Marcello Bè, Founder of Absolute in 2002, Procurement and Production Planning.
Q: Marcello Bè, what are the strengths of your department?
A: Experience and cohesion. Our team is made up of industry experts who share the common goal of identifying, purchasing and managing the best product on the market, in synergy with the technical department. Attention to costs, product quality, sustainability and innovation are the basis of the work we do in our constantly evolving department.
Our production planning department is also evolving, with meticulous attention as a key pillar. An expert team plans every detail every day, interacting with production and technical departments, to make sure that everything falls into place and to be as efficient and collaborative as possible. Thanks to this department, everything that is designed is manufactured on time and in the best possible way. These results can be achieved because we never follow a ‘theoretical’, ‘academic’ approach, but an extremely pragmatic one, always inspired by efficiency and lean manufacturing.
Q: Your project began in 2002 with long-time partners and friends, and the first confirmation that you were on the right track came at the 2004 Cannes Yachting Festival, when the Absolute 45 won first prize as the best boat of the year in its category. Sacrifice and hard work started to pay off. What can you tell us about this experience?
A: When Absolute won its first prize we were really in our beginnings. Our project had just begun, but it was already taking shape. I remember this as a moment of great joy. The award felt like a first recognition for Absolute, for its employees and partners who strongly believed in the project.
We strongly wanted to achieve what Absolute is today. We have come this far with great sacrifice, skills and entrepreneurial spirit, and we will keep going on.
Q: Knowledge of the product and its processes are certainly necessary, but how do you keep up to date in an area like yours, with so much technological innovation, latest generation machinery and software?
A: You need to have an innate desire to be active, to create and to innovate. This was my case, and it still is.
Boat innovation goes hand in hand with business innovation. At Absolute we think that a good product can only be built when technology, machinery and people continue to evolve, keeping up with the times.
Absolute continues to invest in all this every day and will continue to do so to make sure our products are always at the forefront of our industry.
Q: Your department follows the production process closely, with one eye on market trends and the other on customer satisfaction. How do you keep to date?
A: We experience every aspect of the company, collaborating closely with the other departments. We exchange ideas and insights, we work as a team, we interact and stay up to date on our entire supply chain, from design to delivery to the end customer. Only by working in synergy with the other departments, in a constant dialogue, can we keep up to date and evolve at the same time. Only by doing all this can we successfully grow and offer an increasingly beautiful and reliable product.
Q: Organisation is synonymous with efficiency; it means producing while optimising costs, and all departments benefit from it.
A: Production and organisation are an essential part of our job. You can build a great product for a great price if the entire supply chain works well; there is no perfect product without prompt organisation and planning behind it.
Therefore, we have invested in organisation and machinery, making our company a company 4.0. Thanks to digital technology, we have automated and connected our design, production and distribution processes.
An example of this is our warehouse, the pillar of the production chain, whose operation is essential for efficient, optimised organisation.
It consists of 4 robotic vertical storage systems, storing all the material required to build a boat; each component is organised by size and frequency of use. The flow of goods starts from the Absolute warehouse, managed without wasting time or costs, thanks to our efficient planning in terms of goods purchasing and use for manufacturing processes. Also, these vertical storage systems allow workers to perform at their best, while purchasing and production departments can keep costs and materials under control.
Q: Are there any benefits to working with the same suppliers and installing integrated systems?
A: We have established stable partnerships with our suppliers, and this allows us to share information, projects and anything else that can improve our product.
All this benefits the boat, the dealer and, finally, the private customer who ultimately benefits from a tried-and-tested product that is well integrated with the major suppliers in the marine industry.
We interact with suppliers daily to find the best solutions for our product. This allows us to keep up with market trends, to exchange knowledge and expertise in the industry, and to have the latest generation equipment on our boats to improve our customers’ on-board experience.
For example, engines, stabilisers and on-board navigation technology are all part of a tried-and-tested integrated system on our boats, giving our boat owners some extra comfort.