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More training focus in Italy24th of June 2013
Anna Garbagna analyses the results of a recent survey into the Italian distribution sector.
The proportion of companies with a turnover of under one million euros is 50.7 per cent compared with 53.9 per cent in 2010, while 11.8 per cent have turnover between one and 1.5 million euros, 16.7 per cent between 1.5 and 2.5 million and 20.8 per cent have over 2.5 million euros. This emerged from a survey carried out by AfidampCOM whose aim was to analyse the Italian market for the distribution of machines, products and equipment for professional cleaning.
The scenario that arises from the survey highlights the presence of a large number of small companies, mainly family run, alongside a few large groups which determine the market trend. This characteristic is also supported by the average size of the workforce: the average number of
employees is between five and 10, rising to more than 20 for large companies.
The research carried out last year highlights that sales mostly take place in the provinces and regions near the headquarters of the company. This concentration of sales is confirmed in terms of the number of customers as well as in terms of the type of products being sold.
It appears there is not typically any one type of product which determines the sales total - it is generally made up from the sale of various goods. Furthermore, it emerges that most companies are family run (63 per cent). Pre- and after-sales services and maintenance are the most important services being offered and they represent the pride and joy of Italian distribution.
Particular attention must be paid to the rental market which is becoming more and more significant: in fact 41 per cent of companies being interviewed replied that rental makes up 15 per cent of total sales. This is an indicator of a turning point in history and of a preference towards a convenient practice for the client who can obtain the best possible service for the required length of time without the obligation to purchase.
As far as the reference markets are concerned, the figures from the previous year are confirmed, ie, the main clients are cleaning companies and industries in general. The share of HoReCa has increased by about seven percentage points, and among the sale channels, the traditional sales network is the most used despite the fact that more and more companies are using the internet (24 per cent).
Last but not least, particular attention is being paid to training, especially technical and commercial. Comparing the number of collaborators with the nature of courses that took place, it emerged that companies with more than 10 employees organise courses in both areas, while companies with fewer than 10 employees focus on technical/operative courses. This is a sign that both refresher and basic training must be more and more the foundation for this work.