THE NINETIES

Second generation grows in the Company

During the nineties, SORA was led by Giovanni Riva. In these years the second generation of managers grown up. Three people started from basic roles and reached then key positions into the Company, drove it in its technological and management evolution. Their experience and technical skills represents a precious human capital resource that helps ensure SORA future.

“At first I worked into the workshop, I moved then to the spare parts storage, at the section specialized in used parts for grinding. I also was a conveyor, which allowed me to work very close to our customers outside by the regional borders- Massimo Tabanelli says (age class 1964, Stefano’s son, one of the founding members, and the first of the second generation managers - .The fact I was a partner’s son caused a very high expectation about my efficiency from all. It did not protect me from older employees’ jokes. Once, I went to the spare parts storage looking for a water radiator of an old Fiat 500, a very hard mission to end considering that it was an air-cooled model. It was not a lack of respect toward me, they simply were able to joke overcoming hierarchies, as usually happens in a big family. I can remember that in order to keep the high standard gained on the service delivery, during those years SORA has increased its size for more than a third of the units. This escalation continued in the next decade. Today we have increased three times the number of company vehicles compared to the eighties. In the mid-nineties, I was also involved in the crucial radical change toward the aftermarket spare parts sale, a tricky phase that has brought a significant evolution relating to the spare parts expertise. Since then, the staff learned a specific knowledge about single parts and their features, very helpful to propose alternative solutions to customers’ requests. In 1998, we took part to the “Tuttemarche” Group letting us to gain the know-how required to be a big player in this sector”.

In 1991 the SO.MI was born: the merger between the local historic dealerships IVECO Minardi Industrial Vehicles and IVECO-Parts SORA. Today it is a multipurpose enterprise, with a covered space of more than 1200 m2, which involves nine employees, constantly trained by the IVECO Academy, able to satisfy customers with flexibility and professionalism. As authorised workshop IVECO, moreover one of the first in Italy to have received the certification UNI EN ISO 9001:2008, SO.MI is fully equipped with advanced diagnostic instrumentation letting to minimize downtime technician. The Workshop “peculiarity” is the engines repair and overhaul, transmissions and differentials, which also operates on braking, hydraulic systems and tyres. The workshop also offers car electrician and air conditioning services. The original Iveco spare parts supply is an additional warranty provided to the customers and proving the high services quality.

“I started working at the end of the eighties: I was 21-year-old man and I started to “climb the ladder” at the grinding workshop – Davide Tabanelli highlights (age class 1966), Massimo’s brother, today President of SORA – but since the nineties we began to follow with increasing attention what happened abroad. My father and I flew to the United States. It was popular the idea that Americans do not like to repair engines, preferring buying the new ones. We realized it was not the truth. We achieved important ideas also visiting Northern European companies. Once back to Italy we adjusted our equipment to the foreign standards. One of the most important changed occurred in that decade it was the entry of SORA in the aftermarket parts business. Since 1996 were in fact withdrawn mandates as dealership parts FIAT Auto, IVECO, Rover and Land Rover to all wholesalers managing with spare parts, but not vehicles. We began to sell spare parts and aftermarket body parts. A forced choice, but that has been successful. Then we focused on final operators: repair shop and body shops, while keeping our channels with the wholesalers. Surely, it was a way even more to take roots in the territory. We also support sport motoring companies of the area: for instance, we built a special relation with the Team Turbo 2000 of Alfonsine, operating in tractor pulling competitions. We worked in partnership to realize the prototype "Tornado 2 ", which fits three motors Allison V1710 P51 Mustang, able to develop 9000 horses. Since 2010, the Team also competes in the European championship devoted to its category".

Even regarding the engine components processes we faced important changes. Today, the finished products level we are able to offer is always better than ever. During the time materials have changed, materials that offer a better mechanical strength and therefore require specific machinery to be able to be processed. Electronic tools (emulators) developed too and this allowed SORA to test electronic engines on our test benches. In this ongoing evolving scenario, SORA kept steady all its strengths. One of these is the binomial "spare parts-grinding", so far quite uncommon in Italy, a prototype that continues to be solid and efficient.
Even those realities at the beginning organized differently, are trying to equip themselves in the same way: a sign of foresight shown by SORA years ago. Another important change is the handover among the different generations: regarding both the leadership and workers.

"In addition to this - President Tabanelli says- we keep investing on our employees upgrading skills. More important is that we guarantee our work with real facts. The ultimate aim we try to reach is not simply selling, but getting the full customer satisfaction. A satisfied customer means a loyal customer. Since I became the President, I have been the reference for all Sora staff; therefore, I feel responsibilities as the head of household. Then, I would like to help positively for the employees job satisfaction increase. Encouraging aggregation activities able to reinforce team spirit and introduce typical north European benefits, such as corporate nursery and more solutions able to make Sora staff life easier”.

“I was 17-years-old boy working at the grinding department – Maurizio Carigi says (age class 1970), founding member’s nephew Ugo Magnani, today Purchasing Office Manager- thus starting a hard "trial" with the "old school" staff, many of whom were in SORA since the beginning of its history.

Extremely generous people, but also very rigorous; whom did not forgive any distraction. At the beginning, the operator’s power and attention were able to make the difference. Today the specialist skills required mainly consist of knowledge necessary to manage machinery and systems more and more advanced. SORA invests significant resources to be always up to date. Our CNC machine, specific for regrinding valve seats, the Newen Contour Epoc is only one of the examples I could give you. Regarding the spare parts storage, today we have an electronic system, that let us to manage the current range of components, and to drastically cut down the waiting time of deliveries, going by in a decade, from two days to two hours. It uses to privilege more the variety than the quantity of the stocked parts. We work with the local companies and we are willing to keep strength relations with this reality. We commit to put skills, abilities, and facilities of our company available to customers as a meeting place, exchange of experiences, as well as technical and sales training. We then developed an e-commerce system in our web site, initially reserved for long-standing customers. We are proud that it is used not only by spare parts sellers, but also by body shops".