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Defying digitalization


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Fedrigoni is a global supplier of fine papers. Headquartered in Verona, Italy, the company has international operations across Europe as well as in the Americas, Hong Kong and Shanghai. The product range comprises of highvalue- added papers for security applications, including banknotes and security documents, papers for luxury packaging, graphic design and printing, art, schools and offices, self-adhesive papers for labelling applications, and stationery products.

Fedrigoni is Europe’s leading supplier of special graphic papers and the only producer in Italy of security banknote papers accredited by the European Central Bank. Founded in 1888, the group is exceptionally rich in tradition. Today, it has more than 2,700 employees, 13 manufacturing plants in Europe and South America, customers in over 110 countries all over the world and revenues in excess of one billion EUR.

Fedrigoni’s operation in Oberhaching, south of Munich, was set up in 1987. “We are the group’s oldestestablished subsidiary company – Germany is still the dominant market for fine papers in Europe,” says Director Marcus Lange. Until this year, the group was owned by five generations of the Fedrigoni family. “In April, the private equity firm Bain Capital acquired a majority share in Fedrigoni, but the family is still involved,” explains Mr. Lange.

In 2007, Fedrigoni discontinued its cooperation with trading groups and switched to marketing its products directly to its customers: central banks, luxury goods businesses, packaging manufacturers, publishing houses, bookbinders, (digital) printing firms, advertising agencies and many other clients valuing high-quality, finely processed papers with individual features.

“Changing over to direct marketing has resulted in significant growth for us, despite a generally declining market for paper products,” states Mr. Lange. “We are the only producer of specialty papers marketing its products directly.” In addition to direct marketing, Fedrigoni owes its sustained expansion to a number of showrooms which the company has installed in recent years. “We have showrooms in Berlin, Munich, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Vienna and Prague,” explains Mr. Lange.

“The showrooms enable us to keep in close touch with our customers.” The new distribution system combining direct marketing and showrooms has developed so successfully that it has been copied by Fedrigoni Germany’s sister companies throughout Europe. Fedrigoni Germany is responsible for five European markets: Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia.

“We are thinking about developing neighbouring countries, too,” says Mr. Lange. Fedrigoni focuses on individually customized, sustainable products in all corporate colours required by the customer, and continuous availability.

“We are the only producer offering delivery at very short notice, a large product assortment which includes over 13,000 individual papers, and very competitive prices through direct selling.” The sustained success of Fedrigoni is reflected by the various design prizes which the company has repeatedly been awarded. The latest distinction is the German Design Award which Fedrigoni received in February this year for its crossmedia Card Nature & Highline campaign, which uniquely combines the finest, white paperboard with the theme of snow and winter sports.

A while ago, Fedrigoni was honoured with several coveted awards, including the Red Dot and the Cannes Lion, for its Paper Skin project in cooperation with Leica. “We developed a high-quality paper skin for the Leica X2 special camera edition to replace the leather which had been used until then,” explains Mr. Lange. “According to independent tests, the paper was superior to the leather in every respect.”