Grafimec for Print Connection: the interview with Armando Castello

Armando e Andrea Castello

Wanting to draw a brief identikit of your company in this first post-pandemic phase, how would you describe it? What has changed? What has consolidated?

It may seem far-fetched in our sector, but we can say that ultimately the pandemic has not had such a negative impact on our company. Or rather, there were major repercussions on sales in the first months of restrictions, but without giving up and in the hope that everything would be restored in a short time, we continued to work at full capacity.
We don’t hide the fact that not hearing the phone ring for weeks and therefore not receiving new orders, once all the commissioned works were completed, we initially wondered what would become of our company and staff. However, we immediately understood that this period of commercial stop could become an opportunity: in fact, Grafimec boasts a large warehouse stocked with machinery mainly for post-printing which is completely overhauled and brought up to standard before being delivered to the end customer. In recent months we have thus taken advantage of this (unpleasant) quiet to refurbish paper cutters and other machines not yet commissioned, so as to have an advantage in terms of time once we return to normality. In 5 months we completely overhauled around 20 machines and in autumn 2020, the fact of having immediate availability in the warehouse allowed us to offer customers machines ready for delivery, significantly reducing waiting times. To date, we can say that we have returned to total normality, without any repercussions on our projects and our technical team, which has actually expanded compared to the pre-pandemic period.

What does facing challenges mean to you?

The challenges? We like them! If we had not taken risks over the years, Grafimec would certainly not be what it is today: and one strength that has allowed us to continually face new challenges is foresight.
We have had foresight in focusing on the post-print sector, seeing the frenetic evolution of technologies and digital technology which in just a few years has overtaken that of printing.
Foresight in also entering the packaging and converting market, where we can more easily satisfy various requests thanks to the variety of equipment and skills acquired over the years.
Foresight in specializing in the overhaul of used machines, which in terms of productivity can perform as well as new ones, with extremely lower costs and more in line with the needs of our customers.

Furthermore, we have noticed that companies give extreme importance to after-sales and want to have guarantees on the durability and functionality of the product they purchase: for this reason in recent years we have been dedicating a lot of time to assistance, even on machines not supplied directly by us. This is possible once again thanks to our team of specialized mechanics and the variety of spare parts immediately available in stock which allows us to intervene promptly on machinery that needs repair.
Our goal, and at the same time our ongoing challenge, is to continue to always be able to seize the right opportunities in the face of the changes that dominate the market.

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