Editorial for the magazine International Paper Board
Italy-based VICE s.r.l. produces and markets chemical products. For a number of years now, it has focused on the corrugated industry, achieving results both when it comes to growth and market awareness.
In its first 20 years, the company has stuck to its objectives and principles of passion for work, customer care and service and research and innovation. With stability and an eye on its philosophy, Vice has been able to grow, even during times of international instability and continues to set new innovation and expansion goals. We talk with Omar Mori, Co-owner and head of sales.
IPBI: Can you share with us how Vice has developed over the first twenty years?
OM: During the first few years of activity, our focus was on the Italian market. Thanks to strong competition, we enhanced our R&D activities, pushing us to engineer better chemical solutions. This allowed us to grow in the domestic market and take a leading position.
We then targeted expansion in the international market. To achieve greater visibility, we started attending the most relevant exhibitions, trying to find foreign business partners that could represent us with expertise, skill and passion. Today, our products and technical services are available in Europe, North Africa and Western Asia.
We are proud of the results we have been able to achieve and we are eager to further expand our market.
Our production site is located in a strategic position that allows us to reach many European countries. To further strengthen our supply chain, we have also set up a warehouse in Poland, allowing faster deliveries in northern and eastern Europe.
We opened a new headquarters a few years ago and we plan to further expand our facility for 2020/2021.
The consolidation of our headquarters will allow us to better face the challenges that lie ahead.
Last but not least, the international tender for supplies of liquid borax that we won with a leading international corrugated producer validates our ever-increasing growth and expansion. We can distribute our auxiliary chemicals in as many as 10 different European countries.
IPBI: What are the main aspects that distinguish your company in the chemicals market?
OM:The current market demands a supplier that offers products and high levels of service. Human resources are the heart of our service and we focus a lot on the training of internal and external resources. Our Italian and international sales team are high-skilled technicians, with many years of experience. People are the core of our business – they enrich the business with technical knowledge and creative contribution.
IPBI: How are customer relationships handled?
OM: We implement a direct partnership with our customers. We like building relationships that last by ensuring continuous assistance. Our international team of technicians allows us to be present on site throughout the production process, speaking the customer's same language, both in terms of technical skills and the actual language.
Once we have received customers' requests and identified any possible critical issues, a series of trials are carried out on the product range, both simulations in our lab and tests in production. We are keen to verify the compliance of the product in the various real operating situations. We then identify or engineer the 'perfect' product while taking on board real- time feedback.
Product performance, efficiency of the production process and our 360° service support are qualities that also result in an economic
benefit for the customer. Time management and cost efficiency is made possible by calculating an accurate product dosing system, along with constant and future monitoring.
IPBI: What about your production process?
OM: All our products are manufactured in-house, allowing high quality standards and compliance with the current national and international regulations. We assess our quality by way of UNI EN ISO 9001:2015 certification. Our R&D lab keeps up-to- date with the latest technologies used in the corrugated industry, so as to be ready to fit our chemicals to the specific requirements of the customers. This allows us to produce tailor-made chemical products, completely customised, quickly and following a lean and flexible manufacturing process.
IPBI: Your credibility was confirmed with the award of the European tender by a leading international group. What was it that made you stand out in the market, do you feel?
OM: In one word – synergy. What has allowed us to compete in Europe in the supply of liquid borax is our ability to offer a well- balanced mix of service quality, company and product reliability, know-how, strategic geographical positioning and the commercial competitiveness of the product. But what really stands out is our service.
These reference figures are extremely important in the setting up of the start-up processes across Europe – the introduction of products with characteristics different from those previously used. We have been working on our image, so the success in these start-ups is also a key-factor for our image enhancement.
We have always paid great attention to the use of raw materials with a low environmental impact that feature minor hazard thresholds for both environment and operators. For instance, we were among the first companies in the sector to offer a range of alternative solutions to powdered borates.
IPBI: Speaking of alternative products to powdered borates, 'Fix Onda' is one of your leading products, can you tell us about that?
OM: It was developed in response to the increasingly responsive and demanding requirements of our customers. It is within our family of borax in liquid and non-hazardous form, capable of bringing a series of benefits to the treated starch glues and to the production system. Alternatives to powder borates have always been subject of great study on our part and on which we are investing. Our goal is to introduce new products to the market with superior performance.
IPBI: Thank you for introducing us to your company!
OM: I am proud to be at the head of a company that has made stability its foundation - not only in the short term, but also in the long term.