- Success story
Danieli SpA – proximity, lean bureaucracy, efficient
The Danieli Group set up a branch office in Austria in 2007. The reason for this decision was the necessity of founding a separate company for technical services outside of the head office. Since then, revenue has increased from € 56 million to more than € 100 million, and the number of employees has tripled. The key reason for establishing the firm in the Industrial Park Völkermarkt in Carinthia was the wide range of advantageous conditions in Austria.
The Austrian Business Agency supported the business location project of Danieli from the very beginning in collaboration with the former Carinthian Development Agency. It not only guided us in preparing the required documents for permits and approvals but also made suitable conference rooms and premises for recruiting and the startup phase of our business operations available to us. In addition, ABA helped us to search for an appropriate site for our production facility.
Interview with the managing directors Simone Bergamasco (Managing Director) and Andrea Deana (Head of Administration and Finance)
Could you briefly explain how the company has developed since it first set up business operations in Austria 15 years ago?
Simone Bergamasco: The Danieli Group began operating in Austria in 2007. In the following year we moved to the Industrial Park Völkermarkt where we had designed and built our head office in less than twelve months. Over the past 15 years we increased the company’s revenue in Austria from € 56 million to more than € 100 million in the last fiscal year ending on 30 June 2022. The number of employees also rose parallel to our revenue growth, from the original workforce of 20 to the current level of 60 people. Our staff is also complemented by 20-40 temporary staff who we employ in peak times when the workload is particularly high.
The brand and reputation of the Danieli Group are not only known and respected in Italy but everywhere in the world. What does the company specifically do in Austria?
Andrea Deana: Our Austrian branch office has been part of Danieli’s Services product line since the very beginning. It mainly offers after-sales products and services for our European markets (with the exception of Italy, which is served by our Italian headquarters in Buttrio near Udine) and America. We combine part of the products we source from external suppliers and within the Group from more than 30 countries with products and equipment built on site. Here we make use of state-of-the-art systems configured to ensure maximum flexibility in production and manufactured according to specifications required by our approx. 300 customers from more than 70 countries.
Why did a company like Danieli decide to locate in Austria in 2007?
SB: The decision to establish a separate company for services embedded in an organisational structure outside of our headquarters dates back to the mid-2000s. As a consequence of the positive sales results, the organisation and available space in Buttrio were no longer sufficient. There was a growing realisation of the need to separate the information and material flows of our after-sales business area from the original equipment business. The head of our services unit then decided to develop a separate organisation outside of the parent company.
Why did you specifically select Austria?
AD: Several factors played a role in the decision to set up operations in Austria. First, Austria has a strategically favourable geographical location with respect to the European markets of importance to us. Furthermore, the specific site we selected is not so far from our headquarters in Buttrio. For this reason, it was relatively easy to train Austrian personnel in Italy or send Italian staff to Austria to train them. Another decisive factor was the prospect of doing business in a country which is well-known for its lean and efficient bureaucracy. Moreover, we benefit from outstanding logistics services thanks to the presence of numerous multimodal operators.
What positive experiences have you had in Austria, and where is there a need for the country to catch up?
SB: The positive aspects have already been mentioned, and there are many, in fact. However, we consider investments in education and qualifications of highly specialised professionals in the field of operations (such as procurement and logistics) as a real challenge for the region, institutions and business development agencies such as ABA. This would be necessary in order to offer investment incentives to new players as well as multinationals which already have a foothold here. We see the labour market evolving in this direction, and the ability to recruit personnel with this type of experience will be decisive for companies like ours in order to support expected revenue growth in the coming years.
How did the ABA provide consulting and support to Danieli in its setting up business operations in Austria?
AD: The Austrian Business Agency supported the business location project of Danieli from the very beginning in collaboration with the former Carinthian Development Agency. It not only guided us in preparing the required documents for permits and approvals but also made suitable conference rooms and premises for recruiting and the startup phase of our business operations available to us. In addition, ABA helped us to search for an appropriate site for our production facility. All in all, I can say that we were provided with effective support.
Danieli SpA is a multinational Italian company headquartered in Buttrio in the Province of Udine. It is a global leader in manufacturing equipment and plants for the steel industry, covering the entire cycle, from the raw material to the end product. Danieli SpA is listed on the FTSE Italia Mid Cap share index of the Milan Stock Exchange.
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