Headed up by entrepreneur Enrico Bracalente, NeroGiardini is a leading Italian manufacturer of footwear, accessories and clothing. Leveraging its unique Made in Italy style, quality and design, the brand – which is owned by B.A.G. Spa – has over 2,000 employees and produces 15,000 pairs of shoes a day. However, due to its commitment to quality – and to working with experienced Italian shoemakers – NeroGiardini has a longer production time than its competitors.
To compensate for longer production times, NeroGiardini needed to invest in its supply chain strategy to offer retailers rapid restocking – offering a guarantee of 24 hours for Italian customers and 96 for those elsewhere in Europe.
Enrico Bracalente explained that, rather than purchasing stock at the beginning of the season, retailers buy in response to demand: “To allow our customers to be more flexible, we guarantee they can restock at maximum speed – producing the correct products throughout the season to meet demand.”
Simultaneously, NeroGiardini shifted its focus to international markets. “After years of strong growth in the Italian market, we needed to expand our market reach further afield,” said Enrico. “We have an ambitious programme: 77% of our turnover comes from our Italian markets, and we are now looking to expand across Europe, while maintaining all production in Italy – we’ve invested €50m to fund the expansion project.”
To support international growth targets (its long-term goal is to become one of the top 10 European shoe producers) and keep restock commitments, NeroGiardini needed a new logistics centre. It selected the Marche footwear district, conveniently connected to a large road network perfect for penetrating central Europe, as the site for its new hub.
The stock replenishment guarantee created a valuable supply chain for NeroGiardini’s customers. To meet it, the company needed to implement highly automated processes at its new logistics hub, with practically zero margin for error.
To manage the creation of the logistics hub systems – and ensure that all processes were automated for efficiency and cost-effectiveness – NeroGiardini turned to industrial automation experts UTECO-CONTEC. They leveraged Twinn Witness predictive simulation software, through collaboration with our Italian partner Studio Zeta.
Using Twinn Witness, Studio Zeta and UTECO-CONTEC created a digital twin of the facility, including detailed layouts and routings, as well as process control rules. This enabled them to test and validate the intended plans in a virtual, risk-free environment prior to investment – giving NeroGiardini a visual roadmap of how their new logistics hub would look and operate while ensuring all objectives could be met in the most efficient way.
Providing deep insights into the proposed plans, Twinn Witness predictive simulation software validated NeroGiardini’s automated system design – delivering a robust investment case for scaling its logistics footprint.
Paolo Ravizza, Partner, Studio Zeta said: “NeroGiardini was undertaking a large and complex growth strategy – in addition to validating their plans, Twinn Witness predictive simulation modelling outlined areas for improvement, identified potential bottlenecks and highlighted a range of alternative technical solutions that had not previously been considered.”
Defining the overall capacity of the hub and anticipating operational critical issues, Twinn Witness gave NeroGiardini the confidence to invest in automated systems to keep its growth and restock targets on track. And by automating processes and systems, the company now offers a unique service – and has ensured that it can continue to meet performance targets as it expands into the European market
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