Organization and processes
In the current economic situation, in which the decisive factors for our business are highly volatile, taking rapid strategic and tactical action in all the countries where the Group operates is fundamental. Consequently, it is important for the Group to possess an adequate level of formalisation, application and control over processes, in order to maximize operating efficiency and effectively monitor stores in terms of each one’s profitability, effectiveness and efficiency. These processes are even more important with acquisitions, where it is crucial to assess all the risks arising from such operations. Why? Because errors in assessing these risks, as well as delays in integrating these acquisitions into the Group’s processes, can lead to significantly higher costs and inefficiencies for the Group.
The Group is in the process of completing a path to define and formalize common procedures, above all as part of the project to standardize the Group’s IT applications (CAPI) and the 262 Compliance project [Law 262, the Italian equivalent of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act], and a Business Performance Management project has been launched at stores with the aim of monitoring their operations more effectively and make it possible to compare them internationally.
Rapid implementation of strategic decisions is ensured by an organization based on uniform geographical regions and a leadership team working with the CEO and including the corporate heads of the various departments: sales, marketing, HR, administration and finance, and purchasing.
One of Amplifon’s strengths is its customer service, making our people a vital factor in this area. Nevertheless, they present certain criticalities and risk areas. Specifically:
• the limited availability of audioprosthesists in our market, the difficulty of recruiting new ones, and the fact that some of them go over to the competition can pose significant risks for the Group’s organic growth, combined with the risk of losing customers and that of increased labour costs due to salary increases;
• the possible lack of technical and sales skills among our staff might make sales efforts ineffective in certain countries and would be a significant risk in terms of reaching our organic growth targets;
• the risk of illegal actions by the sales force or behaviour that fails to respect the rules set by the Group.
To mitigate these risks the Group has undertaken a series of actions.
• we have defined and set out our values in our Code of Conduct, which has been distributed in all our countries of operation.
• we have drawn up the profile of the ideal audioprosthesist in order to make it consistent with our recruitment methods and the Group’s business policies; we have taken steps to increase the supply of audioprosthesists on the market, through agreements with universities and specialization courses.
• we have stepped up our internal training programmes and developed central coordination of the training activities organized in the different countries in which we operate.
• in order to check that procedures are being followed, for some time we have been inspecting our branches in Italy, a step that is conducted on an ongoing basis time and serves as a model for similar initiatives in other countries.