- How is FPS positioned on the Italian market compared to competitors?
For our two product lines, containment and micronization, FPS is definitely one of the leading companies on the Italian market today. For containment systems, the number of competitors has increased significantly in recent years, but when analyzing the turnover data of these companies we can say that for the "High Containment" sector we are certainly the leading manufacturer because we have by far the largest number of installations in Italy. As for micronization, being a niche process, the number of competitors is more limited but certainly much more specialized. Despite this, thanks to our great experience in this particular sector, in Italy we also distinguish ourselves with a higher number of installations.
- How does FPS diversify and what does the company offer more than its competitors?
Today FPS is no longer a small company, with two offices in Italy and one in the United States we are close to 100 collaborators. However, we still manage to maintain the flexibility and dynamism that has always distinguished us in our sector. Certainly, in addition to these two factors which in the initial stages of our history were the main reason why we were different from our competitors, today we can say that we have also gained a great deal of experience in integrating a lot of complex processes. Having more than 1100 machines installed all over the world, each with its own specificity, we are able to analyze the process first and then to design the suitable containment system according to the real needs.
Another key factor is that we have kept all the crucial activities of our production inhouse, such as mechanical design, development of the electrical part and automation as well as the important critical phases of construction. We then have an area dedicated to final assembly and testing where our specialized technicians verify the operation of our machines. The same technicians will then follow the installation, testing and validation activities also with the end users. All this is of course coordinated by our Project Managers who, with the support of the documentation and quality departments, complete a very high level of service for our customers.
Since 2016 we have launched our Micronization Excellence Center, where we develop new solutions and we are available to our customers to optimize their processes related to powder grinding. It is fitted with three clean rooms and a laboratory. In parallel, wwe have set up a show room and an education centre, where we carry out theoretical and practical training sessions as well as seminars on specific topics related to containment, powder grinding and micronization processes.
Last but not least, I left our commercial group which, thanks to the high technical knowledge, allows us to immediately give a high service.
I would say that all the above reasons besides the great passion that each of us puts into its work are excellent reasons to define us proud of what we do, with the awareness that we never stop growing and learning!
- How has the health emergency we are experiencing impacted on the market?
The chemical-pharmaceutical sector has certainly been less impacted compared to other sectors. However, there was a slowdown in new investments which obviously left room for primary production activities. Also as regards the projects in progress, there have been a slowdown which for us has meant a shift in deliveries with everything that follows for us. Certainly the emergency has put all the companies in the sector in a state of alarm. They tried to move promptly and to rely on those suppliers who could give them support and stability despite the current situation. I would say that in the Italian market, the priority has been at the maintenance and commissioning level of new critical machinery, as regards abroad, the on-site activities have been almost completely suspended while some projects despite some slowdown are continuing.
- How did FPS respond to this crisis?
The first priority was to make immediate changes to keep our staff safe and to guarantee working conditions in compliance with the directives issued. We have practically never stopped and we have put in place strategies to guarantee continuous service. Where possible we have activated work from home (commercial, administrative, marketing, design ....), where instead physical presence was indispensable we have introduced all the necessary measures to ensure appropriate safety. We immediately organized to carry out critical activities such as testing and ergonomic studies with customers remotely and I must say with great satisfaction that it was a good success! Our customers embraced it and the feedback was really good.
We also created a Swab Testing Station in record time for the safe execution of swab tests and we donated some systems to our local hospital: this is our small contribution to the emergency situation created by Covid-19. In general I can say that the company is proud of its employees and how we all responded to this crisis!
- What are the prospects for the future in order to start better? What are the news?
Fortunately, there are a good amount of projects in progress and others, new ones, are about to start quickly, so the prospects for the work are really good. We are ready for a ful restart, which will be a nice change after a period of forced slow down. On the news front, I would like to highlight that “FPS never stops” (as we have underlined several times on social media). We’ll soon share new toolsto allow even our most remote customers to have a real-time assistance service: that will be a game changer for technical support. Also we have organized to carry out online seminars as an alternative to those we had planned for the company in the coming months. Finally we nearing completion of a few very interesting patents. So, we have a lot of news for our customers. We have also recently presented a new corporate organization chart, which will allow the company to be even more flexible and better organized to meet the needs of our customers and the market in general.
In addition, the motto launched in recent months "distant but united" has been well received by our company which has been put it into practice by coping impeccably with the situation. Thanks to all the colleagues and customers who in these months have given everything to never stop!