Today we exchange thoughts and opinions with Andrea Chiecchi, aerospace engineer, Commercial Director of IMESA Spa.
Andrea “landed” at IMESA in 2018, after experiences in mechatronics, mechanics and automotive.
How would you describe the year 2020 work-wise?
INTENSIVE is definitely the first word I can think of.
2020 was a challenging year for me. I look back and I see the days run fast, with my brain constantly in ON until evening when, completely emptied, I want nothing more than the bed.
The pandemic has forced us to a year that has a decisive impact on our lives and our work.
The greater engagement has been combining a goal of revenues with the implementation and the realization of all the lean plans and conversion of the value proposition, in order to make to steer the ship IMESA towards the new chosen direction.
We are very satisfied: not only have we substantially kept on the turnover front, but we have also managed to start the “turn” of IMESA towards a new identity, using new standarworks, reorganizing functions and processes, spreading and internalizing new methodologies to staff, more efficient and rewarding on the professional level, as well as enhancing on the personal.
Imesa is changing from a family management to a managerial one, based on skills: from the beginning, my role was also that of sparring partner with the property, interpreting the wishes and translating them into operational projects. Let’s say, overall, it was an “all-round work!”
In a “normal” situation, what are the secrets of a successful sales network management?
How do you choose which model to use in the management of your sales network?
We need a clear strategy, an operational plan and actions to support it.
For IMESA the sales network is to be understood as the whole of the internal staff and external partners and for us it is essential to make use of excellent service centers, identified among the most structured and competent partners, and with them implement effective and targeted measures by sector and geographical area.
A company is built on strong, healthy pillars.
The sales network represents a good part of these pillars and identifying those on which to base the business activity in the world, requires a good deal of analysis and strategy.
The goal I pursue is to create a network of commercial partners, internal and external, increasingly competent, keeping in mind that it is the end user of our machines that decrees the ultimate success of the manufacturer and the entire supply chain.
IMESA has, finally, all this very clear and we are putting in place great news in the sales process to accompany our customer from the stage of falling in love to loyalty.
A romantic, unexpected vision …
That’s true, but if you think about it, that’s the way it has to be.
Why does a customer choose a brand? Because he falls in love and trusts them.
We aim for a “customer experience” that is not limited to the search for product + price, but that accompanies the customer to live a rewarding experience, from the first contact forward.
How would you describe the world of laundry?
The world of laundry is a very interesting world, although it would not seem.
Apparently simple, in reality it is very vast and heterogeneous.
It is a world that involves many subjects, particularly multifaceted and for this reason I consider it largely a subject of a considerable evolution, both of product and service.
As it happens in all the fields in which technology plays an important role, the succession of generations will inevitably lead to an intrinsic evolution of the demand; being the laundry a need little above the primary ones, it is natural that it will also have to interpret, supporting and riding on changes in society, individual habits: the birth and spread of self-service laundries over the last twenty years is just one example. Doing it on a global scale becomes quite complicated.
You are an engineer, tell us about the product through this filter.
Our laundry product is a medium-tech product.
In itself it does not lead to the final result: detergent and control of the washing process is needed. These are the three key pillars that need to work synergistically to contribute to the final outcome.
Let’s change the subject a bit… what do you do in your spare time?
If I had it…
Seriously, I love to ride a bike (mountain bike), ride a motorcycle and hiking in the mountains. I used to climb, fly and go by boat, but it was a lifetime ago.
Let’s go back to washing the dirty laundry…. would you open a laundry these days?
Yes, of course.
My ideal laundry would be a thematic self-service laundry that, by type of machines and washing cycles, moves from a general washing/drying to a specific one.
The specificity of the cycles is already achieved through the programming of the machines, but a precise and accurate control of the process would allow to pursue the ideal laundry.
Specialize to stand out.
How smart is there in a washing machine?
There’s not enough left.
Unlike other mechatronic worlds, the world of professional laundry has not yet been approached seriously by the material engineer; those used today are still very traditional. There is still not enough interpenetration between different disciplines, just look at the average design and human-machine interface (HMI) to immediately realize it. I come from the air force: try to see the evolution that has affected not only the dynamics of the aircraft, but only the cockpit of an aircraft.
Try to compare an F104 with an F35: today the voice commands, the integrated optical pointing systems, the fly by wire controls are the master: you enter “inside” the aircraft, you act more and more in symbiosis with it that becomes an extension of your limbs. We are already talking about BCI (brain computer interface), two-way neural networks, where mechanical drive starts directly from the brain and these receive stimuli from the machine.
The next years will surely see the use of materials with higher performance of lightness, if only for a saving of weight, and therefore consumption, maybe bio compatible and recycled.
Of course, today there are technological limits that condition its application on a large scale, but I see nothing impeding, in the future, for example, the use of carbon fiber on structure, perhaps integrated with the bodies… Today it would certainly cost madness, but its application can be the future.
It is necessary to pursue the design of increasingly lighter machines, with an ever greater relationship between capacity and weight of the machine and, above all, less and less impact on the environment.
Speaking of electronics: the best is the one you don’t see.
When we were young, the world in 2020 was represented very “spatial”.
How much of that vision is there in today’s world?
Very little and in my opinion it is not bad.
I see a world that seeks the right balance between the value of traditions and local culture and the import of culture and experience from the outside.
I mean, if I go to the mountains, I like to go to a house that smells of wood to feel all its sensations, not a glass bubble. To confirm this, there is a strong return to design that combines natural elements in the furniture.
This does not mean excluding technology, on the contrary, but technology is functional to use, for example through the application of an effective and environmentally friendly heating system, while tradition is linked to pleasure and to living well and with quality.
The vision of scientific progress that we had in the film Metropolis of the beginning of ‘900’ and projected in the then distant 2026, was a very futuristic vision belonging to the old century that is not fully reflected in today’s reality.
How much does it cost to wash a pair of pants in the laundry room?
Mmmmmmmmm ….. I think a shirt 5 €, washed and ironed.
Pants are more than that.
I am more interested in the cost to the car operator.
Quite expensive life in Verona…. can cost even less to wash and iron a shirt, … Probably the laundries you’re working with aren’t equipped with the right machines!
A 2021 target, let’s color positive the year just begun.
Working: to see at last some “sleeping” markets leave and to demonstrate not only to the company, but also to myself, that we are able to restart “firm” markets on certain results.
Private: I wish I could manage time better, have more to think about and waste less to put out fires.
The first trip you’re going to make when the trips are cleared?
A long weekend in Sardinia or Corsica, by motorbike of course.
For business, I aim to go soon to Dubai, important nerve center of business. Unless the last hour stops, the GULFHOST fair is scheduled in February in conjunction with GULFOOD and we will be there.
In Dubai will also be held the Expo, postponed last year to October 2021.
Honestly, I’ve never seen an Expo, not even the one in Milan.
If you have the opportunity, I recommend a visit, it is still a nice experience.
I accept the advice. Thank you
Thank you for the chat and good work.