A success story and challenges for the future: interview with CEO Ciro Correggi.
During this time of major economic and social upheaval, we wanted to chat with our CEO, Ciro Correggi, to understand how the market is evolving and what challenges Dieci must face in the coming years.
Your adventure with Dieci S.r.l. began in 1997. What prompted you to take over this company?
That’s right, together with the Manghi family, we acquired F.lli Dieci, which was subsequently renamed Dieci, on 1 September 1997. For some months already, there had been talk of us getting involved in the business.
In the 1980s, F.lli Dieci was renowned throughout Italy, sponsored the Cesena football team in Serie A and also advertised in Formula 1. It was a company that took great care of its image.
When we said yes, the company had 48 employees on its books, of whom only 14 worked in production. We had to build a new team and slowly restored the company’s stature, not only nationally but also internationally; today Dieci employs around 500 people worldwide.
We can safely say that it was a successful operation.
What do you think were the strengths needed for the company to grow?
The product. Telescopic handlers are exceptional vehicles that are in great demand on the market. Once we acquired the company, we had to work hard to make up for lost time: we renewed the entire range, proposing models that were competitive and in line with what the market was asking for.
Strengthened by the product, we participated in every trade show that came along, created a sales network and opened three sales subsidiaries in the UK, France and Germany.
Today, 85% of our turnover comes from abroad, an extraordinary result that is down to constant work: we are present throughout Europe, the United States, Canada, the Middle East, South Africa, Australia, South America and Russia.
And for the future? What are the assets you need to focus on to continue growing?
Even discounting the pandemic, trade shows have been losing their appeal for some years now. They have been very useful and we continue to do them, but they don’t provide the same economic returns as they did in our early years.
However, in my opinion, people remain the decisive factor that makes the difference: those who want to buy something tell people about it!
One interesting approach that has reaped excellent rewards is inviting prospective customers to visit the company: when they see the product, our premises and talk to our managers, we can overcome any indecision. Before the pandemic we had visitors every week. Soon we hope to be able to travel and meet safely again.
Let’s talk about sectors: construction and agriculture have always been the driving sectors, how is the situation currently?
Agriculture is a very stable sector. Here too, however, we are witnessing some changes: small family-run farms are disappearing. We deal more and more with large entrepreneurs heading up huge companies that need increasingly larger vehicles, of all types and for all “tastes”.
For example, there are companies with thousands of cattle that produce many types of cheese every day. These companies use different vehicles and can also use them to their full potential, precisely because of the amount of work they manage.
Construction, on the other hand, is not so stable. Just remember what happened in 2009 [Editor’s note: following the 2008 financial crisis, from 2009 to 2017 the construction sector shed around 500,000 jobs in Italy and 3.4 million throughout Europe]. When it works, though, it is an important sector that can absorb a large number of vehicles.
As far as the vehicles and their characteristics are concerned, what is the difference between these two sectors?
People who work in agriculture spend many hours in their vehicle every day, so a high level of comfort is essential.
For these needs we created the Giugiaro Design cab, which is designed for the well-being and comfort of workers. [Editor’s note: the numerous features of this cab include: more legroom, excellent thermal and sound insulation, heated seat, a whole-cab cushioning system and an air conditioning system that optimises air distribution.]
In construction, on the other hand, the needs of operators are different, insofar as the vehicle is used by more people and their requirements are primarily to do with safety, ease of use and reliability.
Do you see any other sectors that could be important for the development of Dieci?
An infinite number, which we aren’t yet familiar with and need to explore, for example mining.
Telehandlers are multi-functional vehicles that can be used for extremely diverse activities, so there are still many sectors in which we could grow.
Let’s go back to the strengths of our product: what sets us apart from the competition?
Our strengths are our range (which is very extensive) and quality: the best components around. Our vehicles are made with the best that the market has to offer.
Our design and production capacity depends on a team of capable and competent people. As a company founded in 1963, we can count on our remarkable history and experience.
Quality, research, eco-sustainability and customer care are our other success factors, which we pay close attention to: engines compliant with anti-pollution standards, advanced safety systems, and the speed and expertise of our customer support centres.
Among the strengths, you highlighted research: what direction is this taking at the moment?
Always towards the range. Expanding the range means covering the needs of an increasingly broader target audience. For example, in countries like Italy, which has ancient and historic urban centres, it is important to also offer models with small dimensions. At the moment we are producing a telehandler that is only 1.5 metres wide, very agile and compact.
Another major focus is safety. Thanks to electronics, these vehicles are increasingly safer for operators, it’s something that we are constantly researching.
We’d like to thank Mr Correggi and conclude by quoting a phrase that struck a chord with us: it’s people who make the difference. In the age of technology and artificial intelligence, this continues to be the decisive factor for a company’s success and customer satisfaction; we believe it, and it shows in what we say, write and do!
We are the commitment that we make
Every day our engineers, designers and experts are on hand to support our customers and help them identify the best technological solution in terms of productivity, reliability, sustainability and costs.