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THE TALK: Reconstruction Starts From Strong Points

Paolo Re, CEO of Recarlo, underlines the need to focus on technology to strengthen relations with the final customer

Two months of lockdown. Can you estimate the damage that this crisis has caused to the sector and, more specifically, to your company? 
Starting from the fact that the crisis found everyone, government and companies, unprepared, our priority now, is to look within the company to understand how to manage cash flows and which deficiencies need to be faced. We have been hypothesizing worst and best-case scenarios over the last few weeks to understand what we are up against. As entrepreneurs, our task is to look beyond, to relaunch and re-start our businesses as soon as possible. Take the gold district of Valenza, for example, which consists mainly of a framework of family-run artisan companies. In order for them to continue, it is essential to reactivate the supply chain. 

What are your priorities for re-starting?
The first problem to deal with regards the health of our employees and their families. It will therefore be of prime importance to re-open companies with workplace sanitization, provide sanitizer in appropriate places, respect distances and stagger the number of people coming in and going out. Our company was founded on a value system with a solid sense of belonging and for this reason, we deem it right to set up a psychological support service called “speak to me, I’m listening” to meet the needs of our collaborators. Once our greatest asset, that is, our staff, has been made safe, we will start to work on product and communication. Recovery will be slow, we know that. Recarlo will re-start where it left off by trying to reconstruct what we had begun, with the corner shop in shop project. We are raring to go and will try not to miss anything to strengthen the brand.

A period of closure where technology has played a key role. 
We are well aware that the world ahead of us will be different to the one we left behind. All this technology must help companies to re-think the way they relate with the final customer, who is evolving, and to see the action logics from an omni-channel viewpoint. Therefore, the absolute priorities: reinforce omni-channeling, review communication channels and re-think those for sales. We have worked considerably on our on-line aspects, from our company website to the social networks, because we need to cultivate relations and we have also been trying to re-invent ourselves from an organizational point of view, directing our resources well. This is advice that we are also giving to retailers for re-modelling the store. 

You touched on a sensitive spot, the sales point. How will that re-start? 
For some companies, there may be significant opportunities in re-thinking activities and the long-term vision. Which means realizing that, in the coming months, it may not be possible to have daily relations with the customer. New, additional services are therefore required. The way we sell, on and off-line, has to be re-organized and digital tools must be strengthened. The final customer is always at the center. 
For example, we had launched the Academy project purely to give the utmost support to the multi-brand wholesale channel, to understand the needs of the final customers, the younger generations.  It is essential for jewelers linked to celebrations to turn to technology for help. We can no longer manage the project as before but we are already thinking of a way to re-invent it. We have to invest in the Academy by thinking about managing it remotely, creating an experience and an atmosphere.  Still in the field of technology applied to jewelry, what could really help to close the gap with the final customer? In terms of innovation, the missing tool is augmented reality. Understanding the value of that would help to offer a more authentic vision of jewelry by giving an idea of what it would look like on the wearer. A tool that is still a long way from the jewelry store but which could be of enormous support. 

So, technological and digital re-start but without every losing sight of the evolved and different final customer. What will Recarlo be like at the re-start?
The Italian entrepreneur is used to reconstruction, starting from the strong points. We will focus increasingly on Made in Italy because there has never been a more important moment to create value in Italy through our manufacture. Then, we will work more and more sustainably and I am confident that the Italian entrepreneur will do his part. Those who have managed the situation well will have a great sense of belonging and people will want to make a contribution. Those who have not, will have problems with the re-start. I will end by saying that what is needed is a vision with a more international approach. We cannot just look at a market, we have to see the world.

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