“History teaches us the importance of sustainability”
Tony Ventura, CEO of Somengil, shares his take on the role that environmental sustainability has played over nearly 20 years and how it will continue to shape the future of business and society.
Every story has a beginning
Ours begins in 2002, in Aveiro, Portugal. We started by developing engineering projects andlater identified an unmet need in the ware washing industry. It was only natural to apply our engineering skills in this new area.
From the beginning, we wanted to be specialists in industrial dishwashing and hygiene. Especially in the food industry, we felt that there was still room to improve these processes and make them more efficient.
We launched a machine with a unique concept, that we called MultiWasher. It is an innovative machine because it has a cabinet wash format, consumes less than 2/3 in water, and 70% less in detergent and energy. But perhaps the major advantage is its versatility: withthe MultiWasher, customers can wash almost anything.
These innovations were born from the concrete needs of our customers in healthcare, food processing, catering, and retail. But also, from the contribution of our partners (agents and distributors), suppliers, employees, universities, professional associations, and media. It is thanks to this diverse ecosystem that we continue to develop innovative solutions. This is how we hope to reach all industries that need us.
Somengil has a global presence
Somengil has been consolidating its position in the Cabinet Washers market, the result of sustained growth that was interrupted by the pandemic in 2020. But by 2021, we had recovered to the levels of 2019.
We are present in 40 countries through partners in Europe, North America, the Middle East, the Far East, Asia, and Oceania. We export about 75% of our production.
This global presence is due to the know-how that we have accumulated in bakery, meat, fish, smoked, pre-cooked, and preserves. But our machine also makes a difference at the end of the filling lines in continuous industries such as snacks and cereals. In the food service sector, MultiWasher equips central kitchens, planes and hospital catering operations.
Our history has taught us that there are no two customers alike. Each purchasing process is unique. Each company has different needs. Offering excellent service requires an in-depth knowledge of each customer before designing a solution. That’s why we foster relationships that allow us to deal with complex problems as a team.
We do this through a consultative selling process where we identify all the needs and characteristics required for washing. We only propose customized solutions once we carry out this analysis in partnership with our distributors.
The pandemic has given us even more strength to innovate our commercial processes:
- We created a washing lab equipped with several cameras and communication equipment, to present each machine and do washing tests, live, through streaming;
- We developed videos that are available on our website that allow the customer to discover our solutions;
- We have digitized our commercial process when the industry standard was still face-to-face meetings.
These skills, tools and values fill us with optimism for the future.
A future of values
We base our future on the values that have been with us for almost 20 years: sustainability, innovation, flexibility and commitment. Sustainability, in particular, relies on three pillars–environmental, economic and social.
- At the environmental level, the focus of our engineering is the constant search for more efficiency. Our aim is to wash more with less water, energy and detergent. We are currently making an investment in expanding the plant to make room for best practices in terms of energy and water consumption, as well as waste treatment.
- At the economic level, we seek to focus on value-added activities, so that our work has a contribution to the national economy and to all our stakeholders. We believe in conservative policies and financial structures. Cost control is strict; without failing to spend what is necessary, we seek the best solution and the best price-quality ratio. Finally, our global presence allows us to dilute the risk of regional phenomena.
- At the social level, we seek the satisfaction of our employees and strive to ensure that there is compatibility between work and family. But we don’t get too comfortable–we challenge ourselves both through new ideas and training. Relationships with universities provide us young graduates with an opportunity to enter the world of work.
Our technological drive contributes to these values. IoT (internet of things) provides data will allows us, together with our partners and customers, to further improve washing.
Together, we build long-term relationships based on transparency and professionalism. Only in this way can washing be more efficient. We believe this is the path towards a more sustainable future for companies, for the society in which we live in and for future generations. We welcome everyone who wants to join us on this journey.