Florence Group without limits. “We are not stopping. We will buy more shoe factories on the way and leather goods factories from 2023,” announces CEO Attila Kiss, in the aftermath of Taccetti shoe factory joining the cluster. Kiss notes how requests from companies to integrate are increasing and explains how the selection process takes place. Florence has more than 2,000 employees and has been addressing the problem of generational change for some time.
Florence Group without limits
You have grown to 20 companies: do you set yourself a limit?
There is always a limit, but we are still at the beginning and have not asked ourselves that question. We are careful to manage the increase in management complexity. But, above all, we are looking carefully at industrial integration. We are working on various integration projects, about the services we want to introduce to companies joining the group.
Should we expect new announcements?
We are still going ahead with shoe companies and in the coming year with leather goods, a sector we have not yet entered, and which we consider strategic for supplying the luxury sector.
Are you receiving more enquiries from companies that want to enter than at the beginning?
Yes. That’s true. And there is a reason for that. Entrepreneurs who entered at the beginning act as testimonials, and by word of mouth tell their colleagues about their experience.
How did you choose Taccetti?
It must be emphasised that it is also the entrepreneurs who choose us. For both us and the companies there are alternatives, therefore it is a mutual choice. We do not only look at the numbers of the company, but also whether the entrepreneur has the characteristics to join our group. If he is a team player.
And in the specific case of Taccetti?
Taccetti specialises in a different product from the two shoe factories already in the group (Lorenza Calzaturificio and Novarese, ed.) and is recognised in the sector as a top quality manufacturer. There is the generational transition that guarantees the future. And we were very impressed by the humility with which the family presents itself to the employees and the outside world, while being aware of its own capabilities.
But then the numbers are more important…
The numbers are also the consequence of this attitude, which is reflected in the company management
When will Taccetti’s fifth industrial building be completed?
I believe in mid-2023. They are all buildings that are very close to each other. It is an investment that we have decided to make together in order to be able to grow further. By becoming part of the Florence group, the Taccetti family felt more comfortable with more support behind them.
Twenty companies and over 2,000 employees: do you feel the problem of generational change?
Yes. We have already started projects to recruit young people, and we are starting others with postgraduate schools and vocational colleges. It is one of the issues at the top of our agenda. If we don’t move, Italy will lose workers and skills.
Can a pole like yours better manage supply chain tensions and high energy prices?
The sales price policy is left to the aggregated companies. As a group, in some cases we manage to achieve rationalisations, especially among indirect costs such as insurance, logistics. This is not the case, for example, for electricity. The banks welcome the fact that the company is part of a structured group.
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