Fas International Srl is a leading Italian company in the vending machine market and one of Europe’s most important vending sector players. The company since 1967 constantly invest in research and development to continually bring new solutions to the market. A manufacturer of snack and coffee vending machines is the owner of proprietary FOOD24SYSTEM™ platform. Fas products are exclusively manufactured in Italy, in its factory in Schio, Vicenza, which employs around 140 people and produces more than 14,000 machines per year, which are exported around the world.
Specially for Manufacturing Journal Magazine an extensive interview about the key aspects of the company’s operations gave Gianmarco Rossato, Marketing & Communication Manager.
This year you are celebrating your 55th anniversary. Please tell us what were the beginnings of the Fas company and what were the most important moments in the history of its development? What achievements are you most proud of?
In 55 years it must be said that there have been many key moments. Right from its conception back in 1967, Fas was based on a revolutionary patent developed by Antonio Adriani, our founder. This patent was based on moving the discs of an automatic vending machine using a single motor and a series of mechanical clutches, a simple idea but one that gave birth to Fas, a company that today has 140 employees and over 14,000 vending machines produced each year. From ‘67 to the present day there have been several significant moments. At the beginning of the 1980s, “flower vending machines” were launched, a temperature-controlled devices that allowed the sale of cut flowers at the entrance to hospitals and cemeteries. In the early 1990s, spiral machines were invented. In the mid-2000s introducted of tablets as a machine interface that allows connectivity to FasCloud, through which machines can be controlled remotely, also waste shredders and compactors to make break areas more eco-friendly. And as the latest novelty, automatic canteens managed by an intelligent vending machine and a booking WebApp. We are very proud of this latest technology.
Can you tell us more about the offered products, service and production technologies? Does it Fas fit into the Industry 4.0 trend and invest in the latest technologies and solutions?
We can say that “vending machine” is a somewhat reductive term to describe what we do today within Fas, and this is also stated in our mission statement: To conceive, design and build the most advanced systems for the automatic distribution of as many products as possible. In our 55-year history, we have always tried to give a different point of view to the market, being the first to introduce new technologies to our products, but also always trying to improve our internal processes by making them smarter and making work easier for our employees. To give an example, back in the late 1990s, we were among the first in Italy to fully automate our product warehouse with two robotic forklifts. The investments for the future are there and are aimed at increasing public awareness of our founder Antonio’s vision: “everything can be sold with a vending machine”. As a final answer, it can be said without a doubt that Fas is part of the Industry 4.0 trend thanks to heavy investments in the digital field.
Where are your main markets and who are your most important customers right now? What are your plans for gaining new foreign markets?
Currently, our presence is concentrated 80% in Europe and 20% in the rest of the world, especially in South America, which has been giving us a lot of satisfaction in recent years. For the near future we see growth in Eastern European markets such as Poland, Serbia and Romania.
Please tell me what is the most important in your business? What is the strategic potential of your company and the key to its success? What distinguishes the Fas brand from the competition?
Certainly our know-how gained from 55 years of experience in the industry. Furthermore, Fas is still a family-run company, which allows us to be very lean in our processes and also to be very close to our customers. Let’s not forget the technological component, as we mentioned earlier Fas has historically always been a pioneer in incorporating new technologies into its products, choices that have often been followed by other Vending players.
The received certificates confirm the high quality of the company’s operation and the offered products. What certificates can you be proud of?
We currently hold ISO 9001 quality management certification and ISO 14001 environmental impact certification. In addition to these international certifications of which we are particularly proud, we also hold several national certifications, such as the Safe Work Certification.
Achieving business success is impossible without qualified staff.
I fully agree with that statement. We are very proud of our employees, in all the different departments and offices. We have also recently added several people in the digital area to our team, such as programmers, software engineers and digital marketing, bearing in mind that in the modern market, importance must be given to both hardware and, above all, software.
The quality of the products and services offered is your priority, therefore you cooperate only with proven partners.
Absolutely, it is crucial for us to rely on suppliers who care about quality at least as much as we do. We rely as much as possible on local suppliers, because this allows us both to have more control throughout the production process, but also to directly support local companies.
Would you like to highlight any of the companies – your most important partners?
I will mention three: ‘Gruppo boschetti’ carpentry, which supplies us with most of the sheet metal, ‘Fral’, which produces the refrigeration unit to our specific requirements, and ‘Plastica Nardon’, our historical suppliers for various plastic components. I have only mentioned three, but I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our suppliers who, despite the difficult times we are going through, always manage to guarantee us their supplies.
In addition to business activity, social activity is equally important. Do you locally engage in non-business activities, such as charities, sports, or cultural events?
Of course, we are active in the area supporting various charity and sports initiatives. For example, we are always close to the city’s oratory, which every day welcomes hundreds of children to study and play various sports. The annual Masier Day, which brings together all the students of our city (about 8,000 young people), who give the opportunity to talk with a few special guests on various sensitive topics. We also established an annual scholarship named after our founder Antonio Adriani for the five students (children of Fas employees) who distinguished themselves for scholastic merit. These are just some of the different out-of-business activities that Fas supports.