Hydro was one of more than 1,900 companies to participate in the just-completed Milano Architettura Design Edilizia Exhibition (MADE Expo). The show is Italy's largest for professionals in the building and construction industry, and was held for the first time in Milano, after 26 years in Bologna.
Attendance was reserved for trade professionals only.
The move from Bologna to Milano reflects part of the change that is occurring in Italy's building industry, where design sophistication is increasing on a general level at the same time as construction regulations are growing more complicated. Milano is internationally known as a design hotbed, and many of the country's leading architects and decision-makers in the industry are located in the region.
"There is much more to deal with in terms of complexity than before, and it is not an easy way for many of the small-to-medium-sized customers we have in the country," says Augusto Caporrella, who leads Hydro's building systems organization in Italy.
Keeping the lead and staying close
Hydro showed new door and window systems at its stand in Milano, describing the improvements which take into consideration the latest regulations for energy saving, and presented other future-oriented concepts from its Domal and Wicona-brand systems.
Domal is the leading aluminium system in Italy in terms of volume, while Wicona is considered the elite system for special projects.
But the company's main message to its guests was about getting closer. Hydro's 80-to-90 representatives at the stand – they account for the company’s country-wide sales and technical support network – emphasized that size will not matter, that the company will continue to treat each customer in the way they have been grown to know. "We want their businesses to thrive," says Caporrella.
He points out that Hydro is unique in the country with its 22 distribution centers, spread throughout the country to support the local customer. That number is more likely to grow, says Caporrella, rather than be reduced.
"Distribution is critical in Italy, with the geography we have, and we will continue to serve our customers in this way," he says. "We will not go to a small number of central locations."
Hydro is Europe's preferred supplier of aluminium building systems, and delivers to scores of other countries around the globe. Its three international brands - Domal, Technal and Wicona - cover the whole range of system products.
Published: February 11, 2008