“Screws and bolts have been our core competence for almost 100 years now,” says Giovanni Berardi, President of Berardi Bullonerie. “It all started back in 1919 with a tiny shop established by my grandfather in the center of Bologna. Reconstructed after WWII the shop was exchanged for a well-equipped warehouse in 1960, when the company became a wholesale business. Initially we served the region of Bologna, by and by we expanded the range, on a regional and finally on a national scale.”
The ongoing expansion of the facilities well illustrates the positive development of the company in terms of both sales figures and customers. In 1984 Berardi Bullonerie moved to new 4.500 m² facilities with more than 15,000 items on stock making the family business one of the largest wholesalers for screws and bolts in Italy.
In 2003 the facilities proved to be too small again and the company moved to its present 6.200 m² facilities at Castel Guelfo near Bologna with semi-automatic warehouse facilities and more than 35.000 items on stock.
The President puts this success down to the quality and variety of products and to the proximity to customers. The fastening specialist has established a network of 15 branches across Italy to be in reach of customers.
“The branches have greatly contributed to our ongoing growth,” states Mr. Berardi. “The proximity enables on-site consulting and ensures fast and dependable supply services. Moreover, the branches make us visible and help us win new customers,”
In addition to the Italian branches, Berardi has a sales office in Morocco. However, first of all it is the quality and the comprehensive variety of products which makes the difference.
“We started with screws and bolts, but we always tried to expand the range with similar products,” explains the President. “For example, since 2011 we have also offered springs. We secured a partnership with the US company Lee Spring, leader in precision and custom springs. At present we have more than 10,000 springs on stock. Customers highly appreciate the service as many competitors have problems with supplying springs within schedule or at short notice. We supply any type of spring within 24 hours maximum and we also supply bespoke springs made to customers’ drawings or specifications.”
Now as before, screws and bolts are the core business and the company offers a most comprehensive choice of screws made from a variety of materials such as stainless steel, carbon steel, steel alloys or brass, hot or cold pressed or turned. They come in a rich choice of shapes and sizes to meet each and every demand. Hydraulic and pneumatic fittings, hose clamps, valves or electrical parts complement the assortment.
“Whatever the application, we have the solution, and we ensure prompt and dependable supply,” underlines Mr. Berardi. “Our services are backed by the latest warehouse logistics. The direct link to customers facilitates operations and provides palpable benefits. Our services save time and money and reduce or eliminate stock keeping at customer’s site.”
The range of applications includes nearly all fields of industry and there are special versions for demanding environments. As a result, Berardi Bulloneri has a broad customer base including manufacturers of machines and apparatus, agricultural appliances.
Cranes, vehicles, traffic signs, furniture, office equipment, forklifts, coffee machines, slicing machines, refrigerators, lifts, ski equipment, kitchens, buses, trolleys, building construction companies and many more.
“The broad spectrum of applications makes us independent from the ups and downs in special fields,” says the President. “Accordingly, our turnover is highly fragmented, our biggest customer accounts for 2%.”
The fastening specialist has 70 sales agents in Italy who are engaged in regularly contacting customers and winning new ones. “We are winning 100 new customers a month,” Mr. Berardi proudly points out. “We make use of print media for advertising and we regularly present our products at specialized trade shows such as EIMA and SAIE3 in Bologna, Fasteners in Milan, Ecomondo in Rimini, Cibus Tec in Parma or Midest in Morocco. Moreover, we have our internet site with the online catalogue.”
At present, Berardi Bullonerie has a staff of 200 and generates turnover of 55 million EUR, almost exclusively in Italy. So far, the export quota amounts to 2%. Increasing the quota by opening up new markets is the declared target for the future.
“We mainly aim at European markets,” concludes the President. “We are going to establish a network of branches in foreign markets and we are looking for partners. Interested contacts are welcome.”
The company is well prepared for future growth. New headquarters are currently being built, doubling the available surface area to 10,000 m². The inauguration is scheduled for the end of 2017.