MULTI-LOCALIZATION AND SUSTAINABILITY
Why would a business like Berbrand, which has opted for a multi-site market strategy and has managed to transform its commitment to eco-sustainability into a competitive advantage across its entire network of production facilities – from Western Australia to Vietnam – continue to base its operations in Italy?
A prestigious newspaper such as the New York Times asked the very same question in an article it published in 2006 and the point has become even more relevant in the light of the situation our country finds itself in currently.
The pursuit of total quality in the end product and the production process itself is almost obsessive and in the specific case of Berbrand has resulted in an unusual business model which can be summarised as follows:
- Eco-sustainability. Berbrand has greatly anticipated market requirements by offering products whose ecological credentials are independently tested and certified by an external body throughout the entire production process (the Genoa Aquarium Foundation’s Eco-test Certificate). This has meant investing significant amounts in sea-bed repopulation programs and the creation of new populations in waters off the coast of Western Australia, but the resulting economic returns have been high.
- The reduction of waste. Working with such a precious, natural material, over the years Berbrand has refined its production process until it has now reached the “zero waste” target, thanks to the development of technologically advanced materials that have opened up new markets (building sites, automobile manufacturing, furnishings etc.,).
- Logistical efficiency: Berbrand uses RFID technology for product traceability. This is a special labelling system that speeds up the handling of goods throughout the processing stage thereby saving time. According to Berbrand’s management team, the competitiveness of products in this sector can be measured not it price but in how quickly a shipment can be completed and delivered.
Berbrand’s major achievement has been its ability to export its commitment to environmental sustainability and ethical treatment of its employees to the plants it operates throughout the world. Something that has paid dividends in terms of the relationship it has built up with its partners, the quality of its products and the flexibility and efficiency of its production processes.