Today we open a new Labor-b column that aims at giving companies a voice. We begin our journey by meeting Laura Balducci, HR manager of the Antiba Tannery, an Italian excellence in leather tanning operating in the Santa Croce sull’Arno district.
Hello Laura, first of all thank you for giving us this opportunity. To begin, it would be interesting to know the origin of the Antiba tannery.
The tannery was founded in 1987 following the initiative of my father and my uncle who created their business with the aim of producing high quality leather for footwear. Starting from this idea, the company has developed over time to become a leader in goat skins tanning thanks to innovative choices for the sector to choose from to invest in factories and suppliers in different parts of the world to always seek the best product. capable of meeting the very high quality standards we require … an added value that all our customers in the sector recognize in us.
A second element of success was our great flexibility and far-sightedness in the choices that led us to evolve over time from a tannery specialized in footwear to leather goods, a rapidly expanding market.
I joined the company in 2008 and I started taking care of my path in the HR office 6 years ago when the company needed a clear vision in terms of human resources as we were preparing for a strong expansion phase: in just 5 years we have doubled our company population reaching 92 employees today.
What were the difficulties you have had to face in recent years?
Growth was very fast and we immediately realized that it was no longer enough just paying payrolls, but I had to find a company that could support us with a global vision in the world of HR matters … and in that moment I found Labor-B . The advice and strategic indications of Labor-B consultants have supported me in the difficult task of containing personnel costs while maintaining satisfaction and a close bond with personnel, the trademark of Antiba.
Is it in this context that the idea of introducing welfare was born?
Exactly. We were looking for a solution to reward some key people, some merits and at the same time have savings. We therefore decided to start introducing a reward system and now, after the success of the first phase, we are evaluating to extend the second level agreement to the whole company … but this is a job that must be done with the right timing so employees can understand the true value of the project.
What was welfare received?
They were very happy because they receive a benefit they did not have before, flexible and usable. In 2019 most people used it for holidays because it came at an interesting time in their organization and it was definitely a nice benefit.
From the point of view of the motivation and the link to the company, what impact did the Welfare Plan have?
In our company there is a very personal relationship with employees, we have always listened to them very much and this is certainly our peculiarity. Surely this plan has helped to continue in this direction and many employees are now even more positive because they see that their efforts are paying off.
And what are the keywords of change for the future?
Antiba is a very peculiar reality compared to other companies in the area. Production control, budget identification and continuous monitoring have become essential elements to keep the situation under control at all times.
Additionally, we are making large investments to go even further: we don’t just want to be riding the wave, but we want to be ready to catch even the next wave. There are some very interesting and strategic projects underway such as the birth of a new experimental tannery where we will develop new alternative solutions.
Furthermore, our pillars on which we will continue to base all our activities are quality, sustainability and social responsibility: since the birth of the certifications in the world of tanneries, we have always been at the forefront in seeking new solutions. We are also very active in the HR field: since returning from lockdown we have had several audits by customers and we have passed them all, proving to be serious and scrupulous partners in all aspects of the supply chain.