What is the value of including relational goods in your company budget? This question was answered by Ms. Enrica Bruneri, UNI-MECC, to the guests of the “Polo Lionello Bonfanti,” waiting for LoppianoLab 2017.
"My name is Enrica Bruneri, I am married and mother of two daughters. Since 2015, I have been at the head of the mechanical engineering company UNI-MECC, located in Cafasse, in the Province of Turin, Italy, specialized in the production of steel and aluminum particulates."
Enrica is visibly moved when sharing her experience to an audience of seventy people gathered at the Polo Lionello Bonfanti, Burchio, Province of Florence, Italy – the point of reference for all the Italian companies participating in the Economy of Communion project: "My Father Roberto, who founded it in 1965, attached much importance to relationships within the company. He used to say that we had to stay united and friends with all the employees, who were, in his vision, an active part of the company, a value."
Enrica talks about her working years at the side of her father: "In the beginning, I did not understand why he was so busy in building relationships based on mutual trust and understanding with the collaborators, the suppliers, even the local bodies. Then, in 2003, UNI-MECC opened up to foreign market, starting from Germany. This operation was only possible thanks to my father's relations with the local agencies that, thanks to him, realized that a small business in their area was working for the common good, for the good of all."
In 2008, while winds of crisis were blowing, UNI-MECC had been investing for two years already in a larger plant in Cafasse, a little town near Turin, in the aim of providing adequate space for new plants and for its growing business.
"The move was carried out with the help of everyone," explains Enrica, "including clerks, workers, and the administrative staff. The new space was inaugurated in record time, in October 2008."
Then, the crisis really came, and it seemed endless.
"Again, I realize that it is only by means of the relationships based on mutual trust built by my father with banks and suppliers that we could pass through. Even within the company we dedicated a special attention to everyone. For example, my father had come to know that one of our young employees had fallen into depression when receiving redundancy payment and, to encourage him, we took him back immediately into the company."
Meanwhile, Roberto's health got worse, and Enrica had to take over the whole business. In 2012, she heard about the A.I.P.E.C. (Italian Association of Entrepreneurs for an Economy of Communion) and, in dialogue with other "committed" entrepreneurs like her, she recovered strength and self-confidence.
"In March 2015, Roberto Bruneri left us. In the midst of my suffering, I realized that he had left me a legacy of great values. Inspired by his teaching, I am focusing on creating a working team based on internal dialogue and integration, being aware that skills and collaboration are our winning cards. I decided to closely follow the production section... While doing this, I got to know the stories and the hardship of the people we work with."
Enrica told us about a victory she is particularly proud of: "I've almost managed to eliminate these cold email communications between colleagues! Three times a week we meet and we talk about our needs, so that email messages to exchange information became useless."
And she concludes: "I learned to trust people. Working while giving value to relational goods, in my experience, is giving my contribution to defeating social injustice."