Susa SpA transport and shipping was founded in 1953 by three young men: Lucaccioni, Nucci and Cecchetti, who sensed and achieve the business potential in the transport industry.
With the end of World War II, transport was a growing market segment, boosted also by the presence in Umbria of companies such as Buitoni and Perugina.
The real epiphany, however, came in the 1980s, when Susa changed its horizon of action and shifted from food to cargo and the shipping of spare parts for Renault from the main plant to the dealers. It was a profitable experience, and after Renault came customers such as Fiat, Opel and Toyota. The picture remained the same until the beginning of 2000, when the general makeup of the reference market changed.
While at first there was a rule of compensation according to which one automaker’s decrease in sales corresponded to another’s increase, with the economic recession and the drop in sales there was a lower demand for the more expensive original parts, with a general and pervasive loss.
In order to compensate for this disequilibrium, Susa explored the market from another perspective, and while continuing with the B2B line, it worked to develop a more widespread presence in the territory.
It increased the number of its branches from 20 to 34 and streamlined their management, seeking to be closer to its customers.
The effort made towards expanding the reach of its service was significantly rewarded by a considerable increase in revenues, which reached 125 million euros. Today the world of Susa is a galaxy of 34 distribution centers throughout Italy operating 24 hours a day, and with 6 logistics systems. Every night the fleet of 200 trailer trucks travels more than 100,000 kilometers to connect the branches, from which 650 vehicles depart for widespread distribution.
From its beginnings to today, the range of services offered by Susa revolve around three basic concepts: quality, promptness and reliability.
“The combination of our Umbrian origins and the type of market in which we compete,” says Flavio Cecchetti, President of Susa, “has brought out an anomalous business mentality in Susa. Respecting of commitments, reliability and modesty have allowed our company to gain the trust of multinationals such as General Motors , FCA, Toyota.”
Consequently at Susa we find a concept of work that aims at uniformity of service among the larger and smaller towns as a quality index and that shows a marked propensity of adaptation to efficiency. This can be seen in the powerful and modern computer system that connects all the branches in real time and allows the electronic tracking of shipments: the data is stored in the computer that generates a talking barcode label containing the description of the shipment.
Using a barcode reader connected with the computer via radio, the warehouse operator can find out the route of the shipment and reconstruct its entire history. The delivery driver completes the circle with the reading of the labels affixed to the individual packages and the sending of the data to the host computer, certifying the exact time of delivery to the addressee. Through this system the customer can view the status of their shipment on the Internet in real time.
The mass of data collected is useful to the company for creating statistics, evaluations and billing. The long-term goal of this implementation of technology is the complete elimination of paper within the shipping process; indeed, paper represents a real “bottleneck” with its own circuit and a working process aimed at organizing and storing it. Bypassing its use means freeing shipping from the management of this paper flow, making it even more fluid.
Another service the company aims at is that of the logistics management of the customer’s warehouse. This service increases the loyalty of major customers by offering to take an area of complex management off their hands: this is already being done for customers such as Volkswagen, FCA, General Motors and Toyota, for whom Susa manages a large portion of the spare parts warehouse.
For FCA in particular, Susa manages a warehouse in Anagni of over 40,000 items, adding packaging and shipping service to logistics.
Despite the size of the company and the branching out of its services, at Susa the idea remains that people are still what make a difference.
In a company that is so decentralized it obviously becomes difficult to maintain a direct relationship with the staff; however, it works in the firm belief that the branch head is a key element at Susa that determines its success or failure. The focus on people is also found in management: Susa was founded as a family-run business, but this has never been an obstacle to its meritocratic strategy, which often leads the company to make use of external experts, introducing new visions and skills. This open mentality once again reflects a different entrepreneurial spirit, which is able to draw on its internal resources, but is also able to go beyond, availing itself of new professionals and experiences.