BBS React Innovation Program for Roberto Collina

Manfredo Malpensa
Supply Chain and Operations Senior Consultant
15 October 2020

The challenge for the BBS team was to rethink the global strategy for Roberto Collina, a company with a long tradition in the knitwear sector, with the aim of expanding in new markets, increase its brand awareness, enhance quality and improve the time to market. A valuable experience for the team led by the coach Michael Oggionni, by the mentor Matteo Della Valle and that included Anna Bernardin, Suparna Thakur, Michele Fazzalari, Vikas Rajput and Manfredo Malpensa, who tells us how it went.

Why did you decide to be part of the Team?

I can’t remember exactly how and when I learned about the project. What I remember, though, is that as soon as I heard about it, I liked the idea of putting together managerial resources to help companies in the local area to better tackle the challenges that the pandemic laid on the table, so abruptly and unexpectedly.

How did you experience this particular project?

With curiosity. I was interested in observing how we’d act within a team without being a real team already formed, having to discover, day by day, our talents and how to use them to help the company. I was also curious to discover what I’d find in terms of challenge and the company to help. At the same time, I experienced the project with a deep sense of responsibility: I felt responsible for delivering a tangible result, both to the client company and the work team.

How was, if any, the integration with the people of the company?

Personally, rather than integration, I’d talk of contact, which has always been very kind and open to the exchange of views. Definitely, there have been immediate connections and others that have required longer, and that’s normal. In any case, during our interactions, I was made to feel welcome by all company’s representatives.

I like to point out that, for reasons connected to the team and the desire to facilitate the creation of as strong a bond as possible in a relatively short time, we insisted on having only one person directly in contact with them, in addition to the coach. The chosen person was Anna Bernardin, Alumna of the Global MBA in Design, Fashion and Luxury Goods, who, for her undisputed merits, but also thanks to the management method adopted by the work team, has recently started to collaborate with the company.

Do you think you can make or have made, together with the group, the difference for an improvement of the company business model?

I believe the BBS React team for Roberto Collina was able of setting up, in the company, different positive processes. Our collaboration, for example, helped them identify and understand some critical aspects in their communication and in the processes that manage it. Even more effective was the proposal, that was then accepted, to launch an online marketing campaign, the tip of the iceberg of a major review of the business model that focuses, for the future, on a proper opening of the online sales channel, not very much exploited so far. The campaign is currently online and visible on the website.

In general, how would you evaluate your experience, as a whole?

It was an interesting experience, both at an individual level and as part of a group. For a manager like me, who has always worked with multinational companies, dealing with the dynamics of the typical SME, of the local area, was fascinating and enriching. I liked, perhaps also because it was pleasantly unexpected, the educational path on Design Thinking Process proposed by BBS. I was pleased to interact with a faculty younger than me and with the young, yet already very competent and experienced, team brought together by BBS and, in particular, by Professor Vignoli, to lead us in this challenge.

What did you learn in the field that you hadn’t learned in the classroom and what, of your experience at BBS, turned out to be of particular help to you?

First of all, it was nice to have a taste of a sector, fashion, of which I had no previous experience. Today I am certainly not an expert, but I’ve begun to get an idea of some dynamics. I also appreciated the possibility to assess the effects of Design Thinking directly in the field. Finally, thanks to this experience, I tested my ability to relate to a multi-faceted team like the BBS React team, which differed from the team put together for the Master’s Project Work, in which there was a natural convergence of skills and interests.