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A Century Old Tradition in the Distribution of Fastening Components

Just a neighborhood shop in the city center- this is how Berardi’s history of growth began.

One hundred years ago, the Italian company was  a small shop close to Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore. Today, it has become a giant in the distribution of fastening com-ponents. Four generations of Berardi’s have been building up the company for one century, never forgetting its core values. The tradition of attentive, tailor-made cus-tomer service continues to this day, even while the company faces new challenges with enthusiasm and ambition. After decades of constant, but moderate growth, the company really started soaring 12 years ago, with the opening of its first warehouse in Reggio Emilia. That was but the first of 16 branches, scattered along the Italian peninsula, and connected in real time with the headquarters in Castel Guelfo, Bolo-gna.

“95% of our turnover – explains CEO Giovanni Berardi – is made on the Italian mar-ket. Over the years, we have learned to follow the fast-changing trends of our sec-tor, constantly reinventing ourselves”. To comply with the ever-higher standards demanded by ‘Industry 4.0’, Berardi built a state-of-the-art quality control laborato-ry, fully equipped with cutting-edge measurement systems. 

Among Berardi’s flagship features we find integrated logistics services, in particular “Kanban and Kanban Up systems. We help our partners install these systems on their assembly and production lines, in order to make procurement processes au-tomatic, bypassing the costs of personnel involved. Kanban allows for remote moni-toring through a specially developed web portal and smartphone app”. There is more than just steel to a screw or bolt. “Bolts and rivets are perceived as cheap items – says Berardi – but they are the result of a complex process that produces many hidden costs. We want to cut these by making direct partnerships with pro-ducers, rather than distributors. Our main target is the manufacturing industry, where the typical client needs to have direct access to a reliable, punctual supplier, capable of developing tailor-made solutions to their needs”.

Going through Berardi’s 8000-entry address book, we notice relevant names such as Lamborghini (VW Group), SACMI, GD, IMA, Marchesini Group, and Bonfiglioli, just to name a few.
All company figures are growing, and with 3 acquisitions made over the last three years, the Berardi Group today counts over 260 employees, 150.000 item codes, over 3,5 billion pieces delivered every year, and a total turnover of 75 million euro.

Crucial to this growth is the widespread presence on Italian territory, “achieved thanks to many small depots, linked with the central warehouse, but closer to cli-ents. What’s more – continues the CEO – we have tried to expand the product range as much as possible within the area of small components, introducing springs, fit-tings, and plastic fasteners, among others. In this way, our clients can refer to Berardi as a single, 100% dedicated supplier”, and save on supplier management costs.

Speaking of future plans, the company is looking beyond Italian to continue its ex-pansion. With clients in over 60 countries worldwide, agents and sales offices in Eu-rope, and an affiliate company in Morocco (Berardi Maroc), export is indeed the fastest growing sales area for Berardi today.

 Gabriele Tassi, "il Resto del Carlino" of July 30, 2019