Recently, Phaba Italy joined the Webpackaging community in order to bolster online marketing efforts and increase their name recognition internationally. Phaba's CEO, Walter Maria Cecchini, was kind enough to dedicate some time to us this week in order to share his vision of the firm and the market changes that are driving Phaba's latest efforts. According to Walter, his goal is to "foster innovation without losing sight of genuine high quality production", something for which Phaba is internationally known.
Thanks for meeting with us, Walter. What does Phaba do and what do you think makes your company special?
Phaba is a firm that was established just over 30 years ago. Our headquarters are located in Burago Molgora, just east of Milan, in the north of Italy. Over the years, the company has become an industry reference with regard to the manufacturing of plastic packaging for the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and dietary sectors, not just in Italy but all over the world. As a company that offers products fully "Made in Italy", Phaba is heavily focused on research and innovation as a technological and strategic partner, and is able to develop new products that follow modern market trends and very specific customer needs. We say that our motto is, “Phaba: the best way to shape your ideas”!
As CEO, what are your particular goals for Phaba?
My mission is to make Phaba develop, grow, and increase its business all over the world, investing in new technologies and people. We always seek to expand our know-how, exploring different market sectors. The packaging industry is very diversified, but one of my primary goals is to foster innovation, paying particular attention to improving our quality standards. Thanks to my strong experience in the plastic printing industry, I have been able to start a rationalization process, in order to transform Phaba into a well organized factory, following the latest industrial requirements in terms of production flow path and synergy between departments. I’m very proud to say we are on track, resulting in improving production capabilities in terms of units delivered per month and in quality.
What sort of companies does Phaba service?
Our main customers, those that have been with us for over 20 years, are leading multinational corporations in the pharmaceutical and dietary fields, located in Italy and all over the world.
Has Phaba undergone any changes over the last decade or so?
One of our main goals at Phaba is to remain current. For this reason, over the past decade we've begun to implement a strict renovation cycle for our machines and equipment, exchanging the obsolete ones for newer models. This has allowed us to move forward, we've developed completely new packaging solutions and achieved patents, in fact.
Then Phaba places a lot of value on new technology. What about research and development?
Over the last few years, Phaba has invested strongly in R&D, with specific activities directed to the planning of new items and to the development of process technologies. Our technical department (which is made up of highly qualified engineers), constantly takes part in professional courses and specialized seminars in plastic molding, to keep current and learn about all the possibilities available in this sector.
Basically, we engage in three specific R&D areas.
First, in raw materials. Our engineers perform tests and studies on the properties and features of raw materials, to understand their specific application and to be able to offer the right materials for every customer project, even if it's not a standard one.
Second, with regard to new items requested by customers, we collaborate with trusted professional engineering companies when the project requires a new mould. Phaba has maintained consolidated partnerships with such firms for many years.
Third, we actively research process technologies. We review detailed studies on new available technologies, projects, and the development of automated machinery, with special attention given to energy saving. These are just some of the actions taken by Phaba to improve quality and productivity.
You have to understand, one of our primary goals currently is to increase our level of factory automation, in order to reduce a customer's time to market and to improve the quality of our products. Our R&D projects, which are developed by our qualified, expert staff, react to the evolution in market requirements, bringing Phaba to a better level of competitiveness and innovation.
That's a lot going on, then! How are things working out for the firm?
Nowadays, Phaba's revenue is growing, thanks to the consolidation of our main product lines, such as caps with silica gel, micro-enema kits, spoons and measuring cups, dispensers for sweetener tablets, and the like. We have increased our production capacities by acquiring new machineries, which has given us the ability to deliver higher volume orders to more customers, many of whom are new ones.
Surely everything isn't perfect. What challenges does Phaba currently face?
The competition in our sector is very high. There are many companies producing plastic packaging in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic fields, in Italy and all over the world. What we want to do is implement a different business approach. We want to move away from the normal price-driven, buyer/seller attitude in order to become a trusted technological partner, working together with our customers and identifying the exact right technical solutions for them with the ultimate goal of assuring mutual and lasting success in our joint endeavour.
Now you're also investing in marketing and online exposure, such as your Webpackaging membership. What do you hope to accomplish with it?
At Phaba, we think that a comprehensive and effective marketing strategy is crucial to the growth of our business. For this reason, we have decided to develop a new web site (www.phaba.it), following the latest digital trends, and to be part of the Webpackaging community. Our goal is to get more visibility within our specific market segment. Webpackaging is an extension of our site, a digital show-room that can help us to improve our visibility all around the world, giving us the ability to reach all those customers who don't yet know that Phaba is the right partner that can provide the solutions to their primary packaging needs.