“In the logistics business, you have to find your niche,” points out the Managing Director Stefano Camurri, who joined Bomi Group following graduation and has spent the past 20 years in various positions within the company. “If you want to successfully reduce costs and improve service, you must have the focus of a specialist. In the logistic sector, the most important dynamics are economies of scale and service. Our logistic niche is a little more complicated; in fact we deal with life-saving products, which are regulated by strict regulations and handling standards.”
Bomi Group, with its headquarters in Milan, offers storage and transportation service for machinery and specialized products for the medical industry, everything in fact that a hospital or clinic needs with the exception of pharmaceutical products.
The company deals with hundreds of producers of medical devices across the world and manages many different kinds of products across the healthcare supply chain.
“Each of these products can save lives,” emphasizes Mr. Camurri. “Often they are delivered to the clinic for use with a specific patient. We can’t make mistakes. The goods have to be delivered on time and in a guaranteed perfect condition, above all when we are delivering a machine directly to the operating theater where a patient may be prepared and waiting for a surgical operation. Often, especially in the case of small hospitals and clinics, medical centers have machines delivered for a particular procedure. We have developed a robust process for tracking medical devices. It is vital that we know where they are at all times.”
Not all machines are delivered to hospitals and clinics, but also to laboratories and research centers. In many cases, medical devices are transported directly to patients’ homes, for example in the case of chronically ill people who require apparatus to be able to receive treatment while remaining at their own home. This aspect makes up around 25% of Bomi’s current business and the trend is increasing.
Bomi works for the suppliers of medical equipment, storing it on their behalf and responding immediately when required to deliver the products to a particular location.
“We use our own fleet of vehicles, a point which is becoming increasingly important,” adds the Managing Director. “A particular feature of our service portfolio is the ‘cold chain’ service for goods which need to be kept at a particular, constant temperature both in the warehouse and during transportation. With our own warehouses and vehicles, we can guarantee this. Other goods are particularly large or sensitive to movement. We can deal with all demands. All our drivers are trained for this particular operation and regularly deliver to and collect from the houses of the patients and operating theaters. Our staff is also able to offer training to patients on specific machinery if required. Each product we manage has its own characteristics and, for each, we have developed a particular type of logistics service, even in other countries where regulations for the handling of those products vary largely.”
Exports account for around 70% of the business. Besides its headquarters and nine warehouses in Italy, Bomi also has branches in France, Portugal, the Netherlands, Spain, Russia, Turkey, South America and the USA.
In 2016, Bomi opened a branch also in China. “The various markets are very different,” explains Mr. Camurri. “It is quite exceptional that an Italian logistics company achieved so much export business, but this was possible thanks to the huge degree of trust gained with our customers across the world. We understand local market conditions and are able to deal effectively with the various requirements and regulations.”
Bomi Group was founded in 1985 by Dr. Giorgio Ruini, who is still the company president. The medical logistics service was then a new niche in the market, requiring highly specialized expertise. Healthcare logistic services, back then, were an innovation, because Bomi was the first to introduce highly specialized medical device expertise into the logistic sector.
Bomi was the first company offering this service in Italy, and it quickly expanded across Europe. In the 1990s the company began operating in the Brazilian market, where it is today the market leader. Stock market flotation in 2015 provided the capital for further development, and today Bomi has a presence in 15 countries and has recently gained a foothold in the Chinese market.
“Our service is consistent around the globe,” underlines Mr. Camurri. Competition in the logistics industry is intense; nevertheless, Mr. Camurri believes that Bomi offers some significant advantages. “The difference really is our focus,” he says. “We are devoted to only one market, the healthcare market, whereas many of our competitors are generalist logistics companies which do everything. Medical logistics is just one area for them and they don’t have the specialist knowledge and experience that we have. In addition, we are an international company and offer a worldwide service, which only the big firms can do, but, again, the majority are not specialists. We are therefore more flexible and try to develop a tailored strategy for each market where we enter. We listen to our customers. Our motto is ‘Intelligence first, delivery after, customer care always’.”
Since the flotation, investment has been a huge priority; the company is considering acquisitions to expand still further and is also investing in the transport operations area, in particular in new logistics models.
“We have some big projects which will result in significant growth both in our existing markets and also extending into new countries. We want to increase our international presence, in particular in the Asian market. There will of course be difficulties; a more open world would be wonderful, and politicians need to recognize this and better understand real life,” sums up the Managing Director who, even after 20 years, is constantly excited by the demands of the logistics industry.
“I love working on new projects,” he says. “This business give me a new challenge every day, and I have managed to solve many real conundrums along the way. I love the constant tension; we are the last step of the process before a product reaches its customer, and we constantly generate new ideas on how to achieve this efficiently and effectively.”