Great Satisfaction with 2020 Results, Optimism for the Future.
Comment from Davide Strocco,
CEO of Astro.
2020 has been marked by the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, which, in addition to the health emergency, had dramatic repercussions on people’s lifestyles and the economies of many countries.
Despite the difficult scenario, Astro managed to achieve a remarkable increase in sales and turnover compared to 2019.
Davide Strocco, CEO of Astro, comments on the company’s performance and the outlook for 2021.
“I believe that the expression ‘very complicated’ perfectly sums up what 2020 has been for us: the results achieved are therefore even more valuable,” says Davide Strocco. “Given the still dramatic health context, it would seem inappropriate and distasteful using particularly emphatic tones. All what I feel like saying is that we are very happy and proud.
“The lock-down accelerated a trend that was already underway, but whose quantitative effects were expected over the next three or four years,” Strocco explains. “The forced closure of the Horeca sector has led to a surge in domestic consumption on a global scale: people have been buying wines and spirits from Modern Distribution or online, channels that are well covered by our customers. This meant that we had to manage a significant increase in orders, with requests for very short delivery times, if compared to our usual ones.
Technology 4.0 and team spirit: the winning weapons.
“In this unpredictable situation, the choices defined in our strategic growth plan have paid off: we have invested heavily in technology, completely renewing and expanding the machine park with the latest generation of assembly and painting equipment. We have managed to significantly and efficiently increase production capacity, while offering the most sophisticated decoration techniques available today”.
“The most perfect machine, however, is totally useless without the quality of the human element: here I would like to say words of absolute praise for the self-denial and motivation of my extraordinary collaborators, women and men, in the plant and in the offices: despite the critical moment, no one ever backed down. The quality of the working environment is our ‘twelfth man playing’ and it certainly made the difference in this particular circumstance: we successfully managed all emergencies, to the utmost satisfaction of our customers”.
“I would like to add a special thank you to our suppliers, whom I prefer to call partners: they have done their utmost to enable us to meet deliveries at all times, supporting us in terms of production, technology and logistics”.
The near future: an increasingly globalised Astro.
“I look forward to 2021 with optimism. It is conceivable that by the middle of the year we will have left Covid behind, with a clear recovery of the world economy. Moreover, our sector has been growing for some time due to the spread of the screw cap in the wine sector, with the Bacchus 30×60 becoming the reference for the entire market. We are recording excellent sales performances in Northern Europe and South America, with requests also coming from the Far East: word of mouth about us is positive everywhere. We expect to finalise new commercial agreements in 2021 and consolidate relations with current distributors: to support this effort we will adequately reinforce the commercial structure”.
“If trade fairs are resumed, as we strongly hope, we will attend the most important ones. We got used to running day-by-day business through video conferences and e-mails, but you cannot completely give up direct contact: you need to be able to look into your eyes and talk to each other in person, from time to time. This is the only way to create and strengthen personal relationships, which are the basis of everything.
Growing efficiently, respecting the environment and people.
“”We will continue to invest in the constant pursuit of maximum efficiency: we plan to complete the construction and commissioning of the new warehouse within the second half of 2021, which will help to significantly optimize the management of raw material and semi-finished product stocks. We will extend real-time quality control by means of video cameras to several lines: the goal remains to reach “zero defect” soon. We will continue the transformation of the Baldichieri d’Asti factory into a “smart factory” in view of Industry 4.0 through the progressive interconnection of the plants”.
“Behind all this, there will never be a lack of responsibility for the environment: our exclusive technique of drying with special HTL lamps (High Technology Lamps) guarantees a reduction in the use of solvents of up to 95%. Today it covers about 20% of our production, but we are planning to extend it to other types of paint and colours: this is a long and complex experimental process that we are carrying out thanks to the essential cooperation with our paint suppliers”.
Greetings and best wishes for the upcoming festive season
“I would like to end this overview of Astro’s present and future by renewing, also on behalf of my father Luigi Strocco, the company’s president, my thanks to the entire Astro family, employees, suppliers and customers all over the world, for their extraordinary efforts in 2020.
“The holidays at the end of the year are approaching and so a period of well-deserved rest that I hope everyone can spend peacefully with their loved ones, obviously respecting the anti-Covid rules. We expect a 2021 full of challenges to be won together, as we have always done. It will be a further opportunity to improve ourselves on a professional, personal and human side”.