptionally reliable heating systems.
If I can continue to do the same for the next five years, I’ll be a happy man.
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