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Close to the customer in devising the best solution

Silvio Valesi, manager of the sales team confirms the market's great interest in the more innovative products. 

“Storci plans to become a prime mover in this market. The promotion of our ready-to-serve lines and instant pasta lines is stepping up, not only in Italy – which is still our reference market – but also in other countries such as the United States, France and Great Britain where the consumption of ready meals is part of the normal lifestyle.

Ready meals offer and instant pasta: an opportunity not to be missed. The modern day lifestyle tends to continually reduce the amount of time dedicated to lunch as a moment of socialization to the advantage of other interests. Ready meals are becoming increasingly more widespread thanks to the advantages they provide, such as time saving and convenience. Undoubtedly the general economic trend over the last year has curbed the growth in consumption but this is a tendency that may be slowed down – but certainly not stopped.”

Lasagna is the most popular ready meal, not only in Italy but throughout the entire world. For this product, Storci has reconfirmed its flair for innovation by designing technical solutions for producing ready-to-serve lasagna partially and totally automated also as regards sauce dispensing and tray packaging. “This demonstrates the capacity of the company to achieve a leading role, offering innovative solutions that are state of the art in terms of operational performance and cost-effectiveness.”

The Maghreb market and couscous

How difficult is it to penetrate this market and how does Storci respond to these difficulties? We are discussing this with Storci sales contact, Giovanni Strinati:

“Our main difficulty in the past was due to the extremely tough competition, which practically monopolized the market. Over time and adopting a winning strategy, we continued to improve our lines, and the quality of our product eventually prevailed over the others; the long list of satisfied references attests to this.”

Storci produces couscous lines with outputs of 500 kg/h, while Fava produces lines with outputs from 1,200 to 3,000 kg/h: Storci produces the front-of-line assembly for these lines.

“The partnership with Fava is of paramount importance for us, as this company is a leader in the sector and explored these markets before us. For couscous we can produce the particle size required by the customer thanks to a specific choice of sieves, that produce fine, medium and coarse couscous; we have Premix®, the exclusive Storci system that guarantees the quality of the product (which appears intensely yellow) and better firmness to the bite when cooked; we use conveyor belts which, no longer being made of steel, no longer create the problem of the product presenting black and burned grains that stick to the belt and become incorporated in the final product.”

How does the future look for Storci in this market? Still in expansion? “We have a superb past record, with a considerable number of lines sold throughout the world. With several lines recently sold – somone of which are still in the installation phase – and negotiations presently underway for another four lines.

We hope that this phase of expansion will continue, and we have every reason to believe that it will. Of course, with a President like Anzio Storci, who has always believed in the couscous lines and who loves to deal personally with all our customers, I am sure that the drive and enthusiasm always to do better will certainly not be lacking.

We are our own advertisement – our products speak for us.”

Challenges and opportunities in the new market of the ex-Soviet Union

Irene Grandi, sales area manager for Soviet Union area, illustrates Storci’s approach to this market.

“The market of the ex-Soviet Union has become more and more important and strategic for Italian companies in recent years. There is a lot of room for creativity and professional know-how of the Italian companies which are famous for their ability to guarantee high technology and excellent customer service.”

The main difficulties encountered in such a particular context?
 “As you can imagine, success does not come easily or immediately, both because the market is so vast and also because of the different socio-economic contexts and cultural traditions. Storci approached this scenario demonstrating the maximum willingness to interpret the vast and widely divergent demand in specific terms, so as to deal with it in a targeted and selective manner. We are not just talking about the Russian market, you know: there are also Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.”

What do these countries demand: Are there any particular pasta types?
“Storci has focused on the segment of the market most suited to its potential, investing human and financial resources to refine its product offering. In Russia, the demand for dry pasta is growing and becoming increasingly significant. In first place, however, when it comes to consumption in this country, fresh pasta, and in particular the “pelmeno” (filled pasta similar to our cappelletti), has always been a main dish in the age-old Russian tradition.
In Kazakhstan, on the other hand, the main production is based on a very fine lasagna dish called “besbarmati lapshi”, that is an important Kazakh tradition; but the demand for dry pasta is on the rise here too.”

Who is your typical client? “Lately we have been cooperating with top level enterprises. What is of the utmost importance for us, in these countries, is to get a feel for the area and refine our knowledge of the entire “pasta” chain, starting from production through to distribution of the product, also learning about the structure of the local large distribution chains.”

What are Storci’s prospects? “Our strategy is to consolidate our relations with the clientele in these countries, and establish our presence on a permanent basis on that market.”


Always avant-garde technology

Alberto ServentiThe team which makes up Storci Research & Development is headed by Alberto Serventi, recently invested with the title Maestro del Lavoro (Master of Labour), who has been working alongside Anzio Storci since 1986.
His passion for pasta and for the Storci company is well consolidated, resulting in his being appointed to run this important research team within the company.

The team he heads is made up of another four colleagues: one of whom is in charge of operational management of the testing rooms/laboratories available on company premises, while the other three take care of technical aspects and new projects. The team examines and develops new ideas conceived within the company itself and/or special requests which may be made by new or potential customers, mainly concerning (but not limited to) the world of pasta.

The procedure followed is well structured: first of all the idea or request is analyzed to assess, at least theoretically, its feasibility. If the project appears feasible the concept is studied further and small prototypes are built so that production tests can be carried out making use of the machinery available in the laboratory. There is the real opportunity to recreate the entire production cycle, including heat treatment and drying, and then finally evaluate the possibilities of actually being able to market the new machines.

Meetings are held to gather everyone’s ideas in order to develop them and this often involves colleagues working in other company realities to make the most of the know-how we have built up over the years as a result of important working experiences.



When people and organization make the difference

“In a team, the players are the ones who enter the field, but they also need a good coach in order to be able to achieve the set objectives.”

The words of Pietro Ravanetti, Storci’s production manager, leave no room for doubt as regards the importance of organization and team work.

From the moment in which the order is placed, until the moment in which it is delivered, a series of contacts, evaluations and meetings are arranged in which the strategy to be implemented is decided, depending on the type of product involved.
And in this context, only one key word counts: people.

“For us, motivating people is of paramount importance. When we receive an order from a customer, everyone feels 100% involved in the project. Colleagues are involved and informed and, even more important, they are listened to; everything is monitored through a series of reports that enable us to understand whether we are achieving the objective.”

In this regard, Roberto Amadei, manager of the Storci workshop adds: “For us, it is vital to have harmony and dialogue between the various departments: this is obtained by keeping good interpersonal relations, gratifying those who work with you and, first and foremost, by always thanking them for their commitment and loyalty.”

Pietro Ravanetti agrees and adds: “We are lucky. Both in the production departments and in the offices, we have a fine network of collaborators. People with experience, a sense of responsibility and devotion to the company and its clientele, people that you know you can count on and who are aware of the fact that before taking a decision and adopting a new strategy or a new tool, it is vital to see, touch, test and test again.” And that’s not all: “I am often asked how important innovation and technology are in the engineering sector. I think that they are important in order always to keep abreast of the times, but they do not produce results without good personnel. People are the essential element in the entire production process, along with the drive to achieve a result that is better than the means employed to achieve it.”

Roberto Amadei concludes: “Exactly. A company made of people. A company that bears the mark of its founder and President, Anzio Storci. He is our great teacher and inspiring force.”

Its considerable experience and technological research in the design of systems for the production of pasta have enabled Storci to create a first-rate technical and technological staff which, guided by its President, Anzio Storci, and its Vice-Presidents Michele and Simone Storci, provides a benchmark for all producers of flour-based foods.  Today, Storci when faced with requests from its customers to develop not only systems but also products, has a specialized network at its disposal, able to deal with all the requirements.


A customized direct line with the client

Customer Service has always been a strategic element for Storci, and an important reference for the client.

The team is structured in a dynamic, functional way, with experience and professional skill as its guiding principles.
Response to the client’s problems is always rapid, certain and substantial.

Storci’s technicians are ready to take action promptly in case of line stoppage or any other problems of particular severity. Technical service by phone is always guaranteed for minor problems.

Active training is another important feature of our Customer Service: the client is assisted step by step after installation, and placed in the position to manage the installation from that point on independently.

“Working in the most professional way, with skill and competence, is our mission” says Simone Franchi, Storci’s Customer Service Manager “The client needs to be followed up, instructed where necessary, and his requests have to be satisfied, from the smallest to the most complex and difficult.”

The feedback this team receives every day demonstrates that our businesslike, competent approach is greatly appreciated. It is an expanding sector in which we always have to provide the maximum, considering that customer satisfaction is our absolute priority.