There is a certain Made in Italy manufacturing sector that cannot do without aggregations in the coming years. Micaela Le Divelec Lemmi, former CEO of Salvatore Ferragamo and now a business consultant, is convinced of this, and makes a distinction. One thing is the options available to a large brand, which may have the ability to take over its supplier. The options available to small and medium-sized brands, which must necessarily implement different strategies, are another thing. Today more than ever, with rising costs and investments to keep up with the challenges of the market, aggregation is often the last chance.
Who can do without aggregations?
From the stage of Foglio della Moda (Novara) conference, Le Divelec (in the photo, archives) addressed the issue of the Italian production chain. According to her, the ability to adapt production to a diverse environment is the challenge Italian manufacturing will face over the next two years. As we were saying, Divelec distinguishes between the options available to big brands and those of the medium- and small-sized brands that characterise the Italian fabric. “The model in which the big brand is the leader of a supply chain is effective, involving suppliers and integrating upstream and downstream logistics,” she explains. “Small brands must invest heavily in visibility and recognition. They will have to rely on the network of suppliers and subcontractors” to achieve the highest standards of specialisation and quality. “The key word for the latter and for many Italian manufacturing companies will be flexibility,” says the manager.
Economy of scale
Aggregations, therefore, are increasingly a necessity for companies. Why? “The costs of digitalisation, sustainability and technological development are now added to the high cost of energy and rising raw material prices. Aggregation is a way of pooling skills,” she continues. “On the one hand, it takes the form of verticalisation by luxury groups, that buy their own suppliers. On the other, aggregation operations carried out by investment funds to create platforms of highly specialised subcontractors able to dialogue with the brands”.