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Unity and diversity: a route to success in metalwork

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Mr. Omri founded Omi-Fer in 2009, following a number of years as an independent craftsman, specializing in welding and metal carpentry. “The beginning was a real baptism of fire,” he says. “In 2009, the financial crisis really took hold and we had to take on work in many different directions. During this time, we managed to secure many important cooperations.”

Diversity has become the mainstay of the company’s operations, and its services today span four disciplines: welding, carpentry, assembly and maintenance.

The welding division uses a range of state-of-the-art technologies on all types of ferrous and non-ferrous metals in the form of pipes, sheets and worked mechanical parts. The industrial carpentry teams produce both customized and series products, and perform metal calendering to create conical and cylindrical shapes for a wide range of uses.

Omi-Fer’s assembly division specializes in the construction and assembly of metal support structures, canopies and metal shelters for industrial buildings, production lines, ovens and industrial machinery, stairs and mezzanines, and many other structures. The fourth division focuses on the maintenance of industrial plants, in particular in the iron and steel industry.

“In 2015, we manufactured the entire metal structure for an airport in the Cape Verde Islands,” illustrates Mr. Omri. “We also worked on the Orly airport expansion in 2016, and we have also been involved in numerous bridge construction projects. On the maintenance side, we undertake the entire maintenance process for, for instance, the huge press installations used by foundries. We design and manufacture substructures of all kinds, industrial furnaces, and waste cages for the steel industry, as well as nitrogen tanks, and pressure tanks for boiler man ufacturers.”

Omi-Fer’s expertise is clearly evident. Customers receive individual advice and recommendations for their projects, and the company’s technicians attend all deliveries to check that everything is in order.

Around 40% of Omi-Fer’s turnover is generated through exports to the US, the Middle East and Africa; the company has undertaken important projects in Tunisia, Algeria, and Egypt, and is forging connections in Libya. Over recent years, Omi-Fer has achieved annual growth of around 35% – from 13.7 million EUR in 2017 to 16 million EUR in 2018 – and this was recognized in May 2019, when the company won the Le Fonti Award for Growth and Innovation.

Taha Omri is Founder and Owner of Omi-Fer
I always tell the team that the firm is really theirs; I am only here to lead the company. Taha OmriFounder and Owner

Mr. Omri, who is Tunisian, has also received recognition from the Tunisian embassy in Italy for his work in trade relations. Currently located in 5,400 m² premises in Cazzago S. Martino in Brescia in northern Italy, the company is looking to expand its premises through the acquisition of neighbouring land. “We have a lot of work and, at the moment, have to work with partners because we don’t have enough space,” Mr. Omri points out.

More work than the facilities can cope with seems a good problem to have. Mr. Omri mainly accredits this success to one key thing – his team. “The team works together,” he emphasizes. “They feel at home here and work with passion and commitment. I always tell them that the firm is really theirs; I am only here to lead the company. We have a lot of young people who we train; it takes two to three years to fully integrate them into the organization. It is difficult to find people, so we are trying to create a training center. In this region, a lot of this kind of work is done by Eastern Europeans and Africans; we are trying to attract young Italians to the industry as well.”

Mr. Omri is a firm believer in creating a positive working culture, and he has succeeded in creating a real family environment in a company which employs 400 staff from 30 or so different cultures. “Our unity is our strength,” he reiterates. “What really counts is how you treat your employees. I am always present here in the company and am a reference point for the team. We are like a small village. I am very happy with what we have created here.”

Investment in its people through training and skills development, and investment in technical research and development has enabled Omi-Fer to become a leader across a range of disciplines in a market in which the competition generally specializes in one particular area.

“We have differentiated ourselves through diversity,” Mr. Omri underlines. “We have developed tremendous knowledge and know-how across all of our areas of business, and whatever customers need, we are in a position to help them. My goal now is to expand our international activities; nevertheless I am very satisfied with where we are today.”

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