15 April 2008

Pilosio's MP system scaffold erected in Lugano, Switzerland, on the lakeside Palazzo Mantegazza proj

Pilosio's MP system scaffold erected in Lugano, Switzerland, on the lakeside Palazzo Mantegazza project.

Alot is happening at Pilosio, the Italian scaffold and formwork manufacturer. Now part of the PM Group (see box story), the Udine–based company has an extremely broad range of system and tube and fitting scaffold products to offer. It also includes aluminium scaffold and access tower manufacturer Lama Ponteggi as a subsidiary.

However, the company has set itself a target of growing one particular aspect of its business – its multi–directional MP system scaffold. The Italian market is still dominated by traditional tube and fitting scaffolding, says Pier Paolo Solinas, Pilosio's marketing and communications manager, “Multi–directional scaffolding is still relatively new. We want to push it and change the minds of people.”

To do that, Pilosio has come up with a rental concept called Rentline, which was first announced late in 2005 but only really came on stream in the middle of last year. Mr Solinas explains; “It's a kind of soft franchise network of companies for renting the MP scaffolds.”

Being a member of the network means that scaffolders can rent the MP scaffolding directly from Pilosio without having to invest first. He describes it as 'soft franchising' because the scaffold partners are not obliged to change their branding or use the Rentline name.

Mr Solinas says the network already has six members, with two new members typically joining every month. Members include Treviso–based Tecnogroup and CSC Preparations in Milan. He says the beauty of the system is that it gives scaffold contractors an opportunity to test the scaffold system, and then, if they want, buy it at the end of the rental period. “It's a kind of marketing tool”, he says, “When they try it they realise it is cheaper – less time to assemble and dismantle.”

According to Mr Solinas, the majority of the rental deals so far have led to sales of the scaffolding. It is still early days, but as much as 20% of MP sales last year were related to Rentline. “There is a good growth trend”, he says.

For the moment, the Rentline system is only being offered in Italy; “We want to complete project working before we launch it elsewhere”, says Mr Solinas, “It has been designed especially for the Italian market. In the future it will be available internationally.”

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