A perfect machine for the distribution of components and spare parts for household appliances and not only, a structure deeply rooted into the territory but able to conceive broad visions, due both to the attention to new markets and the constant enlargement of the product range treated: Atel extends its borders, granting quality and competence, in addition to a safe and timely service.
At the beginning only household appliances were the core activity, then the winning move of betting on the vending, finally the focus on professional machines for the Horeca ambit. The future of this story has not been written, yet, but when you start from a coherent course and so sound bases, we can just imagine it as rosy and successful. Coherence and quality of processes and products are the distinguishing traits of Atel, the company that since 1972 has constituted a fundamental link for the entire household appliance chain thanks to a widespread distribution of components and spare parts.
Since the early phases, the company has redefined the basic parameters of this activity. Not a simple “box mover”, but a protagonist able to confer added value of its offer, in particular through a diffused network of agents and distributors able to provide a valid technical-sales support and an adequate after sale service.
The core of each choice made by Atel are always customers and their requirements, clients with which to establish a stricter and stricter relationship, with which to share programmes, ideas and solutions.
The confirmation comes from Giulio Londero, Purchase Management of Atel Italia: “The direct contact with customers has always been one of our highlights. Only the constant dialogue with our customers allows us to understand the changes, the market trends and the possible improvements to be accomplished. For this reason, our sales managers often travel on the national and international territory for work transfers”.
Customers know they can rely on a warehouse taking up 5,000 square metres and a range of products that exceeds 20,000 references but also on a perfect logistic structure equipped with a radiofrequency pick-up and barcode system that allows the company to automate shipping processes and to manage whatever demand in optimal manner. Worth highlighting the website, too, constantly updated, reference point and precious tool that allows sending orders directly from the technical sheets of products.
A perfect machine
Besides the great customer care, a determinant role is played by the direct consolidated relationship with the major producers of items in the household sector, vending and professional coffee, for which Atel has become in time a reliable partner, today able to distribute very different products and items. An almost endless range, a quantity of handled components that obviously requires a perfect logistic, an integrated process tried and tested in all slightest details, a constant technological upgrading of its systems: “Each product is provided with its own barcode that contains in its inside all necessary data for its traceability in time. The logistic of each order, from the package to the container, is managed with the same modality, in order to optimize the rapidity and the operational precision”, Stefano Bernardinis, warehouse responsible, tells us.
Atel is a company rooted into the Friuli territory, with headquarters in Udine, few kilometres from the borders with Slovenia and eighty kilometres of motorway away from Austria. In the outskirts of the company, are located also the airports of Trieste and Venice and the respective naval harbours. Strategic infrastructures that allow it to exploit this position at best to serve perfectly all Europe and the Balkans in very short times. The system developed by Atel enables the company to ship in the lapse of one day in Italy and in no longer than one week in the rest of the world.
Astride export and after sale
The characteristic of rapidity is in the DNA of the company, which has always looked further and that today, through internal sales managers, area managers, distributors that collaborate with Atel and agents, succeeds in being present worldwide. In the internationalization ambit, however, Atel certainly does not stop at the achieved results, as underlines Carlo Cordovado, Foreign Sales Manager: “Atel has its centre of gravity in Europe, where we are well-known, as a reference partner, in the trade sectors that represent our core business. The business plans are also based on the will of following the course of an even stronger internationalization, identifying those geographical areas that are most interesting in terms of both sale potentialities and of macro-economic development trends. Our vision addresses especially the Countries of the Middle East area where, after various studies, we have realized the potentialities that some of these markets can offer and will be able to express for us. To reach these goals, we concentrate the business efforts on the constant improvement of the after sale service and we stake on the sales structure presence, active -with a sales network closer to customers- but also passive in the constant upgrading of computerized instruments”.
Precisely about the development of the after sale service and the importance it can have inside Atel’s overall activity, very interesting are the remarks by Alberto Emmi, Sales Manager Italia, who analyses thoroughly the company’s strategy: “Similarly to the foreign ambit, the sales organization focused on the domestic territory has aimed until now – and certainly will do the same in the future – at developing the after sales service. This has always been determinant in Atel’s growth, both concerning the professional coffee sector that involves roasters and, especially, regarding the Vending ambit, since every day we have to turn to big and small workshops for the automatic distribution management. In the change phase, or we should say evolution, particularly due to the mandatory certification of fees and the geolocalization of machines, Atel has played a primary role in the assistance and in the implementation of automatic vending machines. Moreover, it is worth underlining all the opportunities of reduction of fixed costs that our company could offer to the market with the creation of alternative products, often improving the functions, the duration and the reliability of products in their installations. Nowadays, in Italy, Atel is the primary reference company for the after sales, side by side with the sale agencies chosen on the territory by parent companies, with the customers’ acknowledgment resulting in the two-figure percentage growth of turnovers in the year in course, too”.
Efficiency, quality and versatility are the passwords of the entire process and concern each single phase. Starting from the complete product range, which includes both universal components and original products supplied by the primary sector manufacturers like Bosch, DeLonghi, AEG, Candy, Electrolux, just to mention some brands.
They go on relying on the utmost professionalism and competence of the skilled personnel, as confirms Londero “Each product sector is cared by a technician who, with the aid of parent companies’ technical designs and the experience consolidated in the sectors, allows providing a service able to satisfy customers’ requirements”.
A constant research carried out by Atel, backed by in-depth analysis skills and constantly availing itself of business intelligence computerized processes, essential instrument to undertake the right sales strategies, in addition to the fact of being a sound and balanced company that pursues calibrated financial and economic strategies: “Atel Italia relies on an extremely sound patrimonial and financial situation – explains us Stefano Mattei, Administrative Manager Atel Italia – fruit of the constant growth of incomes and the accurate financial management, where particular attention was paid to the credit risk management. Only in this way it was possible to grow, without turning to the indebtedness towards banks and financial institutes, ready to seize the eventual investment opportunities appearing on the market”.
Vending and Horeca, present and future
Atel was then established as trade company of spare parts for household appliances for domestic use but the business trend and the downturn of the household appliance market, and consequently of spare parts, oriented the company’s choices towards the vending segment and especially the bar world, with spare parts of professional coffee machines and the primary brands of glass washers and ice makers.
At the beginning the determining factor was undoubtedly the need of differentiating the business and of counterbalancing the turnover concerning household appliances but then the results attained in the vending, i.e. in the automatic distribution sector, that is to say the entire activity of sale and administration of food products and non, by means of automatic dispensers, were not fortuitous but the fruit of investments and strategic planning. As well as those achieved in the sector of spare parts for professional coffee machines that enrich a complete offer and open new horizons to the company.
The new customers of Atel are then the firms for the automatic distribution management, roasting enterprises and the workshops for the repair of professional coffee machines and household appliances. Partners that take care of the product quality but especially of the timeliness and the warranty offered by the service of replacement of components and spare parts, more and more frequent in contexts where the use of machines is customary.
“For this reason, too – explains Giulio Londero – we will invest even huger resources in these two sectors that have been highly satisfactory for us under all respects, letting us consolidate our ranking. Without forgetting, obviously, our leader role in the home appliance sector, in the divisions washing, cooking, refrigeration and small appliances”.