European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards 2017 winner - WE Italia

4th of April 2018
European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards 2017 winner - WE Italia

Cleaning industry distributors are the “glue” that bind manufacturers and end-customers together. And the very best of them act as true business partners to the companies they supply. Ann Laffeaty talks to Simone Bertocci, director general of WE Italia which won the 2017 European Cleaning & Hygiene Award for Excellence in Added Value Initiatives by Distributors.

A distributor’s job is to provide the interface between customers and manufacturers. They are the “go-between” whose raison d’etre is to provide the best possible deal for both parties and to ensure that the supplier and end-customer are equally happy with the outcome.

This is a complex task that can be a minefield for distributors. But WE Italia sees it differently. “Every time we solve a customer’s problem it is a pleasure for us,” says director general Simone Bertocci.

This can-do attitude is one of the reasons why the company was awarded the European Cleaning & Hygiene Award for Excellence in Added Value Initiatives by distributors in Rome in November 2017. Category entrants were required to illustrate how their distributor business offered true innovation in client solutions above and beyond the simple function of delivering cleaning products.

WE Italia offers a bespoke service that is geared specifically to customers’ needs.  “There is never just one answer to a problem so we aim to provide the best solution for each individual case,” says Bertocci. “The localised structure of our organisation enables us to pay close attention to specific problems faced by our customers. Our ethos is to be always close at hand, wherever our customers happen to be.”

Set up in 2012, WE Italia distributes chemical products, cleaning machines, tissue paper, disposables and other cleaning-related products through its network of 37 operators. “These dealers pool their strengths and combine their efforts to create an organisation that can compete with the major players on the Italian market,” said Bertocci.

“Besides providing the most suitable products for specific sanitation and cleaning needs we also offer training and technical support which is channelled directly through our local members.”

WE Italia prides itself on its sustainability credentials, he adds. “Our commitment is about lowering the consumption of natural resources and respecting the environment while also using products correctly,” said Bertocci. “Besides being in our own interests and those of our customers, running a sustainable organisation is in the best interests of future generations.”

WE Italia aims to reduce the level of transport-related consumption across its network. ”We also significantly reduce the amount of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere and our range features concentrated products plus smart packaging and dispensing systems which are all aimed at reducing waste and costs,” he said.

An example of WE Italia’s environmental work can be seen in the company’s “environmental saving” certificate which it received from washroom hygiene company Lucart in early 2017. “By selling Lucart toilet paper made from drinks containers we helped them to saved 17,516 trees in 2016,” said Bertocci. “This also helped the company to reduce its Co2 emissions by 914.141 kg.”

Closeness to customers is another of WE Italia’s strengths. “Fortunately here in Italy, personal relationship between sales agents and customers are still very important in order to succeed,” he said. “We focus on meeting our customers’ requirements and identifying their actual needs. We then provide professional advice and propose the most convenient solution based on accurate market assessments.”

He is proud to have won the award. “We entered because we are the largest group in Italy in terms of turnover with €136 million,” he said. “As a result we wanted to introduce ourselves both to ECJ and to other European players.”

There were several reasons why WE Italia was selected for the award, according to ECJ editor Michelle Marshall. “Sustainability at the heart of the company’s business,” she said. “Not only has WE Italia cut CO2 emissions, it has also reduced transport-related energy consumption and costs throughout its logistics network.

“Its product range focuses on cleaning concentrates, smart dispensing systems and environmentally-responsible packaging as a further illustration of its sustainability commitment. And WE Italia supports its customers in developing more efficient and sustainable operations, offering advice and guidance based on individual needs.”

The European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards 2018 will be held in Berlin on November 15 and are now open for entry. Visit


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