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FARE INSIEME - Ep. 63 - USCO: the global leader in the production and distribution of components for earth-moving machinery

"The keys to success? Vision and reaction".


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Constant attention is given to the customer and the markets to understand them and anticipate their evolution and needs. The products and services of the Modenese giant are now to be found in 174 countries around the world. The giant has 15 production sites and 58 distribution centers, where more than 1800 employees work for a turnover of 740 million euros.  For FARE INSIEME, Giampaolo Colletti interviews Massimo Galassini, founder and chairman of USCO

di Giampaolo Colletti

Photocredit: Giacomo Maestri e Francesca Aufiero

Real talent manifests itself most clearly in difficult times when it is necessary to keep one’s head and think logically. This is also the case because talented people know that improbable solutions can arise from crises, even serious ones. Call it resilience, hardheadedness, perhaps even recklessness. After all, an answer always comes. And the story we are about to tell has all of this and more. A system of intuition, global exponential growth, a rethinking dictated by the international financial crisis and difficulties transformed into opportunities. However, to explain this story of Emilian entrepreneurship, we must take a step back in time and many steps forward in space. Even thousands and thousands of kilometers. To be precise, almost eight thousand – those separating Emilia from South Korea and China. Because it is the eastern markets where the response to the sector crisis of the devaluation of Asian currencies began. It was 2003 and decisions had to be made quickly and bravely. And Massimo Galassini – founder and chairman of USCO, a Modenese giant committed to producing spare parts for machinery – did not hesitate. At a table in a small Korean restaurant in Seoul, he outlined the new strategy, inventing from scratch something that did not exist, that is, the new order of the supply chain that, in a very short time, would rewrite the rules of the market of the entire world. Yes, the world. Some people are born globetrotters by vocation. They are anchored in their own community but, at the same time, they embrace the five continents, which become as small as a mustard seed. "We have always invested in global distribution to be close to our customers and that is why we are international," says Galassini.

Modena calling the world. In 1989, USCO (acronym of Union Spares Company) was established to operate in the field of specialized trading of spare parts for earth-moving machinery. Over the next thirty years, it became, in large part, a distributor of its wares and a leader in components for earth-moving machines.But its international success never prevented it from growing at the national level. Because USCO is a Modena company "in all that it thinks and does," Galassini points out. Today, its headquarters has a total area of about 73 thousand square meters, of which 30 thousand are covered and it also includes Europe’s biggest warehouse of spare parts for earth-moving machines. 
Strategies and guidelines for the creation of new products are developed here, thanks to the R&D activity and including technical development. Catalogs are also managed online as well as the quality control phase. 
The stock is divided into over 59,000 codes.
It is the nerve center for logistical and distribution support for Europe and North Africa. 
From Modena to the whole world: right from this warehouse, 200 shipments depart every day for customers operating in more than 120 countries. 

It is all about teamwork. The winning formula for growth? Galassini answers immediately: It is necessary to create and consolidate solid and authentic relationships with all stakeholders, starting with the customers. Within twenty-five years, Galassini (the company leader who recently received the EY Award for entrepreneur of the year 2021 for the Manufacturing & Automotive category), managed to transform a local company into a global group located on the production level in Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain, South Korea and China and on a commercial-distributive level with its own subsidiaries across the five continents. "At twenty-one, I started working as a representative in the sector for Africa, the Middle East and the Far East. At the time it was not easy to travel abroad, but I was so passionate that I forged ahead with an entrepreneurial initiative carried out with two other partners. From 1989 to 2003, the company had maintained a purely Italian scope, but in the following years, we gradually began to invest abroad in production and distribution, while avoiding the "colonizing" impositions or strategies of foreign companies. Quite the contrary. We have always respected customs and cultures, being diplomatic and listening to others. In this sense, it is important to have team managers with soft skills. That is, professional figures with people skills. "Even today, trust and autonomy are the basis of relationships with our key managers located across the world," says Galassini. The Group now has 15 production sites and 58 distribution centers, where more than 1800 employees work, 400 of them in Italy. Products and services reach 174 countries worldwide for a consolidated turnover of 740 million euros and an EBITDA of over 100 million euros. "The most rewarding moment? The company's big 25th-anniversary party in 2014 with all its employees, customers and suppliers. At the time, my mother was 92 years old and it was a touching moment of great satisfaction for me and my brother, recalls Galassini. For him, the working community is a large extended family and the team always comes first. "It is a nice environment and we have a very low staff turnover. In business, I do not believe in one-man shows. It is all a question of teamwork," Galassini says. "Because we cannot go far alone and we should also bear this principle in mind as a country."

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