The human factor is the company’s x-factor

womanMilano-based Silvio Mora is one of the one of most experienced companies in the hair
color cosmetics business in Europe in which it has been playing as hair color manufacturer for more than a century, leveraging its employees or partners’ skills and experience to provide customers with highly personalized solutions
Headquartered in Milano, where it was established by its eponymous founder, Silvio Mora is nowadays to be considered one of the most competent players in Europe in the hair color cosmetics arena and has been refining and specializing its portfolio throughout the years. Hair color products account for the majority of the company’s overall business. Playing as private label producer only, without any own brand, Silvio Mora can sell its tailor made products worldwide, providing its customers with the best solutions compliant with their specific requirements. Silvio Mora’ s portfolio includes nearly 7.000 different operating formulas and, as the company clearly states, «an almost unlimited range of colors, fragrances, functional ingredients and types of formulation». The family-owned firm’s productions include ammonia and ammonia free hair coloring creams (1+1, 1+1,5, 1+2 mixing ratio), a series of paraphenylendiamine and resorcinol-free cream color products with and without ammonia, the special and rare hair colouring oil, 10 minutes hair colours, hair color cream for men, oxidative-free color masks and semi-permanent hair dye products. Inside its 5,500 square meters large production plant, the Italian producer develops new hair color formulations every day, hosting a fully owned research, development and innovation laboratory equipped, as Silvio Mora’s official website states, «with state-of-the-art instrumentation for performing quality control inspections on raw materials, as well as on finished products». Today, the Milano-based third party supplier employs some 40 people, most of which are graduates or highly-qualified professionals with a long time strong technical and scientific specialization, both in the cosmetics and hair coloring field and in trichology. Thanks to them, and obviously thanks to its best of breed technologies and processes Silvio Mora can now display a 15,000 kilograms hair dyes output, and declares a 150,000 pieces per day filling capacity. 120,000 pieces come in hair color tubes (30-200 ml) and the 30,000 left consist of 50-250 milliliters flacons. Kos World has interviewed Silvio Mora’s managing director, founder’s grandnephew, Simone Mora.

What were the milestones of the company’s recent evolution, in Your opinion, mister Mora?
My family has been working in the hair color sector since 1913 and is today managed by the fourth generation of Silvio Mora’s heirs. Acting as «private label only» and «tailor made» hair color supplier, we believe our identity is absolutely unique and strong and this is the result of the efforts we made in providing the market with highly customized product lines. In such a scenario, technology and culture obviously play a prominent role and both have been improving with time. We chose to focus on the private label business, without planning to create an originally branded portfolio; we we also decided to invest on personalized solutions that differentiate Silvio Mora from other players worldwide. Other important aspects I would like to point out are our strong care about our customers’ privacy and the unceasing enhancement and updating of out technologies, witnessed by the ISO 9001:2008 certification and ISO 22716:2008 (Good Manufacturing Practices Standard) certified by a leading third party Certification Body, and the attention the company has always paid to the human factor.

What does the human factor precisely mean to Silvio Mora’s business?
When it comes to producing hair color solutions and formulations, the experience and skills a professional can bring represent a precious added value, both in the research and development laboratories and in negotiating with clients. Besides that, we try to make automation and research, flexibility (e.g. minimum orders, packaging…) and tailor made concept coexist, leveraging the experience in evaluation our experts and specialist have, to succeed in a number of different business channels, including pharmacies, herbalist shops, the mass market too. All of our managers can display a solid technical background, and for instance I have chemical-pharmaceutical degree and supervise r&d and regulatory affairs; that’s most useful for dealing with our customers.

Which channels does the major part of Silvio Mora’s revenues presently come from?
The professional hairdressers’ channel is still prominent, although we notice other segments are rapidly rocketing. To preserve and enlarge our customer base in the professional arena Silvio Mora is now focusing on added-value formulations and products; revolutionary physical forms and new processing or packaging methodologies to address the specific customers’ request and needs.

And does Italy still play an important part in Your company’s strategies?
Bering a third party provider, Silvio Mora often happens to work with Italy-based and very exigent customers that export its products worldwide. The firm’s overall supply chain is undoubtedly global. Italy represents a very demanding, fragmented market and despite the crisis I think it is still very hard to succeed in our country.

Do the Asian-based low-cost manufacturers somehow affect Your business?
Asian rivals are always very aggressive and competition is fierce in the hair color arena too, but I still believe the Made in Italy label represents a form of added value for global customers, as a synonymous of quality and know-how. This gives companies like Silvio Mora a series of most relevant competitive advantages and makes us think we have great chances to further expand our business or market share. Skills, quality, customization, culture are the very reasons for our success.

Could You spend a few words about innovations in the raw materials sector?
First of all we are trying to avoid the usage of some synthetic and most controversial raw materials, with a lower safety profile, turning to bio and ecological or natural products instead, especially in such channels as pharmacies and herbalist shops. The strategy is paying off, and pushes Silvio Mora towards a continuous enhancement of its products and processes. Quality is a major driver and this is the reason why we are today turning to a number of elements we derived from experiences in the skin care industry, for instance, despite their manufacturing and end-market costs might be higher.

Does the future still look encouraging for such a company as Silvio Mora?
It does, indeed, despite the economic slowdown worldwide. The crisis has been affecting the hair professional products but a better segmentation of our customer base and a robust focus on our very points of strength can help our firm boost its business and grow furthermore. Italian companies playing in the global arena can still drive our tailor-made products and our quality’s further expansion, but we are indeed ready to play an important role, as a precious partner for producers in any segment, in other mature or emerging markets as well, leveraging the very key-values of our business: a strong identity and a long-time experience in the hair color industry.

As managing director Simone Mora clearly stated, hair color is still going to represent Silvio Mora’s major source of revenues in the near future too, and thus the company is ready to serve both the professional and the growing mass-market channels with new products and formulations and providing its employees and its partners with training, to help them keep their skills updated. Despite the hairdressers’ demand’s recent slowdown, Mora believes this segment to be one of the more promising, given its strong need for quality that Silvio Mora is able to fulfill. The Milano-based firm is also prepared for expanding its customer base outside Italy too, thanks to its ability to provide personalized solutions, regardless the kind of skin or hair they are addressed to. «A whole factory is available at our headquarters – Simone Mora said – to meet our clients’ needs with a tailor-made catalogue and a personalized one-to-one approach that end-users can easily verify».

Silvio Mora’s offer includes more than 7.000 operating hair color formulas, an almost unlimited range of colors, fragrances, functional ingredients and types of formulation, including ammonia and ammonia free hair coloring creams (1+1, 1+1,5, 1+2 mixing ratio), a series of paraphenylendiamine and resorcinol-free cream color products with and without ammonia, the special and rare hair colouring oil, 10 minutes hair colours, hair color cream for men, oxidative-free color masks and semi-permanent hair dye products. Silvio Mora can provide its customers worldwide with finished products, semi-finished products, bulk products and contemplate contract manufacturing service (forumulations provided by customers).

by R. Carminati