Twenty years since Laminam was founded, the Fiorano Modenese-based company keeps growing. The group recently doubled the size of its production factory in Borgotaro, Italy, and confidently looks to the future with internationalization, digital transformation and sustainable innovation.
The company celebrated this milestone with an event attended by 150 guests, including speeches by Alberto Selmi, Laminam chairman and CEO; Giovanni Savorani, chairman of Confindustria Ceramica; Edoardo Lanzavecchia, managing partner of Alpha Group; and Stefano Bonaccini, chairman of the Region of Emilia Romagna. The next-generation technologies installed at the production site in Borgotaro will help significantly improve the company’s sustainable performance and product quality.
The atmosphere was euphoric like a premiere; the audience was there like the best occasions. The Emilian company brought together local and regional institutions, key players in the ceramics district, representatives from the world of economics and finance, suppliers and employees in the province of Parma to celebrate the milestone achieved and to reflect on the challenges of the near future. In fact, Laminam is committed to growth aimed at changing the brand’s position, from a manufacturer of slabs to a leading company in the complex world of superior natural surfaces for architecture and design, moving ever closer to the market, customers and people, inspiring designers, architects and anyone who wants to create living and working environments.
There was therefore talk about the present but, above all, the future, and there was much positivity about it, stemming from and confirmed by the numbers presented by Alberto Selmi, the Laminam CEO. In fact, over the five-year period from 2014 to 2019, this Italian group recorded an annual average growth rate of 27%, proving the success of an innovative business model that makes Laminam stand out from its main competitors. In 2020, the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns and stagnation, turnover stayed steady at 2019 levels, but in the first nine months of 2021, it has recorded growth of 43% compared with the first nine months of 2019, confirming the extremely positive forecasts for the end of the year.
“In our evolution, we are inspired by guidelines that focus on excellence, which see in digital transformation, internationalization and sustainable innovation the driving forces for our new era,” Selmi said, when describing the evolution process. While, on the one hand, for Laminam, digital transformation involves investing in professionalism and digital technologies to improve the customer experience, on the other hand, the principle of internationalization, which took its first steps with the opening of Laminam Russia, results in more frequent contact with customers and bringing the brand closer to people.
A true ambassador of Italian design around the world, Laminam now has a factory in Russia, 10 sales subsidiaries and many logistics hubs and showrooms all around the world. Its surfaces are distributed in over 100 markets and international sales are worth 79% of its consolidated turnover. These two guidelines are joined by sustainable innovation, a cornerstone, which the group firmly believes in, so much so that it supports it with an investment plan of over €50 million for expanding and renovating the factories through the use of innovative technologies developed together with the main suppliers and partners.
From the product to the people, from processes to the supply chain -- everything at Laminam is designed and made to measure and restrict its impact to guarantee employee health and safety, and to create and innovate products in an eco-sustainable way. In 2021, Laminam adopted an integrated Quality-Environment-Safety policy, achieved ISO 14001 Environmental Certification for its Italian factories and extended EPD Certification to all its products, completed a study of the company’s carbon footprint and published its second Sustainability Report. Following the development, which sees the group committed to a process of sustainable growth, the greatest attention is also paid to working with respect for the region. This is why the installation of innovative plants and the only ones in the sector that drastically reduce air emissions (both organic and inorganic) helps reduce the environmental impact. The use of these reduction systems is also being researched and developed for capturing CO2. The extensive use of photovoltaic panels for producing our own “green” energy is being joined by the electrification of the production and logistics process and maximizing energy efficiency through the use of technological innovation.
People are the driving force behind innovation at the company. This was proven today by the warmth, enthusiasm and passion of every guest who took part in the event. This is also proven by the growth of staff, which, over the last year, has seen the number of employees increase by 100, for a total of about 700 people, with 500 in Italy. They are regularly offered training, refresher and safety courses. The number of female employees at the Italian factories accounts for almost 40% of the total, a percentage higher than the average of the ceramics sector, while the percentage of young people is also high. This sustainable innovation shines beyond the company’s structural boundaries and is rooted in the region, involving the institutions and communities, which it is part of and where it works. Its relationship is also close with technical training bodies, universities and postgraduate master’s courses: Laminam develops skills with them, while also training and hiring young people.