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Turning nice into stunning with ceramics

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“Mr. Bellei founded a number of companies in the 1960s which are still in the market today,” explains CEO Marco Vaschieri. “However, he wanted to create something where he had complete autonomy to use his experience and further develop his love of ceramics.”

What Mr. Bellei created in NovaBell was a manufacturer of quality ceramic tiles which are both practical and striking. 90% of its product range is for floors, mostly indoors, although NovaBell produces a number of collections for outdoor use too. The company manufactures a broad range of tile formats, from the traditional 60 x 60 cm and 30 x 60 cm, considered medium sized, to the new, larger formats of 80 x 80 cm, 60 x 120 cm and 80 x 160 cm.

“Our products  are in the medium to high-quality  segment,” says Mr. Vaschieri. “I believe we have reached a high level both aesthetically and technically in terms of product range and production techniques. Our tiles meet the requirements of a broad clientele. We have colours and formats to suit every situation.”

While NovaBell is the main brand, a new brand, Abita, was introduced five years ago with the aim of reaching a different client segment. The Abita range is narrower and less articulated in comparison to NovaBell. Nevertheless, quality and service are key to the success of both the NovaBell and Abita brands.

“We use prime materials and very advanced technology,” underlines Mr. Vaschieri. “We are now implementing Industry 4.0, which for us means efficient productivity and quality control. Three characteristics assure our strong ranking in the market: know-how, technology and quality.”

Marble and wood-effect tiles, the Imperial and My Space lines, respectively, are amongst the best sellers, and the company recently presented six new collections at the Cersaie ceramics exhibition in Bologna. “We follow market trends but not fashion,” Mr. Vaschieri adds.

When Mr. Bellei acquired the somewhat old-fashioned firm back in 1988, he immediately modernized it, resulting in significant improvements in production efficiency and product quality. He followed a philosophy of prudence and constant growth – gradual evolution, always making sure the timing was right.

Although Mr. Bellei died in 2010, his three daughters are equally passionate about what he created at NovaBell, and they continue to invest in the company, assuring its long-term future. “We have invested in new ovens and pressing plants,” the CEO points out. “By 2018, we will have three cutting and adjustment lines. We were the first company to use a dry cutting system for pavement materials. We have also invested in a very advanced logistics system, developed together with an external software companye.”

88% of NovaBell’s 52.5 million EUR turnover is generated through exports, 67% of which are within Europe, the remainder to North America, Asia Pacific and Africa. “European markets are our focus, in particular France and Germany, which are stable and professional markets,” says Mr. Vaschieri.

In Europe, NovaBell sells its products through wholesalers, while in North America, it uses distributors. Company culture plays a critical role in NovaBell’s success. “We have created a harmonious working environment, which means that employees are committed. This is critical for quality and service, and our client relationships,” notes Mr. Vaschieri. “I believe that honesty and reliability are the key to success, and our clients really appreciate this. We try to sell the company in its entirety, not just the product.”

The financial crisis of 2008 threw the ceramics industry into disarray. Mr. Vaschieri describes the market today as effervescent. “We try to optimize the ‘made in Italy’ label,” he says. Our goal is to build on the progress we have made over recent years and increase our market share. Important for us is that the company remains the master of its own destiny.”

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