The development of international logistics’ activities for the competitiveness of Italian SMEs

For some time, Italian SMEs’ manufacturing companies have been gradually watching the duration of their order books reduce. More and more often, especially in the subcontracting market, the order book guarantees the coverage of production capacity for only a short time (often not even the same week) and the company then has to frantically recover in time to ensure production for the following period.

This situation certainly demonstrates the low competitiveness of the manufacturing sector that needs to be tackled with radical innovations in the production processes and / or with new products or, more generally, more appropriate marketing activities. However, it also signifies the need for better business organization and planning of business activities, in particular in the inter-organizational processes, and especially in new outlet channels.

Except for exemplary cases, the problem for SMEs, and vice versa, is the chronic inability to access the ‘innovation worlds’, typically; universities, research centers and big business laboratories. They also lack the managerial skills which would enable them to overcome the difficulties of process, to improve and streamline the inter-organizational flows and, last but not least, to find new end markets for their products, including in terms of greater efficiency and effectiveness with regards to  foreign markets, by promoting the ‘Made in Italy’ factor.

The aim of the conference is to present the research project and the training and service activities that CRIET and AILOG have set up. The project, which has been running for some time and which already involves the participation of several foreign university institutions, intends to build a community of Italian logistics’ operators, starting from a training course for Italian and foreign managers, focusing on the methods and techniques of Italian companies and aimed at forming the ‘brain power’ needed for SMEs to meet the demand for ‘Made in Italy’ in foreign markets.