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Member of the month october 2019 - SAPAL SA

Claudio Manfroni, CEO of Sapal SA, talks to us about the company’s internationalization process

With over 110 years’ experience in the food industry, the Ecublens-based company, Sapal, is an international leader in the packaging of premium products mainly for the cheese, chocolate and bouillon industries. Thanks to its cutting-edge technologies, customized solutions and efficient worldwide customer service, the company has established itself in the high-end segment at a global level. In this interview, CEO Claudio Manfroni reveals his recipe for export success and gives advice on setting up overseas operations.

Sapal SA

With a presence in more than 70 countries, Sapal has sold more than 20,000 machines since its inception, 6,000 of which are still in service with its customers. The company from the Canton of Vaud is committed to flexibility, individual solutions and Swiss quality. It designs autonomous, innovative, high-tech packaging machines. The company also offers complete packaging lines. Placing particular emphasis on the sensitive issue of sustainable development, the team of engineers is constantly developing new solutions to remain at the leading edge of innovation, while respecting the environment, in particular by reducing the volume of packaging materials consumed. The company is also constantly improving its products and processes in accordance with its ISO 9001:2015 certification.

Claudio Manfroni, what is your recipe for international success?
Our export success is mainly linked to the quality of our products and their customization in response to the demands of our various customers. 

Once our equipment is installed, we pay particular attention to the smooth running of our machines, which have helped to build our company's image and reputation over the years. This positive customer experience leads to repeat orders from our customers. 

The other strength of our strategy is our after-sales service team, which provides a dedicated service to our customers, helping them make the most of their installed base. We offer original spare parts, upgrades and on-site support. All these activities make it possible to increase the efficiency of the machines or production lines, to make them more flexible and increase their operating life.

With this strategy, we position ourselves as a partner to our clients, which allows us to benefit from an increase in market demand. 

What obstacles have you encountered in your internationalization process? 
The main barriers are administrative. 

"To overcome them, we draw on our experience, as well as that of our local partners and Switzerland Global Enterprise."

What advice would you give to a company seeking to export its business?
To take a foothold in the packaging industry, you need good references. To get those references, it is important to find a customer who wants to develop the product and become a partner for the industrialization of the product in their production environment.

At the same time, and depending on the market, it is essential to be able to rely on a good local business partner. 

Find the right business partner with S-GE

What are the three guiding principles of your company? 
Our mission is to protect food from the time it has been prepared until it is delivered to the consumer through quality packaging. To achieve this, the three values to which we aspire and which we promote within the company are excellence, open-mindedness and entrepreneurship.

What S-GE services do you mainly use? 
We work with S-GE on trade fairs in our specific field (Swiss Pavilion) and also in the exploration of new markets.

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