Tuesday 18 June 2024
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Rancilio Group: a winning team, interview with the new ceo Giorgio Fortini (2)

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Giorgio Fortini is Rancilio Group’s new CEO. In this interview he talks about his debut and his first months at the helm of the company. Rancilio Group offers a wide range of professional espresso machines, both traditional and superautomatic. These machines boast the most complete and technologically advanced features available in the market (in the picture above the Classe 11 Green Attitude model).

The second part of this interview focuses on the company’s products. The first part, that you can find by clicking here, is devoted the Group’s organizational structure and business philosophy, its achievements and prospects, as well as its two R&D Centres.

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Giorgio Fortini, Ceo Rancilio Group

What are people saying about Rancilio Group products?

Giorgio Fortini: “The new Rancilio Classe 7 and Classe 5 machines have received extremely positive feedback. Absolute solidity, clean, slender lines and highly innovative features sum up the new Classe 7, while functional minimalism inspired by industrial design and a contemporary aesthetic are the strong points of the Classe 5 machine. Each have a different and distinctive character but both are simple and quick for baristas to operate. Two products completing the portfolio of traditional Rancilio products, the top-of-the-range Classe 11 and the medium to high-range Classe 9 carve their own niche in the market, also given that both coffee machines can be equipped with the Xcelsius system, helping them step up a whole new gear. This is a technology that has truly won me over and I am keen to communicate this passion to our customers. Other new developments that have met with great success are the Egro Self-Adjusting Grinder (the innovative self-adjusted/self-adjusting system) and the Egro Multi-Drink Software (making it possible to choose the different qualities of the drink from a set of menus, selecting the dosage, the type of coffee blend and the type of milk and powdered product). The first thing I did was to get down to studying the features and functions of these systems, tasting for myself the undoubted in-cup quality of our fully-automatic products that are proving so popular with the market. The quest for innovative materials, including from the point of view of environmental impact, reduced energy consumption by our machines and equipment, identifying solutions capable of looking after customer health and safety are all part of an integrated approach ever more directed at social and environmental protection. This green approach is particularly dear to our hearts and we demonstrate it with our Sustainability Balance Sheet, allowing us for the third year running to account not only for our business and financial results but also those relating to social and environmental issues”.

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Rancilio Classe 7 presentata a Host 2015

Does the Classe 11 with the Xcelsius system take this to extremes?

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Giorgio Fortini: “The Classe 11 equipped with Xcelsius technology is a coffee machine that heralds a new era, bringing tangible benefits for the in-cup quality of the product. The basic idea is to create an espresso that matches consumers’ tastes even more closely. I too am mad about coffee. Depending on the time of day I like to sample different aromas: a coffee with more acid notes when I wake up, one with sweeter tones after lunch and a more bitter tang during the afternoon and evening. With Xcelsius Temperature Profiling it is possible to change the sensory properties of each blend and personalise the drink of coffee at the behest of the customer. It takes learning and training for customers to play a part in making the coffee they are about to sip, giving them a real sensory experience and building their loyalty. The baristas is the key to opening the door to in-cup quality. Coffee is a drink with a thousand subtle nuances. Inside the cup there are umpteen appealing properties and it is well worth the effort to learn to appreciate the drink even better. Rather as happens in the world of wine, which has a tradition of knowledgeable connoisseurs. Wine and coffee have much more in common than is generally thought. They accompany us in our most relaxed, convivial moments through the day, bearing with them the flavours of the earth from which they originate, and they are tasted in a very similar way”.

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Rancilio Classe 11 Xcelsius temperature profiling tecnology

Let’s round up our product review with the Egro BYO – Bring Your Own – that made its debut at the last edition of Host.

Giorgio Fortini: “BYO represents a new approach to the use of the fully-automatic coffee machine. Teaming touch-screen technology with this type of product was our idea that many others immediately started to copy. Meanwhile, our R&D department Egro LAB has taken another step forward. Now, thanks to BYO, we are giving operators the opportunity to use their tablet or smartphone (Android or iOS) as a fixed or remote screen for dialogue with the machine, using Bluetooth technology. This enables the size and features of the screen to be personalised and adapted to all customers’ specific needs. This opening up to the world of the app marks another distinctive feature. The new BYO makes us true pioneers in the use of an innovative communications channel.

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Egro Bring Your Own

You haven’t mentioned the Promac brand yet.

Giorgio Fortini: “Promac, an acronym for ‘pro’, professional, and ‘mac’, machines, has been making traditional professional coffee machines, with a no-frills look, for over 30 years and in December last year this brand became fully integrated into the Rancilio Group. This will enable our in-house sales network to manage yet another brand that will help our company grow and become even stronger. The aim is to equip Promac coffee machines with different technical and stylistic features capable of penetrating new markets and increasing market share where we already have a consolidated position”.

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Rancilio Group produzione nello stabilimento di Villastanza di Parabiago, pochi chilometri a nord di MIlano

What about production?

Giorgio Fortini: “Our production facility in Villastanza di Parabiago near Milan is home to production of both our traditional and fully-automatic machines. This was a highly strategic move enabling us to concentrate all our supply-chain operations and to benefit from the economies of scale this generates. Every day we seek to make the very best of both the complementary nature of the Rancilio and Egro ranges and their individual character, identifying and enhancing the excellence that the Egro brand has gifted us. From last year, the company has made a commitment to implementing the lean philosophy at our Italian production site.

 

In this season of trade fairs and other events you have toured the world presenting all that’s new from the Rancilio Group.

Giorgio Fortini: “We invest resources and energy in building a long-lasting relationship with our customers, thanks to our ability to listen and gather constant feedback. We consider our business and technical contacts as genuine partners, on a common path towards growth based on a strategy of sharing in a context of mutual transparency. This is why our approach to the market is not limited to simply the supply of goods and services, but is ever more focused on complete support throughout the entire life-cycle of our products. We view trade fairs as golden opportunities for corporate communications, meeting places for privileged contact between exhibitors and their target market. They give us a marvellous way of bringing the excellence of the Italian brand Rancilio and the Swiss brand Egro to the whole word, but they also serve to make us reflect on goals achieved and to set new ones. Our presence in such high-profile showcases means we are leading the field, sending a powerful message to our own customers and our direct competitors”.

Where are Rancilio and Egro most in demand?

Giorgio Fortini: “There is great demand for fully-automatic Egro machines in Thailand and Taiwan while Europe, China, South Korea and Australia are the most attractive markets for the traditional Rancilio machines”.

Let’s end on a personal note. You have two great passions, both of them sports and both of which you take part in – basketball and motorbike racing. How do these influence your work?

Giorgio Fortini: “I am a competitive person, but in a healthy way, I love a challenge and obviously love winning. A basketball team is similar to a company. When you win, you all triumph together. The same on my bike, I’ve got a Ducati, I race as part of a group to share the feelings and emotions associated with two-wheeled sport. I’m a firm believer in teamwork and sport really helps to build a strong, cohesive team.”

Finally, what would you say to those curious to know about the Ali Group, the sole shareholder in the Rancilio Group?

Giorgio Fortini: “The world leader in catering equipment. The brands are grouped into nine business divisions, the Rancilio Group representing the coffee division. It has 77 brands in its portfolio, 55 production facilities, over 10,000 employees in 29 countries the world over. The Ali Group’s acquisition of Rancilio in 2013, presented a golden opportunity for organisational, management, business and product synergy, creating the ideal conditions for embarking on a new and even more successful stage in the company’s life”.

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Ali Group leader nel Food service equipment
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