On a momentous day for businesses across Italy, as many companies were officially allowed to return to work, SuperyachtNews spoke exclusively to Amico & Co. CEO Alberto Amico about the status of the yard’s inventory of works, as well as the timeline for a return to 100 per cent capacity.
“Production is progressively returning to a good level, above 50 per cent of total capability”, Amico explains. “The release of the lockdown in Italy, starting 4 May, for most of the technical and industrial activities, will allow us to increase the pace of production, even though with the application of safety protocols the ‘density’ of activity, in the case of complex works inside small areas, will be limited.”
The Amico operation has continued, albeit under significant practical restrictions, throughout the Italian lockdown. This, according to Amico, meant that existing schedules of works could be optimised, so that works still permitted could be brought forward and, through liaison with client teams, elements could be prioritised depending on necessity. Impressively, he explains that a handful of projects were even delivered ahead of the original date. “We have updated the entire work schedule in accordance with each client’s new requests. Of course, everybody has been willing, cooperative and understanding,” he adds. Amico says new business is also being accepted, and incorporated into the existing works schedule for the remainder of this year.
There have been many questions surrounding the practicality of reinvigorating the Italian supply chain, because of both the complexity of the network, and the geographical area its many artisans and contractors cover. “The reasons why we were able to limit the slowing down of the production and to restart quite fast is that Amico has a strong in-house production organisation, together with a consistent network of local contractors,” Amico says of why the yard has not felt the full impact of this lockdown.
“Technicians coming from abroad can now visit the yard by following manageable protocols, if they stay for a limited time. As I said, returning to the ‘previous’ normal will not be possible for many months, so we will have to adapt to the new situation, and together – the client and the shipyard – try to compensate, where possible, with better planning.”
When quizzed on his forecast for the coming months, like many, Amico said two factors were pivotal: the lifting of restrictions on movement allowing clients to use their vessels, and how deep the economic damage really runs across the world’s markets; “The problem will be how many economic sectors and countries will be heavily affected by the slowing down of the economy, necessary changes in business model – travel, tourism and events, oil crisis – and the effect this has on unemployment and on the whole system.”
However, Amico concludes with an air of defiance and optimism on a day punctuated by positive change for Italian industry; “There may be difficult times ahead. And yet our industry is full of brilliant owners and both creative and pragmatic individuals and it will be stimulating, as we examine and overhaul our practices and seek new solutions together, breathing new life into everything we do, what we do best. It is also a time in which we feel optimistic that the industry will be reactive and prevail as a whole.
“Trying times may also be useful for strengthening relationships, if dealt with properly. We have felt very connected and thankful towards our client base and peers during this period, despite all the obstacles, and would like to thank everyone for their support. Please also allow me to wholeheartedly thank our workforce for their dedication to the company and our clients during this complex time.”
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