With regard to its main strategic axes, Intercos perfectly played its cards. On one hand, the group’s aim was to localize production in the dynamic US and Chinese markets, and to use them as a springboard for growth, in particular in the make-up segment. On the other hand, European facilities, and especially the group’s headquarters in Italy, were asked to focus on know-how, development and innovation.
In 2008, these achievements are translated in a significant increase in the surface of the group’s manufacturing facility in the USA, which should double its size from 12,000 sqm to 25,000 sqm. They are also translated in the opening, in Milan (Italy), of a real “cosmetic technological centre”, within the new headquarters of the company that are currently under construction. “Europe stays and shall stay the world’s centre for innovation,” Dario Ferrari insists. These investments are in the wake of those realised in 2007, in particular, the opening of the Intercos’ second manufacturing facility in China on surface of 35,000 sqm. “We spent almost EUR 23 million in China in just two years”, Dario Ferrari says.
The acquisition of CRB and Interfila greatly contributed to position Intercos as a global leader. According to Dario Ferrari “It is clear that the integration of Interfila in our group opened us the doors of plastic injection, with the multiple possibilities that can offer wood or plastic pens.”
Its size and level of diversification allow the family-owned Italian group to develop a strategy where “full-service” is fully integrated and where packaging plays a significant role. “However added value is not concentrated in full-service nor in packaging but in the products’ formulae and in the constant creativity of marketing and development teams” Dario Ferrari insists.
A new organization by Business Units
With an average growth rate of 13% per year, and such a high level of industrial investments, it’s no surprise if the group’s organization needed to evolve. It will be done next September with the setup of market-oriented Business Units (Strategic Marketing and Product Marketing), internal working groups focused on trends (Trend Group), on design (Design & Style), operational marketing, customer care and, of course, packaging. “I do not believe in the efficacy of vertical organisation anymore: it’s heavy and not flexible! On the contrary, we need permanent innovation and ability to anticipate customers’ needs, mainly through quick answers!” Dario Ferrari continues. A buzz word that form the heart of Intercos’ philosophy: “Time to Market!”. “Because globalisation changed the rules of our business. Today, the life span of a product hardly exceeds two or three years,” concludes Mr Ferrari.