Tradition, passion and teamwork. Reflecting on 2019

Published on 26 December 2019

Looking back over 2019, my team and I are delighted to see our efforts in operational excellence, quality and innovation materialise in the value we bring to the market.

Although we are fairly new as a company, we take great pride in knowing that many of our clients who count on us are established industry leaders and pioneers in their field who have been successful by harnessing tradition coupled with innovation.

As we grow, so do our relationships with all of our collaborators and as such, so does the passion. 2019 can be characterised as a year of never-ending thirst to contribute to the bigger picture in bringing long-term, sustainable value for business, society and our planet. We have been fortunate both in both the services and manufacturing sectors.

In Europe, our client base expanded exponentially with the launch of our Industry 4.0 quality control initiative sponsored by our multiple-partner collaboration in Switzerland. Furthermore, we closed the year having acquired service-oriented clients in Germany and an industry-leader of security services in Belgium while increasing our user base and channel partners in the UAE as the region prepares for the 2020 Innovation Expo of Dubai.

By keeping our feedback loop with customers our top priority, we have been fortunate to see opportunities to bring new technology to the market and contribute on a greater scale to the digital transformation revolution.

As software solution providers, there are fewer things more gratifying than offering new products to a market in need of reform via the delivery of a more effective and sometime ‘disruptive’ way to manage talent, processes, and corporate strategy.

Furthermore, we have been fortunate to have made partnerships with some of the most brilliant minds in the field of operational excellence and in doing so, we have even surprised ourselves with some of the creative works that fruited from our brainstorming workshops and proof-of-concept prototypes tested and launched with success in the field.

‘From a rock one can learn what past civilisations have forgotten over time.’ – N. Ray

Closing 2019 I had the possibility to spend Christmas eve in South Italy onsite with one of our oldest clients, Minermix SRL, leader in lime production and lime-based product distribution since 1987.

    Ostuni, Puglia

    known as 'the white city'

Having 2 establishments, Minermix is situated in the South Italian region of Puglia and in proximity of the ports of Gallipoli (to 20 Km.), Otranto (to 40 Km.), Brindisi (to 70 Km) and Taranto (to 120 Km.) from which the lime, destined overseas, is normally exported to Mediterranean Countries.

After dedicating much of the second half of 2019 working with our Swiss partners on the modern-day challenges small and mid-sized manufacturers face resulting from a market continuously flooded with new technology, the theme of Industry 4.0 and the uncertainty it brings to business owners is equally present in the lime industry of Southern Europe.

Like Minermix, most Mediterranean lime producers are family-operated and built on generations of tradition and know how passed down from the elders. The new technology and ideologies resulting from Industry 4.0 initiatives bring great opportunity to grow but also pose enourmous risk to those responsible for the decision making in areas of technology investments.

With its two production plants, Minermix produces lime products from two types of stones, one imported from local service providers and one which is self-extracted from its own quarry which was part of an expansion effort made in the mid-90s.

Spending the afternoon with Minermix CEO Tommaso DePasquale and Head of Commercial Services Mimmo Testa was an early Christmas gift as I had the opportunity to absorb their passion about an industry which dates back to 7000 BC.

For De Pasquale, lime is an ancient material that has historically marked the fundamental phases of house building, architecture and the history of mankind. To be a producer of quality lime products in the modern day, one must first understand its dynamic evolution over the course of time spanning from its use in ancient villages of Palestine, to the Egyptian pyramids, to the Roman aqueducts and all the way to the ‘white stones’ which are still essential in the modern construction industry of the Mediterranean.

Minermix’s value chain starts with the raw material selection process where its laboratory ensures quality from the start. From there the lime stones are brought to the manufacturing plants to be baked in kilns which reach up to 1300° C to ultimately produce Calcium Oxide (CaO) which is then hydrated leaving the product in its powder form so that it can finally be carbonated and then distributed.

Simply put, the lime industry is fundamental to the economic ecosystem of the Mediterranean and companies like Minermix ensure that the industry secrets passed down from one generation to the next are preserved it the production and delivery of quality in the Southern European construction sector.

My time spent onsite at Minermix closing 2019 brought on a series of reflections on the relationships and experiences cultivated throughout the course of the year and proved to be inspirational at multiple levels.

As De Pasquale confirmed on several occasion, companies of the future will not survive on technology alone no matter how advanced it may seem to be. As humans, problem solving and creativity is the true value we bring to innovation that will never be replaced by machines or artificial intelligence.

Stories like this weave the fabric of Industry 4.0, digital transformation and many of the cultural paradigms being revisited by company leaders across the globe.

By listening and being open to understanding how history, culture and tradition shapes innovation, we will continue to harness complementary skills, passion and sense of purpose. In doing so, the results obtained will consistently superseded expectations and fuel innovation in the years to come.

I am delighted to be going into 2020 with an amazing team and continue to build on the foundation that has given us our little niche in quality and operational excellence.

Wishing you all a focused and inspirational 2020.

Andrew Lenti