Interview: “Quality is a brand’s or product’s first competitive edge”

By Kasper Mussche, DTI
July 02, 2019

Paolo Bussolari has been with multi-business group and dental product manufacturer Cefla since 2001 and has served as Managing Director of Cefla Medical Equipment since 2013. In this role, he is responsible for the general direction of the Cefla business unit, which deals with the development of all products manufactured by Cefla’s brands. He spoke to Dental Tribune Online about current developments in Cefla Medical Equipment and about manufacturer–dealer relationships.

Cefla brings together a number of different brands. What advantages does this hold for Cefla Medical Equipment?
Between 2000 and 2010, Cefla Medical Equipment acquired several dental companies in order to strengthen its expertise and product assortment. This multi-brand strategy has allowed Cefla to improve the acquired brands while still maintaining their unique identity. In addition, it has contributed decisively to the growth of our group thanks to the strong distribution partnerships and networks which constitute an important asset of the company.

How does Cefla stay in touch with what patients and dental professionals need?
To understand and anticipate customers’ needs, it is necessary to understand how they work. For this reason, we have an outcome-driven system that allows us to always provide the best service for our customers. Our relationships with universities and research centres are also key to guiding product development.

Everything, from design to testing, still takes place in the Italian factory. Is there a particular reason for this?
Cefla Medical Equipment centralised 90% of its manufacturing activities in Imola in Bologna because it is one of the most important European industrial hubs for medical devices. This strategy has allowed the company to maximise industrial synergies, improve productivity and offer customers high-quality products that are recognised all over the world.

Based on your sales, are you seeing any new trends in the dental trade and in dentistry as a whole? What market changes can we expect?
Dentistry is still a growing and profitable market segment. Certainly, the changes that stem from new technologies, regulatory barriers and price erosion have made the industry highly competitive. Companies that want to maintain leadership and market shares must apply end-to-end solutions in order to maintain product competitiveness and market flexibility and focus on what creates real value for the dealers and dentists who are their customers. Innovation plays a key role, but to create value, it must be part of an integrated system that considers all aspects of the company and all market players.

How is the market for your products developing internationally?
Our products and brands are found all over the world. Thanks to a widespread and professional network in over 100 countries worldwide, Cefla Medical Equipment is internationally established. Export constitutes over 80% of our turnover. Europe is our major market and we have important market shares in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and China. North America represents a development opportunity where we are active through a commercial and logistics branch.

What is the importance of the ADDE for Cefla?
Dentists are our end users, and we invest in products and technologies that appeal to them and help them best with their professional activity. The ADDE is the European reference organisation for more than 1,000 dental depots and is an important partner of the European dental industry. As a manufacturer of dental equipment, we consider it strategic to have a partnership with the distributors in order to combine products with service, competence and the development of markets.

What should dental dealers pay attention to when working with manufacturers of dental products?
Performance, quality and reliability are the most important features to keep in mind when choosing a product. Sometimes quality is not properly considered when evaluating price. When it comes to medical equipment, the advantages associated with construction standards and service quality must be a priority. Quality is a brand’s or product’s first competitive edge.

What is next for Cefla Dental? What are Cefla’s priorities and challenges for the rest of 2019?
This is an important and challenging year for Cefla Medical Equipment. We will be introducing a number of important innovations to the market—over 70 new products—that will revolutionise the current range of our brands and provide improved performance and new standards. In our imaging, treatment centre and sterilisation segments, Cefla Medical Equipment will continue to develop and invest in markets through product innovation. The excellent feedback from the market forecasts a year of growth and confirms the very positive direction which the company has taken in recent years.

 

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