The board of directors of the Merlo Group have confirmed Paolo Merlo as President of the group: “Innovation, research and inclusiveness are the pillars of our future, the same pillars shared by the whole family since our story as a company began”.
The Board of Directors of the Merlo Group have appointed Paolo Merlo as President, marking a sign of continuity to the path undertaken at the beginning of the year following the passing of company founder & President Mr Amilcare Merlo late last year.
The Italian company was the first in Europe to manufacture the modern design of telehandler in 1981.
Today the presence of the Merlo Group, which includes nine specialised in-house companies, is strengthened by a direct organisation of six established subsidiaries in France, Germany, United Kingdom, Spain, Poland, Australia and a new subsidiary in the USA – alongside a distribution network of over 80 importers and 600 dealers worldwide.
More than 90% of production is carried out at the Italian site, a rare feature in the industry, where control over the entire production process allows the company’s know how to be developed and protected, guaranteeing a quality of supply that the world market continues to recognise and acknowledge.
The goal for the next three years, confirmed by the new President, is to achieve 10,000 telehandlers annually, as well as about 25,000 attachments. To achieve this, significant investments are planned for the opening of both new production lines and new infrastructure, aimed at an increasingly efficient, technological and above all sustainable management and production systems.
Development services for the interconnection of logistic flows with regular suppliers will also be enhanced, which will streamline and make the supply chain more efficient. The industrial objectives naturally intersect with one of the distinctive characteristics of the Merlo Group, which has been handed down from time immemorial, namely the focus on people, in terms of in-house workforce, but also with reference to the needs of distributors and end users, to whom many future initiatives will be dedicated.
This is how the President, Paolo Merlo, put it: “Today, the solidity of the Merlo Group allows us to look far ahead and plan for the long term. There are still many applications and areas where we can grow, we aim to strengthen our historical markets, starting with Italy and the countries where we are present with subsidiaries and importers. At the same time, we also intend to expand into markets that are relatively new to us, where there is still plenty of room for growth. In the USA we have just established our new subsidiary Merlo America and are strengthening our presence in Asia.
We are a very different industry group from the traditional ones. Our international presence is very strong, we are in fact a multinational – a “pocket-sized multinational”, as one national newspaper called us. Today Merlo engages with the world market, but the strong link with our territory and the choice of having only one production plant today certainly make us a very special organisation. This allows us to develop without ever losing our vocation for all round innovation and to present ourselves as a unique and appreciated player worldwide.
“Pocket-sized” perhaps does not do justice to the work of all our contributors. When growing internationally, companies often try to hide their origins. We, on the other hand, treasure this, our history has brought us here and allows us to look and plan for the future with great determination, knowing that we have a long way to go, but we have even more ahead of us”.
Merlo’s strength today is innovation – something that has been in the company’s DNA since its inception. But there is also a lot of research, just as much curiosity, passion and willingness to face the challenges of the market; above all, there is the constant search for balance, between process industrialisation and sustainability, towards which the company today directs most of its efforts and investments.
“For a company like ours, which occupies an area of around 330,000 square metres, sustainability is an important commitment that we approach with enthusiasm and conviction – continues Paolo Merlo. Sustainability is, in fact, one of the pillars for the evolution of our company. In 2013 we presented the world’s first hybrid telehandler and in 2021 we launched our first electric telehandler.
But sustainability also involves making important choices, such as opting for an energy supplier using only renewable sources. In addition, we have an internal production of more than one megawatt thanks to the solar panels installed in recent years.
Technology is and will be increasingly important. The modern telehandler concept, invented by us almost forty years ago, has ushered in a profound revolution in the world of handling and lifting, reducing working time and significantly improving operator safety. Today, the margins for growth are still great and Merlo telehandlers are finding more and more applications where both work quality and safety can be improved. This philosophy runs through all the products in our range: the tracked carriers, tool handler tractors, waste compactors and self-loading concrete mixers are designed to make work easier, faster and safer. In order to improve our services and be closer to our customers, we have internally developed a company called Movimatica, which deals with fleet management software”.
Among its “honours”, Merlo boasts over 90 patents, the latest of which are all dedicated to the safety of operators at work. Just think of the very recent Suspended Cab (CS), a technological solution that has developed a low-frequency system to reduce vibrations inside the cab, increasing comfort and safety for the operator and consequently reducing the risk of accidents or the development of occupational diseases related to this issue. Another innovative patent is the ASCS (Adaptive Stability Control System) that prevents the risk of the machine tipping over while handling a load.
Merlo is a unique brand; it is difficult to find a company with the same characteristics anywhere in the world. But it is not just a question of patents or innovation, because one of the secrets of our success is our human capital:
“Innovation is fundamental, both in terms of product and production, but it is not enough – recalls the President. The human component is also crucial, because companies are first and foremost made up of people. With us this will always remain central, we believe in people, we believe in those who work with us and we believe above all in talent.
Today it is important to find a way to attract and retain new talent, so that with them we can continue to grow, we as a company and they as professionals. That is why, starting this year, we have opened the Merlo Academy, an in-house school to train newly recruited employees so that they can be better integrated into the company. This is the only way to be truly innovative”.