Still committed to innovation after a lifetime in textiles
Giuseppe Benzoni, C.E.O. of our Italian distributor New Tanatex, and general manager Piervirginio Fumagalli have lived and breathed Italy’s textile industry almost all their lives. Who better to provide insight into the needs of the industry and their customers?
Both men were schooled in textiles in Como, which is still recognised as a leading region for textile printing. They have worked in the industry ever since. For Piervirginio, more than 40 of those years have been connected to TANATEX.
Small companies characterise the Italian textile industry
Giuseppe started in the industry 50 years ago when textiles was a major market in Italy. Today it’s still important for high quality products, but volume production has gone elsewhere. What’s interesting is the industry has seen less consolidation than in some countries, remaining artisan in character with lots of very small, often family-based, companies.
It’s a similar picture in auxiliaries. New Tanatex has many small competitors, some of which specialise in just one product group and often maintain historic links with customers. “In this very competitive market, there will always be someone who can offer a product at a lower price,” says Giuseppe. “To maintain our strong position, we have to continue to give customers something new.”
Piervirginio adds: “What’s good about TANATEX is the really high quality of products. Innovations launched more than 20 years ago are still valid today and competitors have tried to copy them without success. It’s the same with mineral-based products, which maintain market leadership. These are the reasons TANATEX is well known and we have to continue in this way.”
The continuous system for bleaching based on mineral specialties leads the market and is Giuseppe’s favourite product for that very reason. It’s been a big success for New Tanatex and can help customers to save water and energy, which is becoming increasingly important.
Focused on evolution and change in the market
New Tanatex was established at the beginning of this century following an agreement made with Bayer. The use of the TANATEX name has made for a very close relationship, as Giuseppe explains: “Our cooperation with TANATEX is not just important, it’s absolutely vital. We are completely connected which is why we’re called New Tanatex.”
It’s through practical discussions with customers that the team at New Tanatex keep up to date with evolution and change in the market. For example, they identified the growing importance of digital and inkjet printing early on and were sorry that TANATEX was not as quick with product development. Nowadays it is one of the largest concepts sold.
Another area where they believe TANATEX can improve is in logistics. “Communication and the availability of product are the two main things TANATEX must foster,” says Piervirginio. “We are an exclusive distributor with 95% of our business based on these products. If something is not right for us, it becomes a big problem.”
Product quality, technical excellence and innovation
However, there is enthusiasm for TANATEX technical support which earns trust and respect from customers, according to Giuseppe: “When our customers have a problem with a product or a question about legislation or sustainability, it’s easier for them to ask someone they respect. That’s our history and we need to continue to offer that support.”
So, from their own long experience in the industry, what do they think is the secret of TANATEX 60-year success? “Innovation, technical excellence and reliability,” is the response. “Now, to stay ahead, TANATEX must continue to be market and customer-oriented and understand the real needs of our customers and our markets.”
Left: Giuseppe Benzoni – C.E.O
Right: Piervirginio Fumagalli – General Manager