We left Verona today and headed back to Milan. On our way to Milan we made multiple stops to different companies. First, we visited a distribution center which specializes in packaging and sending products on behalf of all different types of companies. This visit tied in nicely with our focus on supply chain and I enjoyed getting an up close view of their distribution center. The tour they gave us allowed me to see workers in action as they collected items off selves and boxed them up to be sent out later. One odd thing about the warehouse was that nothing was automated. In America, certain warehouses have machines select products off selves and place them in boxes for shipping all without human intervention. In the warehouse we visited in Italy, they only had humans do the work. They claimed it was necessary to have humans do the work because it allows the company to tailor their services to each unique customer. I think I’m the future they will have to switch to machines because it will be more cost effective.
The next stop was at a tailor who specializes in men’s fashion. Specifically, they produce a lot of suit jackets and dress shirts. The owner of the factory gave us the tour and his passion for the industry was obvious. We felt the materials they use to produce clothes and my favorite was one made from bamboo. They told us the material is gaining a lot of popularity in Europe right now and it will likely spread to the United States. Next, the owner showed us how he tailors made to order custom suits. He used Frank as a model and it was very funny because he poked fun at Frank’s sport coat because it didn’t fit properly. We all had a good laugh and a fantastic time at the factory. The people were super nice to us and they even gave us freshly picked strawberries and other snacks at the end of the tour. This was one of my favorite visits.
Our last company visit for the day and our entire trip to Italy was at Mario Faroni headquarters (also called MF1). Mario himself accompanied us on the tour and frequently gave his input about the creation of their products and his experience. He was very friendly, and although he said his English wasn’t good, I understood him very well. The only unfortunate part about this visit is we weren’t allowed to take pictures, but I understand now because we saw some amazing technology and how the employees used it to create high fashion clothes. MF1 makes clothes for the likes of Gucci, Chanel, Kanye West, Louis Vuitton, and many others. It was amazing to see past collections but also future collections that have not yet been released to the public. MF1 takes pride in maintaining the highest quality and after seeing their process, I can confirm they are second to none. For the last part of the tour, Mario showed us his historic collection of past pieces and it even included a pair of pants worn by Madonna. Another crazy piece was a sweater which was the last design Versace created before he was murdered. Overall, I loved this trip and especially loved being able to talk to Mario and ask him questions. For someone as successful as him, he was very nice and humble and I hope his company continues its tremendous success.