When in 1969 Gino Sollini sensed that the footwear world would appreciate a home delivery service that handed over everything needed for the production of shoes directly to the shoe factory, he invented a new distribution formula that over the years (well over 50 have passed) without doubt proved to be a winner. Today the concept of representative agent knocking at your door is taken for granted, at the time it was a revolution.
Thanks to this approach, were established relationships of deep trust with customers – says Icli Sollini, owner of the company based in Monte Urano who, together with his sister Paola, represents the third entrepreneurial generation. And still today cultivating trustworthy relationships with our interlocutors is a fundamental value to us. We consider ourselves a sort of partner for our interlocutors.
Has your work changed a lot in these 50 years?
“Of course, today we are no longer just suppliers, but almost consultants ready to solve customers’ production problems, given our deep knowledge of footwear and of what the market offers in terms of components and accessories”.
What are the most interesting changes you have made to your way of working during these years?
“We have tried to distinguish ourselves from our competitors by focusing on technological innovation (automated storage and logistics with barcodes, just to give a couple of examples) and, above all, we have tried in every way to be as close as possible to the customer. In fact, since the 1970s, we have activated branches and offices outside the headquarters. Up to the first foreign office in Portugal in 1993, followed by Romania and Albania this year. There are of course partners/distributors in Europe, especially in Eastern Europe”.
Which are the products you propose?
“Let’s first say what we don’t sell. We do not treat leather and everything related to shoe bottoms. Apart from these two fields we cover every material, shoe component and accessory”.
What are your strengths?
“Having a very large number of customers allows us to understand which products are most interesting for the market, providing us with valuable information to advise our partners. Furthermore, having a vast catalogue and since we do not request a minimum order but invoice value, we represent an advantage for all those who need to launch new lines. But also for big brands that delocalise and struggle to manage the supply of raw materials preferring instead to entrust it to us ”.
How would you define yourself after 50 years of presence in the sector?
“Our old slogan defines us well: ‘Your every wish is my command’. It frames well our work that does not consist in selling a product, but a service. Thanks to us, shoe factories can unburden themselves from the logistic management of raw materials, they do not have to worry about inventories and can do without a warehouse of products”.