Human Resources and Quality Systems

Quality and customer service

Continuing on from 2008, which was an important time for the Group to target product and process quality, organisational efforts were stepped up in 2009 with further focus on customer satisfaction.
In particular, a new organisational unit was set up - “Customer & Dealer Satisfaction Systems” - with the aim of creating an organisational entity to develop work methodologies and applications to monitor service levels and the effectiveness of the quality of Piaggio Group products and processes, with a customer-driven approach.
The unit works in conjunction with sales structures on various reference markets, to organise Customer and Dealer Relationship Management initiatives and support product development and delivery processes as regards customer satisfaction and related aspects.

In particular, main projects in 2009 concerned:

  1. Selecting CRM and DRM reference models for different markets where the Group already operates. Choices were made based on a SWOT analysis that took into account the best practices of various reference markets.
  2. The introduction of methods and resources for identifying and measuring the effectiveness of services and products on new markets, with a customer-driven approach.
    The purpose is to create a market/client-driven organisational focus within the Group, from as early on as the development stage.

 Organisational development

In 2009, the organisational restructuring of the Group continued in line with business requirements and consolidation of the internationalisation process currently underway. In particular, the most significant events in the first half of the year concerned:

  • The Asiatic pole of the two-wheelers was created through the establishment of an Asia two-wheeler organisational Unit for the purposes of developing and proposing a range of products in Asia and which can promote the growth of turnover, profitability and market shares in the markets of Vietnam, China, Asia Pacific and Japan.
  • The EMEA two-wheeler Commercial Division was created by establishing the departments of Central Staff (“Marketing and Network Development”, “Sales Planning & Support”, “Business Development for Derbi, MG and Off Road”) as well as through the acquisition for the Corporate Business department (from Commercial Vehicles) and the strengthening of control in the various markets.
  • The optimisation of processes and operating mechanisms of the Commercial Vehicles Division, by defining in detail the organisational structures, with particular reference to the EMEA CIS Commercial unit and Strategic Marketing unit.
  • The Racing activities of the Group were consolidated within Aprilia Racing s.r.l.
    The need to consolidate industrial processes worldwide, as well as product monitoring (two- and three- four- wheelers) and relative strategies, created the need for a new Group organisational structure, which was disclosed at the end of December but became operative as from 1 January 2010.

In particular this operation focussed on:

  • Establishing a Product Development and Strategies Management Unit to guarantee the development of new projects and co-ordinate the R&D process at an interna tional level, as well as product and brand diversification on various markets.
  • Establishing a Technological Manufacturing and Production Management Unit, focussed on all technological activities relating to production facilities, to guarantee the development of specialist Group know how and technological innovation monitoring.
  • Establishing the Manufacturing and EMEA 2W Facilities Management Unit, with the aim of maximising synergies and production efficiencies at 2W production facilities.
  • The Materials and Components Procurement Unit now reports to the General Finance Management Unit, to develop important economies of scale aimed at consolidating partnerships with suppliers and achieving better levels of efficiency.

The plan for implementing the new IT system, SAP HR, began in 2008 with the objective of aligning the Group with the best practices of international companies. The plan has continued and is operational in both Italy and foreign offices of the Group, and is scheduled for completion in the first half of 2010 for India and Vietnam.
Training activities involved all clusters of the company’s staff and included specific plans for financed training (e.g. newly graduated staff, key people, CIGO workers, etc.). In total, 15,232 training hours involving 1,011 individuals were provided, including institutional, specialised and work safety training.

Human resources

As of 31 December 2009, the Group’s total workforce - including not only employees but also resources within the company on supply contracts - was equal to 7,300 people compared to the 6,208 total in the same period of 2008. Of these 4,133 were operating at Italian facilities compared to 4,248 as of 31 December 2008, with an increase of 1,092 people within the Group, and a decrease of 138 people in Italy.

The efforts of the Group continue to confirm the vision for a constant search for innovation in order to improve the overall efficiency of the organisational model.
In particular, process re-engineering, also made possible through the use of IT systems and development of original technological solutions, allowed for diversification of the employment mix, with increasing numbers of professional and/or specialised personnel dedicated to developing and innovating new products and processes.
6,279 persons as of 31 December 2009, were permanently employed by the Group, of which 4,111 working at Italian sites. The recorded increase was equal to 416 units within the Group, while in Italy there was a slight decrease (109 units) compared to 31 December 2008.

The development of different scenarios in the Far East was important, with the newly established Piaggio Vietnam Co. Ltd. being consolidated. As of 31 December 2009 the company had 397 staff members against 81 as of 31 December 2008.
Within this geographical area, the development of the PVPL continued. This organisation is the most consolidated, reporting an increase of permanently employed staff from 893 individuals as of 31 December 2008 to 1,260 as of 31 December 2009, including a significant increase of managers, from 119 as of 31 December 2008 to 146 as of 31 December 2009.

Industrial relations

After the supplementary employment agreement for the Pontedera plant was concluded in March 2009, trade union activities focussed more on the other two production facilities at Scorzè and Mandello del Lario.

The Scorzè facility, which manufactures scooters and Aprilia motorcycles, continued to temporarily lay off workers and use the wage guarantee fund (CIGO) (185,364 hours) to deal with declining production volumes following the major downturn in 2009 in the motor vehicles sector.
Dialogue with trade unions enabled agreements to be reached for non-operative periods. In October, November and December, in conjunction with the trade unions, workers and office staff that had been temporarily laid off with the wage guarantee fund received training, in an initiative which was a worthwhile investment for their professional development.
The global production scenario meant that talks to renew the supplementary agreement which had expired in December 2008 were postponed in 2010. In January 2010 a trade union agreement was signed under which working hours will be reduced throughout 2010 to adapt production capacity to market needs.

As regards the production facility at Mandello del Lario, the first scheduled works on infrastructures were completed, and the restructuring work and production shutdowns necessary were managed by temporarily laying off workers and using the extraordinary wage guarantee fund.
The Moto Guzzi brand was also affected by difficulties on the motorcycle market and workers were temporarily laid off and the wage guarantee fund was used to adjust manufacturing volumes to commercial demand (62,503 hours of the fund).
In September, lengthy talks with trade unions began concerning the industrial plan presented by the company for Moto Guzzi brand and Mandello del Lario production facilities.

Under the plan, major product and infrastructure investments will be made, but significant downsizing will also take place, with 54 persons to be laid off using the extraordinary wage guarantee fund and employment mobility procedures.

An agreement was reached in December 2009, approved by the Ministry for Economic Development. The plan to cut back on staff is already operative and as of 31 December 2009, the first round of redundancies took place, with 26 persons laid off.
At a nationwide level, the new national employment agreement for the engineering industry was signed on 15 December 2009, without the participation of the trade union FIOM/CGIL. The different position of this organisation will make industrial relations at a national level harder, with a foreseeable impact also at different Company sites.
Continual dialogue helped improve industrial relations and despite the complexity of issues tackled during the year, absenteeism from work due to strikes decreased by 58% compared to the previous year.