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Maria Vittoria Brustia (Assomac): after COVID-19 customers have higher expectations regarding sustainability

Jan 10, 2023 Italy
Today we are happy to share an interview with Maria Vittoria Brustia, President of Assomac, the National Association of Italian Manufacturers of Footwear, LeatherGoods and Tanning Technologies. Assomac is the organizer of the Simac Tanning Tech trade fair


SIMAC trade fair

We have to point out that we are the only exhibition offering technology. Offering technology that is of excellence, due to the long experience we have and due to the innovation that we put into the technology.
I think it is very important that the exhibition of our supply chain is close and overlapping. In fact, for the first year, we had an event, #STRONGERTOGETHER, gathering the 7 exhibitions of the fashion and leather industries. So, we cooperated to promote the exhibitions together. So, overlapping is good. It is also interesting that the overlapping is not complete, as that allows some free time for visitors and exhibitors to see the other exhibitions and the other goods, and then come to see the technology.

Lessons from COVID-19

The pandemic has had very bad aspects, but we must highlight some very positive results. We learned that digitalization is very important; we had to assist our companies to meet their customers in the other part of the world when they couldn’t go there. So, we have developed remote assistance, we developed many systems to talk to our customers, to explain the new developments and to help them solve problems, either technical or “new release” problems. So, in conclusion, I think the pandemic also brought good things. The pandemic also taught us that having production closer to the place where the goods are sold is important.

Industry trends

Sports shoes and sneakers are still very popular, very in fashion. But we also see a return to classic shoes. So, I would say that at this moment, all types of shoes are in fashion. Our customers are asking us for any type of technology, being that for classic shoes or sneakers. The common requests, on all types of machines, relate to digitalization and Industry 4.0, as well as sustainability, traceability, and circular economy.

Sustainability

I feel that the pandemic helped to bring sustainability to a higher position in the expectation of the customer.

2023 UITIC Congress

I’m very happy that the UITIC event will return to Italy after 25 years and will be held after 5 years of absence, in which due to the pandemic the UITIC Congress couldn’t take place. I’m very happy to confirm that the UITIC Congress will take place during the Simac Tanning Tech exhibition. So, the event will take place in Milan, but we will also have one moment in Vigevano, my hometown, and a worldwide hub known for the shoe machinery industry. So, we will have a moment also in Vigevano, which makes me very proud.

Current market situation

The main worry of the members of ASSOMAC is about energy costs and the fact that companies are facing price increases that are double or triple what they were before. So, this is the main concern. The second concern is the availability of materials and components. Another worry in which we are working a lot is the difficulty to find labour force, to find technicians. Our industry is made of experience, and sometimes it is difficult to find technicians who can come to cooperate with us.


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*Assomac is the National Association of Italian Manufacturers of Footwear, LeatherGoods and Tanning Technologies. Assomac is the organizer of the Simac Tanning Tech


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