The Rupp Report: The World Of Consulting
Jürg Rupp, Executive Editor
The Rupp Report doesn’t know if this happens in other industries too: Media people — and certainly people in important positions in the textile industry — often encounter people who either retired or were forced to retire. These persons often have a remarkable record of achievement, and some of them don’t want to stop working. In other words, they want to stay in the industry and remain important; and, why not, make some money. So what is the solution? Consulting! The author remembers very well along his entire working life as a writer meeting retired people who offered their knowledge to the public or to the trade magazine. Ninety-nine percent of these offers were refused for a single reason: the industry should be managed and led by people who are in the business every day, know the pace of the textile industry, and are not retired and living in the past.
Know-how From Yesterday …
There are many examples in the business world of consultants who engulfed companies in the abyss. The list of companies in trouble due to bad consulting seems to be virtually endless. However, there are other enterprises that have acted with a proven track record as consultants for decades. One of the leading enterprises in textile consulting is the Switzerland-based Gherzi Group. In April 1929, Dr. Giuseppe L. Gherzi, who came back from a stay in the United States, laid the foundation for the current Gherzi Group, by creating the Gherzi Textil Organisation AG. As a young economist, equipped with experience gained in the U.S.-American textile industry, Gherzi recognized the vast industrial engineering consulting potential in Europe. Very soon, he was aware of the great importance of policies of cost competitiveness and of a clear organizational structure of industrial plants. This awareness led to the start of the management and operational consulting sector of the group.
Another milestone came in 1948: The advantages of integrating industrial planning and plant construction with technological and organizational concepts grew and became increasingly apparent, leading to the formation of Gherzi Engineering Zürich Ltd. The result was the ability to offer a full range of advisory services in the technological, organizational and engineering areas.
During the 1990s, the Gherzi Group expanded its activity into logistics and planned some of the most modern fully automated warehouses for retail as well as large-scale distribution. At the threshold of the second millennium, the Gherzi Group started to assist its clients with corporate finance activities and introduced new consulting services related to Clean Tech.
… And Today …
Today, the Gherzi Group is managed by the founder’s two grandsons, Francesco and Giuseppe Gherzi, and includes five different market segments: Management Consulting; Engineering; Logistics & Supply Chain; Corporate Finance; and Clean Technologies.
According to grandson Giuseppe Gherzi, “Since the beginning as the first consulting enterprise focusing on the global textile industry, the company has developed into an integrated group with the areas of management consulting, strategic development, engineering, logistics and supply chain and corporate finance.” The group claims to be a leader for strategic and engineering development and expansion of companies in the textile industry from production to retail.
Important sectors also include textile machinery manufacturers, textile associations, financial institutions and private equity funds, governments, world aid Institutions, and development banks. Giuseppe Gherzi confirms that the company went quite satisfactory through the turmoil of the financial crisis.
For the constantly growing sector of technical textiles and nonwovens, the group provides strategy, merger and acquisitions, operational improvement, and R&D support. As a matter of fact, and this was written many times by the Rupp Report and confirmed by Giuseppe Gherzi, technical textiles have developed into a major growth industry worldwide, already representing more than 50 percent of the entire textile production in certain countries like, for example, Germany.
Among the cornerstones of the consulting activities are industrial projects. According to Gherzi, his group was the first engineering company to provide industrial engineering consultancy in several fields. Today, the areas covered include textiles, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, investment, and consumer goods.
… And Tomorrow
Giuseppe Gherzi mentions that “since 85 years the Gherzi Group has offered to the industry international, independent and integrated consulting services, ranging from strategy to operational assistance, corporate finance, as well as engineering and logistics.” Both Gherzi brothers see a growing demand from European companies for services to optimize their plants in Europe and Asia. “Increasingly, global companies demand European know-how, especially in the area of engineering, operations and logistics,” adds Francesco Gherzi.
Recently, Gherzi reinforced its presence in Germany by opening a second office in Rottweil to answer the growing demand for engineering and logistics services. The group’s office in Krefeld, Germany, offers services related to strategy, management and operational consulting.
The company’s press release announcing the opening of its new office states that “Gherzi Wolak Engineering GmbH, located in the historic centre of the city of Rottweil, develops and implements modern engineering and architecture projects for industrial, commercial, public and private clients. The company is majority owned by the Gherzi Group and the team consists of architects, engineers and draftsmen. This integrated approach gives the client the advantage to work with a single service partner, i.e. general planner. Apart from the classical engineering and architectural services in accordance with German, European and International standards, the following services are provided: integrated planning for industrial buildings; energy concepts with energy consulting; quality management; project coordination, project management and controlling; safety and health coordination, following construction site ordinance standards.”
April 1, 2014