MAZZAFERRO: 65 YEARS CONQUERING THE WORLD
Reference company in the manufacturing industry celebrates anniversary with much innovation, strong governance and global expansion
Exactly 65 years ago, the Italian immigrant Nello Mazzaferro, identified a great opportunity in the Brazilian market. Fleeing Italy devastated by World War II, he realized the demand for nylon yarns for fishing and initiated the import of the material in kilogram and distribution in parts, thus achieving a good profit margin. With the amount of orders increase he asked his brother, Mario Mazzaferro, to help. Together they rolled the wires on spools imported from Switzerland, in the garage of the house where they lived, in Vila Mariana, São Paulo.
With a strong entrepreneurial profile, they bought machinery, technology and began to produce the material itself, identifying opportunities in the fishing segment. Years later, Nello Mazzaferro decided to invest in a new market and founded Mazzaferro Monofilament in 1984. In order to migrate from an economy of scale to scope, in 2012, Mazzaferro sold its polymer division to Basf. The idea was to expand the operation, seeking new applications and niche products with higher added value.
One group. Three companies. Many businesses.
Currently, Mazzaferro Group consists of three companies: Mazzaferro Products for Fishing, Mazzaferro Monofilament and 3Chology.
Mazzaferro Products for Fishing, the oldest company in the group, is a leader in the domestic market. The company manufactures lines, nets for both sport and commercial fishing. “The company also offers ropes of all sizes and for different applications, as well as screens and safety nets for balconies, aquaculture and agriculture,” says the CEO, Maurizio Mazzaferro.
Mazzaferro Monofilamentos is the largest producer of technical yarns in Latin America and feeds more than 50 different industrial processing chains, also operating with 3 other business units: Linea Bella (domestic utilities), Mazzaferro Medical (medical devices) and Mazzaferro Color Charts (catalogs and displays for the cosmetics sector), clarifies the CEO, Claudio Mazzaferro.
The youngest is 3Chology, an integrated marketing agency exclusively for the beauty industry. It is the first company of the Group focused exclusively on the services sector. This company has three areas: trade, products and digital. “The trade is focused on the design of packaging, catalogs, POS actions and promotion. But the product pillar operates in brand positioning, launches, innovation capture and trend. The digital area offers web services, social media, content and inbound marketing, “explains Fabrício Saad, managing director of the agency.
The strategy of action
In the search for decommoditization the Mazzaferro Group has focused on innovation. The daily challenge lies in diversification, always seeking new applications, markets and more valued products.
Over the past three years, Mazzaferro Monofilamentos invested more than R$10 million in the expansion of its productive capacity. “Most of these investments went to Linea Bella divisions (responsible for housewares), Medical (which makes sutures and surgical meshes) and Color Charts (which produces hair-dye color palette),” says the CFO, Wesley Ortolani.
Linea Bella was the pioneer in launching the first synthetic broom made of nylon thread 34 years ago. Now, the unit has just expanded its manufacturing plant in order to double its production capacity, from 500,000 to 1 million units a month. Under the brands Lady and Lindona, Mazzaferro Monofilamentos’ domestic utility line is present in about 99% of small and medium-sized retailers in the North and Northeast regions. “The focus now is to expand our operations in the Midwest region, to reach the Southeast and South,” said the unit’s business manager, Sidney Covilo.
The Medical unit has 85% of national market share in polyamide monofilaments for surgical sutures. Currently, this division provides wires to the two largest medical companies in the country, Johnson and Medtronic / Covidien. “In 2019, we will expand our product portfolio with an investment of approximately R$ 5Million, developing threads for suturing from multifilaments, ideal for the areas of orthopedics and cardiology,” anticipates Fabiana Suzuki, the unit’s business manager.
Although it only started operations in 2014, the Color Charts unit already holds 50% of the market share in the manufacture of hair wicks for hair dyeing. One of its biggest differentials is the manufacture of a wire where the coloration happens next to the extrusion process, guaranteeing much more fidelity to the color. Today, there are more than 600 base color options. By making the merges between them, it is possible to conquer a multitude of tones. Among the clients are established brands such as L’Oréal, Wella, Itallian Color and Embeleze.
All these efforts have made up for it. Mazzaferro Monofilamentos appears for the first time this year in the ranking “The 100 small and medium companies that grow the most in the country”, conducted by Deloitte in partnership with Exame magazine. Among the transformation industries, the company appears as 13th place, being the 6th in São Paulo.
Obviously, these results are only possible thanks to the strong corporate governance policy adopted by Mazzaferro Monofilamentos, associated to the IBGC (Brazilian Institute of Corporate Governance) since 1999. The action takes place in the three dimensions of governance: family, business and property.
The challenges were great, but the benefits were even greater. “We started this process in 1999, and we became an internationally recognized case. Governance has allowed us to perpetuate values, harmony among family members, tranquility in the succession process, capital management and, above all, business continuity, “says Claudio, CEO of Mazzaferro Monofilamentos.
One of the strongest principles and values of Mazzaferro is socio-environmental responsibility. So much has been invested over R$ 3million in Monofilaments in a modern system of recycling of post-industrial waste generated to meet all Group companies.
According to the plant manager, Miriam Bastos, 600 tons/year of waste are transformed, which return to the condition of raw material. “Of these, more than half come from the implementation of sophisticated reverse logistics, which collects in the national territory fishing nets in disuse, which would take more than 800 years to be absorbed by the environment.”
The project is in accordance with Law 12.305, of reverse logistics, which is part of the National Solid Waste Policy (PNRS). Under the law, companies are responsible for the products they place on the market, and must follow their entire life cycle.
According to the PNRS, reverse logistics is one of the instruments for applying shared responsibility, being an economic and social development tool characterized by a set of actions, procedures and means to enable the collection and restitution of solid waste to the business sector, either for reuse in its own production chain or for another environmentally appropriate final destination.
The investments dedicated to recycling and environmental management in recent years have yielded a consistent economic return to the company, reducing the variable cost per unit produced. “This optimization of the transformation chain was reversed in market share, leaving everyone happy: society, customers and suppliers,” Claudio prides himself.
With a past and present of much sweat and dedication, Mazzaferro is dedicated to planning the future. As it already has a strong presence in several chains of the national market, the company now intends to expand exports. Currently, 30% of Mazzaferro Monofilamentos’ net revenue comes from abroad. However, the goal is to reach 50% over the next five years.
The Color Charts unit manufactures 35,000 hair wicks for hair dyeing per month. Of these, 38% are already destined to countries such
as the United States (largest beauty market in the world), Canada and several countries in Latin America. In 2017, this division registered a 104% increase in revenues compared to 2016. The same YoY increase is expected in 2018. In three years, the goal is to triple this value between national and international markets.
The Medical division has annual production capacity of 100 million meters of yarn for human and veterinary suture, exporting 57% of this production, with emphasis on India and China. The two most recent achievements are Iran and Romania. The great bet of this unit is the launch of new sutures for orthopedics and cardiology. The expectation is that 90% of these products are destined for export.
In the Domestic Utilities unit, which has just doubled its production capacity, the objective is to expand in both, national and international markets. The new production will be destined to the increase of the market share in Brazil, but mainly for the exports to countries like Russia, Ukraine, the United States, Central America and Mexico.
To achieve its export goals, Mazzaferro Monofilamentos is present at fairs, international events, symposia and visits. “We stand out for personalization in customer service. We want to live in the depths of their business intelligence, “says Fernanda Zanella, the company’s international sales manager.
Another fundamental point is to know well the country with which one intends to act. Each market has its own peculiarities and preferences. The research and development teams are always attentive to the requirements of each country, being able to customize the products according to the specific demands of each one. For the Medical unit, for example, the requirements are greater. The division offers biocompatibility testing for all products sold and ISO 13485 certification, specific to medical devices.
In legal terms, the company also has benchmark partners in the areas of logistics and customs services. “We export to more than 30 countries, some of which are not always as traditional in trade relations with Brazil, such as Iran, Vietnam, Romania, Turkey, India, Thailand, Jordan, Poland, the Czech Republic, South Africa, Morocco, among others. This requires a lot of documentation and care 24 hours a day, “exemplifies Fernanda.
The relationship with these suppliers who have offices in several other countries is what guarantees tranquility and agility. While most companies in the segment can take up to eight months to make a delivery, in Mazzaferro Monofilamentos, the terms vary from five to 20 days.
To ensure its continued expansion and globalization, the company will continue to invest in the creation of new product lines and markets. “We are focused on studying every detail of our clients so that we can be seen not only as agents that promote value but also of innovation and results”, concludes Claudio Mazzaferro. Thus, the company celebrates what it has already conquered and is firmly on its way to its perpetuation.
Photo: Rogério Oliveira
Published in Economia S/A magazine #46 on November 29th, 2018: