Ing. Bertolloti is typical of many of the SMEs that make up the Italian aerospace sector in its eagerness to collaborate with other companies and to extend business internationally.
Could you provide us with a brief history of the development of Ing. Bertolloti from its founding in 1949, including any recent key milestones?
The company was established by my grandfather and his siblings and shares strong links to Italy’s mechanical industry. Originally, the company worked on construction, before my father refocused activities on the industrial sector and the manufacturing of mechanical elements for specialist machine tools and automation. We have been working in the aerospace sector for the last 15 years, specifically on the mechanical construction of avionics and electronics. This now constitutes our core business and accounts for more than half of our turnover. The most important product we manufacture is the console structure, and our products are typically made of metal sheeting, aluminum and composites.
You also manufacture products for use in the military. Could you tell us more about the higher standards to which you are expected to adhere in order to serve this market?
A significant portion of our business comes from military contracts, but are not required to have specific certifications in this area because our direct clients are not military bodies. In the aeronautical space, all Leonardo suppliers are required to work to the company’s specific standards, which are in line with those of the Italian government. This certification needs to be renewed every three years.
What is the importance of being more of a partner than a vendor to your customers and how can you implement tailored solutions to suit customers’ individual needs?
Ing. Bertolotti uses several different technologies to produce parts. Many of these technologies are specific to machining avionics and we have certifications for these processes and operations. Without this, and our huge background of experience, clients would not choose to work with us. Thus, our history sets us apart as know-how is very instrumental. We strive to create a partnership relationship with our clients rather than a vendor-client relationship; however not all our clients are receptive to this and price often becomes the most important factor.
You are a member of TPA. What advantages does membership bring to SMEs such as Ing. Bertolotti?
We joined TPA recently, although we have been working with Leonardo-Finmeccanica for more than 10 years. Our reasoning behind joining TPA was to maintain and extend links with local aerospace companies in the Piedmont region and we would like to join consortiums and work with other companies in the future. Aerospace is very different from other industrial sectors, and therefore a company that is already working within the sector must have some know-how that other companies do not possess. It is important to connect with other companies in the industrial cluster to share knowledge.
Your products are used in 13 different countries. How much of a role does international business play to your overall operations?
We are not well established internationally as yet. We have definitely gained more exposure to international opportunities since joining TPA. Although for many years we had sufficient business from the regional market, which kept us at full working capacity, we now believe it is crucial to look at international markets because it can help us increase our business. Currently, we have occasional collaborations with international customers, and Ing. Bertolloti is looking for customers within Europe in not only the aerospace industry but other areas as well.
What can we expect from both the Italian aerospace industry and from Ing. Bertolloti in the coming years?
The market is changing rapidly, as Leonardo has made several changes in recent years and is going to continue making waves in the market. In terms of business, aerospace is one of the more important industries in Italy and I hope this continues to be the case in the coming years. Looking to the future, I hope that Italy becomes a focal point for European aerospace. For Ing. Bertolloti, our first target is to establish an international presence. While we are not aiming to become a large player in the market, we hope to enter diverse markets in Europe in a consolidated manner. We hope to continue growing in this sector and increasing our know-how and technological skills.