Besenzoni keeps accelerating worldwide: with customers in 90 countries, it now has a consolidated and continually growing sales network. The company has been in the marketplace for more than 50 years and today is one of the players of reference in the yachting accessories sector. We met company managing director Giorgio Besenzoni, who underlined the importance and the constant commitment to growing an international service network, because today owners “arrive from all over the world”.
Besenzoni is increasingly international. When did you start looking faraway?
We have always sought internationalisation. Right from the start we looked at emerging markets the yachting. These were, years ago, for example 1st America and then Turkey. But I must underline that we have always exported to Great Britain, also Spain and France, and well before there was talk of a single market.
In the past two years we have been involved in consolidating our position particularly in the Turkish, English and American markets. Consolidating for us meant investing heavily on after sales, increasing the number of service points. We have worked a lot on training and refresher courses. We always have done, for our products it’s fundamental.
So the overseas market is increasingly important for Besenzoni?
Yes, it’s becoming increasingly important. Customers buy now come from all over the world and yachts sail all over the world. Our job now is to organise an increasingly wide service network on an international scale. Recently we began collaboration in Singapore and we have consolidated our position in Hong Kong where we have two service points, then we have negotiations going on in Doha.
Our products are installed on boats, from small craft to giant yachts, that are often used for a short, concentrated period of the year and in that time they just have to work. We have to supply an all-round service.
An extensive service network also means continual training and refresher courses…
The relationship Besenzoni has with its service points is certainly one of the company’s strengths. We have organised what we call the Besenzoni Service University. Each year we bring to our headquarters, to the central office of Besenzoni Customer Service, technicians from our service centres and for four days they have a full immersion in our products, our electronic boards, our programming and maintenance methods. In each course there is a theoretical part that involves forms, warranty conditions and technical characteristics of components, and an intense practical part to allow operators to tackle any kind of problem quickly. It is strategic to trained technicians with a high standard of specialisation in the techniques of installation, management and maintenance of Besenzoni products.
In addition to these days at the headquarters, when we manage to organise a large group we ourselves go to the premises of our customers. Last March, for example, in Girona, Spain, we held a training course with our distributor IMNASA. We have held other courses in the United States and in Singapore.
When did you start concentrating decisively on after sales service?
Our service network has grown up over the years. We started thinking about and organising a proper network when we launched hydraulic gangways in 1985. It began as a kind of collaboration: we presented our products to our commercial partners, and they analysed them to understand what problems could have arisen over time; we grew up thanks to the information they provided and the continual development of our products.
In developing your products, how important is collaboration with the various yards?
The yards are increasingly demanding today, it’s very stimulating for us. Our latest collaboration came about with FB Design and with Timage. Fabio Buzzi’s FB Design has excellent products designed for high performance boats. Their seats have been used on racing and navy boats; they are highly technological. We in Besenzoni added a touch of design to these products to make them interesting and suitable also for yachting. In practice we created a synergy between mechanical engineering technique and Italian design. The first seats with the Besenzoni-FB Design label were installed on the Sunseeker Hawk 38.
And with Timage?
Timage has been a United Kingdom distributor for more than 30 years, they have a deep knowledge of the Anglo-Saxon market. They encouraged us to develop a series of doors, windows and components to offer to English yards. We have already presented some ideas for doors in stainless steel, which are much in demand in their market, there are a bit different from usual, more modern and up-to-date. We will see the first in 2020, I hope at the Düsseldorf boat show.
Design seems to be increasingly important for Besenzoni
We try to give our products, which are basically mechanical, also an aesthetic aspect. We have always done this, just think that we were the first to put fairings on hoists, and is a big difference between a hoist with fairings and the naked hoist. We have an internal office that looks after style and design and we collaborate with well-known designers, first among them Christian Grande.
How is the Unica brand doing a year from its launch?
It’s very positive, beyond our expectations. It was an intelligent choice to create a brand dedicated to custom products for superyachts. We’ve already gone on board yachts of up to 70 m. The products most in demand are the huge rotating gangways that turn into bathing ladders at the stern, the hydraulic ladders and certified bow hoists.
On your new website the BUC, the app you created to operate hydraulic gangways from a smartphone, has a sectional to itself. Why is this?
With this app, which works with all our hydraulic gangways, we have managed to make our products more usable. Today we used to doing everything with the mobile, from bank drafts to switching on lights at home. At first we undervalued the importance of this app, but the market responded very well and we are adding new functions, such as a series of notifications for maintenance of the gangway, when the warranty is about to run out so you can carry out all the checks in time, etc.