Competition, a possibility for everybody

William Reichert, Vice President – The Wire Association International Inc. and Vice President Operations – Champlain Cable Corp

William Reichert, Vice President – The Wire Association International Inc. and Vice President Operations – Champlain Cable Corp

During the recent CabWire Conference in Milan, we exchanged some opinions with William Reichert, Vice President – The Wire Association International Inc. and Vice President Operations – Champlain Cable Corp.

«Wire Association International has enormous confidence and respect of ACIMAF and of its members – stated Reichert – and I think that such feeling of friendship has been consolidated for several years by now. We highly appreciated the contribution by ACIMAF, especially for its commitment aimed at strengthening the collaboration and the cultural exchange among the various sector associations ».

Reichert also treated some aspects of general nature: «Today more than ever we live inside a global economy in which, besides, everything changes and varies in very short times. Companies were born and die in the lapse of short time, international news and events “last ” for 24 hours and the phenomenon is going to increase. In that situation, the healthiest Countries are those where enterprises can implement products and provide tailor-made services according to customers’ needs, to satisfy clear application requirements. Lots of people think that BRIC Countries currently represent the most interesting markets because they are living a phase of great expansion and strong industrial growth, actually wires and cables are obviously products used worldwide: this means that the companies operating in the sector, to be competitive, must be “close” to customers wherever they are headquartered in the world ».

What is your opinion about the health state of the Italian market? «In the last five years the weight of the global crisis has struck all industrialized Countries. My company, for instance, Champlain Cable, inaugurated the second factory just at the first glimpses of the crisis, in 2008, and afterwards it had to face the successive 27% shrinkage of the transport sector. Likewise also in Italy the recession generated serious troubles for companies, as highlighted also by the speeches that I heard during the CabWire Conference. The good piece of news is that crisis situations strengthen enterprises and entrepreneurs, and help in “rebalancing” the situation so that the market can recover. In that phase of global crisis and of resettlement, Italy’s contribution is nothing but a small part compared to the total; in any case, your Country is still the “house” of a group of manufacturing companies whose excellence is renowned on a world scale ».

Some American economists affirm that the German force represents a big problem for the competitiveness of the other European Countries. Do you agree? «I am not informed about such declarations or the data at the base of such statements, I can anyway imagine that, since when the European Union was established, studies, analyses, projections and economic forecasts have multiplied. Those forecasts can also be realistic in the short term but, in general, I think that competition is healthy at all levels, even more, it is a need, and it favours the positive change of a company, a sector, a whole nation. Competition represents an opportunity that enterprises must be able to accept as a challenge ».

At present, what are the main technological trends in the wire and cable sector? «I think that this is an exciting time for those working in our world. Owing to the industrial “boom” of China, lots of enterprises needed to improve their products, with innovations that are and will be useful also for the most consolidated markets and that will influence the world wire and cable industry also for the future years. In any case, several are the innovations and the changes in course: technologies and materials, transformation techniques etc. The main trends consist in further improving the quality of products and machines, decreasing production costs and reducing the environmental impact of the various technologies. Many companies are developing very aggressive “research and development” programmes to grow and to be more competitive. In such programmes, the collaboration and the support among supplier companies and end users are fundamental, since that relationship “drives” economy, strengthens industry and, more in detail, it allows reaching the most difficult technological targets and solving problems in faster and more efficient way”.

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