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Customisation and reliability: Roen Est’s new DNA

Interview with Paola Spagnolo, Operations Manager.

Paola Spagnolo has been working in Roen Est since 2014: since 2015 she has been in charge of operations management and is part of the board, with specific responsibility for safety and the environment.

Can you tell us more about your role in the company?
I manage Roen Group’s industrial side and supply chain, both for the facilities in Italy, at Ronchi dei Legionari and in Slovakia, at Nove Mesto. Apart from technical development and product design, I am responsible for the entire industrial process of order management, from production to the shipping of finished products to customers. This means organising resources (techniques, materials and personnel) in order to ensure delivery within the times and specifications requested by the customer.

Do you also oversee the company’s “technical resources”?
Of course: in addition to planning, purchasing, production, and logistics, it is also crucial to govern the technological setup, not only as regards production, but also to sustain the company’s development with a targeted investment budget.

Has your work changed in these years?
I come from a multinational company and so I am used to working in complex environments. Over the years I have developed an approach that can shape the principles of the company, structured to the flexibility which is required of our SMEs. In these 2 years I have transformed Roen Est’s organisation and management logic in the direction of a more industrial setup of both the company and its processes, including through Lean models, with the aim of ensuring greater reliability in terms of product and delivery times. Two factors which have become Roen’s hallmark.

How did you do it?
Since 2014, Roen has reviewed all its processes, reducing so-called bottlenecks and adding new machines to support those technologies which were most saturated and thus limited the company’s flexibility. In this respect, we worked to maximize vertical process integration: the company is able to handle all stages internally, achieving great competitive advantage in terms of flexibility and execution speed. Between 2016 and 2017, we invested in new technologies to be even faster, more efficient and more responsive to customer requests. As a group we have worked hard with people, to create a more managerial structure: strategic, intermediate figures have grown in independence and responsibility and are now able to organise teamwork to respond to varied demands; operators are more flexible and versatile.

What is the driving force behind Roen Est’s competitiveness?
The ability to customise and quick delivery represent the company’s DNA. Producing all components in-house, we have no constraints, we do not have to depend on third-party supplier response times. Roen is one of the few companies in the industry which manufactures 3 complete product lines: having trained people capable of working on multiple projects and machines is critical, because our production lines undergo major variations in volumes throughout the year. With these resources on hand, we can quickly move staff according to contingent needs.

What are your goals for the future?
We are working to improve environmental impact, health and safety: we are about to get ISO 14000 and OHSAS 18000, which certify the quality of our processes in these areas. Our 2017 target is also to reorganise the Slovakian facilities: the first step involves transferring organisational models from Italy, plus developing skills, organisational and managerial ability, with the addition of a plant manager having strong leadership qualities; the second will be to increase the scope of automatic equipment here as well. The ultimate goal is not to have first and second level plants, but to configure each site to make the most of the possibilities available, with the flexibility to allocate production to one or the other facility, in line with the optimisation of deliveries, costs, and resources. Finally, the current frontier is to work on transactional processes, to automate these and minimise crossing times with the potential for putting a customer order immediately into production, making full use of the tools provided by Industry 4.0.