The industry beats the crisis

The Great Depression from which the world economy is struggling trying to get out has highlighted once again the primacy of industry and finance. If Italy and Germany have stood the pressure of the crisis better than other countries, this fact is largely due to strong manufacturing structure of the two economies, made of steel rather than paper (in the ephemeral sense of the word).
Just as steel now offers an example that is a summary of the ‘pride of doing “: the group of Cremona Arvedi scheme has led to a revolutionary system in the world of steel that was presented yesterday to the international community in the field. This is a production line for sheet metal coils (coils) that from the wreckage, without interruption, leading to the finished product: a “train” along 170 meters during which the raw material to 1,500 degrees, in continuous casting is transformed into rolls of steel strip which then takes away the industry, primarily automotive and household appliances. This unique facility, designed within the group and produced by Siemens Vai, protected by 460 patents, offers a series of revolutionary innovations: today is produced in one hour what previously was achieved in weeks, thanks to a line only replacing a process divided into two separate establishments, the resulting flexibility enables it to meet demand in real time, just in time addressing the need of client companies, enabling them to lighten up the store (very much felt need in times crisis and market volatility) for the first time has been obtained by hot rolling steel strip thickness of 0.8 mm, much demanded by the market (before they were made cold by further processing) . All this offers new market opportunities and competitive, with savings on energy costs and overall process estimated at 30%, and part of this result is “shot” to customers.
The plant cost 500 million, financed with equity and 300 200 with eight years of funding from a consortium of banks. “2007 and 2008 were very good years that have allowed us to make hay in the barn,” said group president, John Arvedi. “We realized early on that in 2009 and 2010 were critical years and we have focused on innovation and new markets.” The group (1.4 billion turnover and 132 billion EBITDA in 2008) succeeded last year, even before then to bring the system to the new facility, to expand especially in the Middle East (“Europe is a big mistake to leave that rich country orbitino only under the influence Asian). The results were significant: “We worked 100% of our ability, when all our competitors in the Western world have not exceeded 50%. The profitability was in line with the previous year. We have neither fired nor used layoffs, and the new line we hired 600 people and assume another 150. “
While complaining of volatility in commodity prices caused mainly by speculation (nickel, zinc and other metals exchange markets amount to 20 times the actual consumption of industry, a situation difficult to manage) Arvedi sees as positive the next years: “In the Western world consumption is 500 kilograms per capita in China half, one quarter in India. It means that the potential is still huge markets for billions of people. Steel is far from a mature product: indeed, a modern country is identified in steel consumption. “

The Commission studies measures to streamline the procedures

Unclear procedures and unnecessarily complicated: this is the opinion of many researchers on the process for obtaining European funding for their projects. Admitting it is the same as the European Commission, which proposed new rules to simplify the application and management of funds.
The plan – contained in a communication dated April 29 last year – provides a first block of news about the launch of computer systems more efficient, streamlining administrative procedures, more consistent application of rules and the timely publication of calls for proposals.
According to a second block of changes then do not have to specify every item of expenditure and accounting will become more similar to that used in the Member States provided for the simplification of existing financial rules while maintaining a more effective control, to example extending the use of ‘methods for calculating average costs, by which avoids having to account in the projects with “painstaking” every single expenditure item, even minor ones.
These measures are not immediately operational: the Commission undertakes to submit a proposal for revision of financial regulation to be considered but the European Parliament and Council. The effect is not expected before 2011, as reported by staff of the European Research Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn.
Finally, there is a third tranche of changes addressed in future research framework programs, primarily the eighth program under which the regulation is passed by Parliament and Council in 2013. Among the possibilities under a given orientation ‘payments by results, “according to the recipients, instead of notifying the individual items of expenditure, would receive lump sums for certain tasks in science and should show that they carried out effectively and efficiently. The same logic underlying the action of the European Research Council (ERC), which gives grants of up to 2 million euros to individual researchers.
“This is a lump sum amount – said Alberto Mantovani, Istituto Clinico Humanitas scientific director and member of the ERC – there are strict reporting requirements and assessed on the basis of scientific results.”
The Commission, meanwhile, has initiated the process for the interim evaluation of the Seventh Framework Programme: a group of independent experts, chaired by Rolf Annenberg, Director General of the Swedish Council Formas will submit a report in the autumn.
And on a time horizon longer period begins to outline the new ten-year economic strategy of the European Union, stressing the importance of research to exit the dark tunnel of recession and the target of a long-term growth. One purpose is to be able to bring research spending to 3% of European GDP to attract leading researchers and innovative companies.

Italian companies, wanted accountants

A survey by Robert Half – specialist recruitment company – the world of work has highlighted the extreme lack of administrative staff: an Italian in five is completely lacking this professional.
For 41% of Italian firms (27% in Europe) the cause is the difficulty in finding skilled personnel.
20% have planned recruitment Administration and Accounting within the next six months, to cope with the increase in turnover for the business.
The crisis makes it even more important than careful analysis of the accounts of the company to reduce costs, recover cash, collect receivables and expedite the legal practices.
Among the reasons why Italian companies plan to strengthen the administrative structure are: increase in business (48%), increased administrative (27%), upgrading of information systems (18%), corporate mergers and acquisitions ( 3%) increase in regulatory requirements (0%), other reasons (3%).
Among the qualifications required will be more than an administrative employee (25%), accounting (22%), staff with operational roles (-13%), internal auditors (8%) and expert in compliance (7%).
The Observatory on employment in administration and finance has also involved Italian leaders, who complained of too low a level of preparedness among the candidates and then a gap between demand and supply of labor.

Analysis of business , using Excel

Compiled by companies at year-end, the budget represents the static form in the financial position and financial performance, to meet the information needs of legal, tax and management. Modifications to the rules of the Civil Code (Articles 2423 to 2424), involving the preparation of financial statements – consisting of balance sheet, income statement and notes – with the transposition of Directive EEC IV, have improved the quality but did not alter conception “static” document itself.
More information (not only administrative and accounting) can then be obtained with the reclassification of balance sheet and income statement, and through the calculation of indices (relationships between items in the SP and CE reclassified), we can calculate with Excel.
It is a common practice for Italian SMEs, imported by the Anglo-Saxon countries and deemed useful tool to analyze the company and identify potential weaknesses.
Among other things, with the introduction since 2004 of new rules on the procedure for evaluating the creditworthiness of banks (Basel 2) the information system based on financial statements, has acquired additional strategic value in strengthening the corporate image based on the ability to count towards their customers, suppliers or potential business partners and investors.

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