UDIB (Unione Distributori Italiani Bulloneria, i.e. Italian Fasteners Distributor Association) is an association of Italian companies specialized in the distribution of fasteners founded in 1976. The purpose of the Association is to regulate and standardize the relations among fastener distributors and between national and international manufacturers. The Association is made up of natural persons, sole proprietorships, and commercial companies whose main activity and specialization is the distribution of fasteners (nuts, bolts and similar items). UDIB aims at promoting relations among the members and providing technical and regulatory support, thereby solving the problems encountered by the companies of this sector in a unified manner.
The most important Italian fastener market is the automotive one. Surely this market is leading the turnover of the Italian but also of all the European manufacturers. During this last year, the volume has been growing sensibly and this is helping the Italian economy to exit from the long-lasting period of crises. Furthermore, this market is difficult to be attacked by foreign competitors as it prefers safe parts at higher prices to risky items at cheaper prices. This characteristic has saved the Italian producers from the external attacks more than the antidumping duty application.
For this reason, we suggest our associates should improve their technical knowledge and always spread their capacity to more specialized fields. The low-price fastener market is not for an Italian business anymore, because there are always more Eastern companies that have directly taken that space. These improvements are giving to the Italian manufacturers and distributors the possibility to spread their sales to those markets that are directly connected to the European productive platforms. Frequently achieving the supplying of one item that is fixed on an Italian or European car means automatically having incoming requests from many different countries where there is also demand for the same item. Niches in a global market are gradually disappearing one after the other, leaving space to improvements and attitude. The real challenge is to be ready and present as a small company in a local market giving the service that only big organizations can grant: the power of the global together to the presence of the local, we are going into a "GLOCAL" fastener market.
Surely the Volkswagen scandal has stopped the expectations of our whole market that was just waiting to be once again recognized as the only world leader, but I think that this problem, together with the lower expected increase in Chinese economy, will not block the market so strongly, as it is still pushed by a positive economic period after so many dark and difficult years in a row. It is also a matter of figures: the Italian economy has passed through 9 crises and decreasing years, even for the more pessimistic manager, this period MUST be balanced with an opposite sign!
So for the next 2016 year, I expect to see growing turnovers for almost all our associates and generally for all the Italian fastener players. I suggest my colleagues should try to connect each other, possibly sharing their positive attitudes with the aim of better catching this growing "high speed train" that can really make the difference in market positioning in the next 5 years. So I'd like to end this interview with this sentence for the next 2016: Share Globally, Invest Locally, and Prepare to Grow, in two words "GLOCAL GROWING".