Interview

Team Blueprint: used plants and machinery appreciated by the paper industry

A lively and well-integrated business, providing consultancy for paper making companies wishing to buy efficient and well-performing used plants and machinery, is to be found on a parallel market than the one of new installations. It shows an innovative approach that goes well beyond the mere of sale of plants and machinery.

With more than 20 years experience in the sale of used installations and machines for any type of paper, Team Blueprint plays today a leading role in the market for used plants and machinery, which features activities from a number of fields ranging from the legal, technological and logistic sector, up to plant dismantling and on-line restart.

Claudio Giannone, Team Blueprint sole partner and administrator.

Claudio Giannone, Team Blueprint sole partner and administrator.

The company today has a new corporate structure and can be considered a real partner for the business development of its customers, as it works side by side with them to identify and transform machines, which would otherwise be scrapped. The objective of this operation is to provide and integrate a profitable manufacturing organization with plants and machinery, which can meet the needs of any paper making and processing facility. Used plants and machinery are ultimately the best solution possible from many points of view both for new and already established players in the paper industry. In both cases, investment costs are much lower: start-ups can minimize the risks connected with the launch of a new business activity, while already established paper mills can more easily increase their annual production or enhance their competitiveness by diversifying their product range. This has been the topic of our interview with Claudio Giannone, Team Blueprint sole partner and administrator, who has told us about a business that is really unique from the point of corporate culture and capable of riding the tide of a market, which is by no means of minor importance.

Team Blueprint’s innovative profile

As Mr. Giannone explains, «one should first and foremost clarify that Team Blueprint is the continuation of the business activity I carried out for many years at the service of several paper machines manufacturers. Today, ours is a European corporation with legal and operational headquarters in Sofia (Bulgaria), which was established on a principle and prerequisite of fundamental importance: True Human Leadership. This basically means that the company is owned by those who work in it and that it is exclusively based on the skills of individuals and their promotion as such.

The presence of just one sole administrator provides for lean corporate management in line with the needs of the market (i.e. the market for used plants and machinery), which is characterized by activities requiring timely and prompt decision-making. Two other colleagues, who are currently being trained, are working together with me for the company and next year two more professionals will join us. Ours is not a hierarchical structure, everyone is responsible for their work and collaborates with the other team members to pursue common goals. And as Team Blueprint is exclusively based on the value of people, training is of fundamental importance and normally lasts very long, at least no less than a year. After all, our human capital is basically composed of people who come back home satisfied with the work they have done and happy that they are part of a context strongly characterized by its human dimension. Our team is not only made up of our personnel, but also of the staff of our partner companies: Proinvar S.r.l (engineering, disassembly/dismantling, reconstruction); D.M. Progetti S.r.l (spare parts engineering and supply); HSB (civil engineering and sale of used plants). Collaborations with other companies are currently being defined, especially as regards the supply of paper mills consumables. Basically, Team Blue is a non-temporary consortium of micro-enterprises, each of which has its core business that they place at the disposal of other consortium partners. Team Blueprint has the task of acting as group leader for the management of complex projects».

An all-round activity

Mr. Giannone goes on and says that «Team Blueprint offers mediation and consultancy services in the sale of used plants and machinery for the paper industry. That of used plants and machinery is therefore our target market: we support the sale of disused plants by bringing buyers and sellers in contact. The latter are represented by paper mills that find themselves in voluntary winding up or insolvency procedures or are being restructured. Buyers can, instead, include companies already acting in the paper sector and wishing to install a new production line, or else new investors for which the paper industry is an interesting business opportunity. Buyers are not customers of secondary importance. In fact, we quite often have to deal with large paper mills wishing to buy a used plant to reduce installation and start-up times, avoid to access external financing, minimize the commercial risks linked with the introduction of new products on the market and, finally, reach the break-even point in the shortest time possible. A second business line of our company concerns the supply of consumables to paper mills. This business activity is currently being developed. It has no geographic boundaries, as it always concerns the sale of products to paper mills established thanks to a second-hand plant, with our company providing several services to them, including mediation, technical consultancy, disassembly, project management and process engineering. Many of these services are provided by partner companies, with which collaboration projects are currently being defined».

Unique on the market

Mr. Giannone goes on and says that «with this profile, we do not face competition in Europe. We do not consider ourselves as “dealers”, as we are not interested in business procurement per se. On the contrary, we provide new investors with substantial technical and technological support. In other words, we are a team of people and businesses capable of bringing used plants to new life, while machines manufacturers do not normally deal with this specific task, as this does not normally involve project engineering and construction. This is the element that differentiates us and makes us unique on the market of used plants and machines, which should not be considered alternative to the market for new products, but rather parallel and connected to it. The market of used plants and machines namely originates from the market for new products, where time is the discriminating factor. Used plants and machines have behind them 30 or 40 years of productive activity, although regular ordinary and extraordinary maintenance activities (i.e. reconstructions) make these machines last forever. Any plant relocation implies mechanical fine-tuning, which is carried out by our partner companies, as well as the supply of new spare parts and all services needed for the machine start-up».

Growing and being recognized on the market

«Because this work is so complex», concludes Mr. Giannone, «our goal is to manage one or two complex projects every year. Our organization is not able to deal with more than two orders, at least not in this initial phase of growth. Following this logic, turnover is extremely variable, too. The purchase prices of used plants, for which we receive sales commissions, are only and exclusively determined by the parties’ negotiating ability and the dynamics of supply and demand. As far as we are concerned, we make use of the various communication tools to promote our activities: website (with special attention to SEO services), display advertising, participation in trade fairs and, above all, and word of mouth marketing».

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