A recent study on 120 artisan SMEs of excellence - conducted by the Bocconi University, Cologni Foundation Mestieri d'arte and Vacheron Constantin, and published by the Italian daily Corriere della Sera - has spotlighted the "secrets" for their great performances on the market and as catalyst of national economy.
Firstly, Italian SMEs are very small. In fact, 86% has less than 10 employees and 54% is made up by one person only. This simple structure allows a greater control and care for the single products, based on quality.
Furthermore, the generational transmission of the business is a key-element. Companies launched by a person are usually carried on by the children and the grandchildren, giving continuity to the "name" and everything associated with it. As pointed out by Maurizio di Robiliant (President of the Foundation "Italy Homeland of Beauty"), two excellent features are common among family businesses, i.e. "a long-term vision of goals and shared interests and values".
The study will be 400 pages long, focusing on the best Italian artisans, ranging from jewellers to potters, from nativity scenes makers to tailors. Moreover, by visiting the website www.italia-sumisura.it it is possible to know 300 more historical small shops as well as to explore the Italian production districts of excellence.
The document also points out the prices of the items. Obviously, artisans' works of excellence are much more expensive than "normal products" found on the market. In fact, high quality items are addressed to specific buyers, more interested in the performances and attributes of the object rather than the price.
An example of made-in-Italy excellence in the company Moroso. Based in Cavalicco (Udine), they make sofas since 1952. Still today, the 85-year old founder - born as upholsterer - checks that everything is all right together with the brother-in-law, who still builds the sofas prototypes with chisel and a small hammer.