Etoilepeople interviews: Corrado Caimmi
ETOILEPEOPLE INTERVIEWS: CORRADO CAIMMI, SALES MANAGER
“THE MOST LOVED PRODUCT BY ETOILE’S CUSTOMERS IS OUR DNA”
In this interview, Corrado Caimmi, Sales Manager at Etoile, provides a precise overview of the new trends in the market for partition walls and office furniture, which are increasingly oriented towards design, comfort, customized solutions, and product sustainability.
How has the partition wall market changed in recent years?
This is a constantly evolving market where customers are no longer just looking for partition
walls to separate workspaces physically. They expect more attention to design, effective
soundproofing, and everything that can improve the working comfort.
What are the trends and what are customers asking for? Has anything changed, or are people still using office partition walls the same way?
In the post-COVID era, the demand in the partition wall market has significantly increased,
and the trend of setting up offices with extensive open spaces has waned, favoring a
design approach where internal partitions are more prevalent.
What are the preferences of Etoile’s target market? Will aluminum7glass partition walls always be around, or will they be replaced by phone booths and integrated partition systems?
Etoile has always been attentive to market developments and well-organized to respond in the best way to the new needs of its customers. The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down the trend, especially for big companies, of creating extensive open spaces. In these settings, the absence of internal partitions has been replaced with phone booths, providing private areas for meetings and other specific activities.
I’m still convinced that the trend of designing large shared spaces, even if slowed down in
recent years, will resume its course and the market for phone booths will continue to grow.
However, this will be an exclusive prerogative of big groups, as small and medium-sized
companies, which make up the vast majority of Italian Market, they will stick with the
traditional partitions, especially the transparent ones, that are stylish and offer better sound
Standard products or highly customized ones?
Most manufacturers of internal partition walls offer standard product lines, primarily for production efficiency and due to limited capabilities. However, the market demands customized solutions, especially when architects are involved. Etoile is one of the few exceptions heavily focused on customization.
Has digitalization, the web, and new technologies simplified or complicated the work of a business operator?
Certainly, nowadays, customers and professionals can acquire sufficient expertise through the websites of manufacturers, which have become true virtual showcase displays where accurate technical information can be found. Market operators no longer go to customers with bulky paper catalogs to promote their products, instead, they simply bring a laptop or a tablet, which are much more convenient and effective for this task.
Do retailers still have a role, or can the market’s required competitiveness do without them, favoring the company’s direct action towards customers?
For more than a decade, people have been thinking that the role of the retailer is dying out, but it’s not quite like that! It’s true that, especially larger clients, turn directly to manufacturing companies in pursuit of potential economic advantages. However, it’s equally true that several retailers are capable of not only providing furnishings but also managing all the ‘turnkey’ services. This represents an indisputable advantage compared to manufacturers who are not always able to offer such solutions. Therefore, the ‘evolved’ retailer remains a strong point of reference in the market.
Is the product catalog still the main thing in your sales game, or have other tools taken over?
New technologies are gradually replacing paper catalogs because companies have created interactive digital tools that can be quickly emailed to the customer or viewed directly on their multimedia devices.
What does it mean these days to be in charge of commercial coordination and management, who are the folks inside and outside the company, and how should you interact with them?
The Sales Management is in charge of formulating and executing the commercial strategies of a company. It’s the connection between the company it represents and the market. Etoile’s Sales Management interacts with technical and commercial stakeholders, both internal and external, as in our business, these levels go hand in hand.
What does the company aim to achieve in the Italian and foreign markets?
Thanks to the quality and range of products it offers, Etoile is increasingly tailoring its offering to market influencers, such as architects, who now recognize and appreciate our DNA. The goals we set for ourselves are to become more and more a reference point in our relevant market segment.
What product is missing in Etoile, and which product should be removed?
The extensive range of products in Etoile’s proposal ensures that customers can find the solution that best suits their needs and aesthetic preferences. At the moment, we don’t have a diversified offer for phone booths, but this is a gap that we are filling, in a few months, we’ll be ready with these solutions as well.
How do you approach the topic of sustainability? Do your customers seem concerned about it, or do they not really care much about the topic? What’s the company doing about it?
The company is highly committed to sustainability and is investing significantly in this area. Moreover, the market, especially the more advanced segment related to big customers and national and international corporate groups, has long been selecting suppliers based on the sustainability level of the companies.