Finnova in Castelfranco Veneto (Treviso) is a company that in the last 15 years has been offering excellent quality wood doors and windows, with a strong commitment to innovation. We asked its legal representative, Andrea Formentin, a few questions to get to know it better.
A short identikit of Finnova…
Finnova, a company producing wood and wood/aluminum doors and windows, was established in 2004 by eight founding partners who, out of previous manufacturing careers, had decided to accept the challenge of placing themselves on the market by truly listening to dealers’ needs. In the early years we didn’t feel the urgent need to grow larger, serving the clients who “had started us off”, listening to their indications regarding possible improvements, upgrading of the products and even expansion of the range of products offered.
Obviously, over the years the company started gaining structure, acquiring new and increasingly more technically advanced equipment and developing its own commercial and marketing organisation. Today, Finnova covers the Italian market with 220 dealers and a staff of 26 people. We can say that we have grown and we have consolidated the standing of our small company by continuously focusing on improving quality and service.
How does one win the trust of dealers?
By truly listening to them and by making them enjoy that feeling of acceptance and trust in placing their “project” into the hands of a well-prepared and organised company.
Do you have contacts with architects and interior designers too?
We are only now starting to interface with this type of customer. Thanks to the acquisition of a new staff member, we are ready to meet the requests of these professional figures who need to contextualise the product in their projects and who require that we guarantee specific diagrams and drawings as well as ad hoc solutions. In this way, moreover, we are able to provide additional support to our dealers who need to interact with architects and design studios. Obviously, our engineering office has always provided drawings in support of the dealers, but with these professionals this service must be performed especially well.
How is your showroom structured?
We have set up a 250 m2 showroom where clients can see all of the material we provide in support of sales, plus the display of all of the types of doors and windows we supply in our production range. In addition to all this we have also created a welcoming and peaceful office environment populated by courteous people who gladly put themselves at the client’s disposal for consulting and for meeting their requirements regarding our products.
How has the doors & windows sector changed in the last two decades?
Radically. Wooden doors and windows are no longer bought from the town’s ‘good old carpenter shop’. It’s now more popular to turn to dealers who can offer a vast assortment of products and solutions, can assist the client from initial consultation to design and all the way to installation, and in so doing guarantee reliable and trustworthy post-sale assistance. It is now required to put at the client’s disposal adequate illustrational material and an ample offering of finishes.
Nowadays, production systems feature state of the art technology and are designed to provide excellent flexibility. It is absolutely necessary to purchase these systems in order to work at higher standards and create a product that ensures top functionality and excellent appearance, seeing that in processing we are talking about tolerances of tenths of a millimeter.
Since when have you been a partner of TWT?
Since the beginning, when we started working closely with TWT – we have always worked with their projects. The most recent project is Minima. The market required a highly streamlined product and so, in synergy with TWT, we designed this window with a frame that can be inserted completely into the wall. In this way, Minima shows only the glass pane on the façade and thereby increases its surface while improving the thermo-acoustic performance. This product has given and is giving us excellent returns: in just three years it has brought in 20% of our turnover.
Which aspect do you appreciate the most in TWT?
What really makes the difference for us is the service. TWT not only designs and provides the tools but it also analyses the production cycles so as to optimise system productivity to the utmost, and provides us with indications about producing new types of product. The tool maintenance service is quick and precise. Thanks to them, we are always in top production condition.
From your viewpoint, which market trends do you foresee?
My feeling is that there are margins for growth in the wood and wood/aluminum doors and windows sector. At the end of 2018, but especially in 2019, we saw a return in the demand for wooden products. The mass distribution product is dominated by PVC, while wooden products belong to a niche market. We have once again started working with precious materials such as oak, and brushed and bleached finishes are in great demand.
Clients seeking ‘the warmth of wood’ are willing to spend more and are looking for a top end quality product with carefully designed details and precious and perhaps out of the ordinary finishes. All this can be provided thanks also to the work performed by the tools that results in perfect finishing, which in turn means perfect coating.
This trend has also been mirrored by the numbers, seeing that at the end of 2019 our gains have grown by about 15%.
And what about the foreign market?
We have made several spot sales abroad but always through Italian distributors. We have tried to find dealers abroad, also with the support of professional figures, but nothing much has come of it. Let’s say that today we hardly reach 5% of turnover from foreign markets, and therefore it is quite marginal.
In addition to the product, you take great care of communication, starting with your website…
In our company we like to boost the natural qualities of people. The person who has given our communication a special twist is Elena Longo, who has been with us since our establishment. She is the one who launched this approach and who got into contact with the agency that now supports us. We wanted to develop a communication style that was slightly different from the standard and that has been getting good feedback from our dealers.
Green approach: just a fad or something more important?
I believe it’s not just a fad but actually an authentic sensitivity of our times. Environmental sustainability is something our company is very serious about and this translates into attention in using the production systems by optimising energy consumption and in selecting a provider of certified green energy obtained only from renewable sources even though it costs a bit more. We also pay attention to using wood not obtained from intensive exploitation areas or from deforestation, and to using 100% water-based paints and therefore with zero environmental impact. We are also thinking of supporting associations with environmentally sustainable or humanitarian initiatives. In our own small way we intend to contribute to improving the environment in which we live.
One last question: how does one remain competitive in the upcoming market?
First of all, one must keep up with the times in terms of energy saving and safety. Secondly, one must create increasingly customised products using top range materials and by exalting the natural look and warmth of wood. Last but not least, one must have a professional sales force supported by adequate consulting. One must be able to guarantee qualified installation (with products perfectly in line with the residential context) and serious post-sales assistance that should include a ‘periodic maintenance’ program in order to ensure a long life of the product. Anyone capable of meeting these requirements in the near future will win the loyalty of their clients and will certainly have rosy prospects for growth.