ODEL begins its activity in 1951 as manufacturer of high power transformers.
In 1961 ODEL develops, produces and markets its first X-Ray device, a step-up transformer mounted on a control console, also developed by ODEL in the same period. This device has evolved into the range of radiology devices sold at present. Quality products that meet the strictest industry standards for safety and reliability.
The evolution of the manufacturing process is followed by organizational changes. In 1974 ODEL, until then individually owned, becomes a shareholding company: ODEL S.p.A.
It increases capacity, organizes to meet new technical and customer requirements, and produces new, more specialized and constantly improved units.
ODEL S.p.A. stays on the market caring for customer needs and monitoring the products of competitors.
The Company strategy is to improve and innovate its products to satisfy buyers that are more sensitive to technical features and quality/price ratio.
As a result of this strategy, ODEL S.p.A. devices are innovative for three reasons:
1. top technical features,
2. functional and esthetical validity
3. an established market, potentially expanding.
In 45 years of change the Company has maintained technical innovation as basic strategy, and quality as marketing plus. It has created for itself a market niche, small if compared to large manufacturers, but important for customers of small to medium size. ODEL S.p.A. produces a range of quality products, staying away from chain production of average quality.
ODEL S.p.A. products belong to the industry of electrical medical devices to be installed in medical offices and hospitals, both private and public .
Technology and materials used to produce electrical medical devices, and especially X-Ray devices, have changed much with time. Single phase current devices have gone on to 3-phase, solid state circuits, and now to high frequency.
Industry standards have played a growing role from the viewpoint of safety, quality and reliability, and this has been important in increasing sales and opening international markets.
ODEL S.p.A. management has focused on the following critical factors on which the Company success is based:
safety: respect of industry standards and the application of laws;
performance: devices installed by qualified professionals;
quality: use of tested materials and technologies, Quality System for X-Ray generators production certified in 1998;
cost effectiveness: good organization of the manufacturing process.
Until recently the international market of electrical medical devices was separated by different standards, peculiar to each country (for instance British, French and Spanish standards), which limited the export of new products to other countries. Since the beginning of 1993 the European Union standards have harmonized all others and made unnecessary the certification of each product by single states. The Italian market, which had its proper certification standards, has now embraced those of the European Union.
ODEL since 1963 obtained the certification of its X-Ray devices in France. This shows the quality and reliability of its products, which are manufactured according to the strictest standards and are appreciated by discriminating international customers.
Competitors on the world market can be classified as:
small to medium manufacturers.
Large manufacturers have a significant market share and offer to customers a complete range of products of high technical quality at reasonable prices. Their competitive position is enhanced by the high quality of their service.
Next to large manufacturers there is a high number of small to medium companies that operate in market niches formed by:
special devices that large manufacturers do not produce because there are too few customers for them;
high technology products, highly priced, required by special customers.
Small to medium manufacturers have the following features:
very flexible organizations, capable of producing at acceptable costs;
technologies derived from large international manufacturers.
Also the distribution structure of the two categories of manufacturers differs.
The distribution structure can be summarized as follows:
agencies – re-sale/installation organizations – individuals – other manufacturers
Large international manufacturers can use any of the above entities, as they have a good image and large financial means. Small to medium manufacturers can only use re-sale/installation organizations, establishing a relationship of mutual trust.
Generally speaking ODEL s.r.l. sells devices that may need a period of introduction of 3 to 5 years and have a life cycle of 5 to 7 years. As a consequence its sales are as cyclical as those of appliances. ODEL s.r.l. market share vary depending on the type of device. The highest market shares are in high frequency 3-phases devices, while 1-phase devices, greatly appreciated in the past, currently enjoy less popularity because of the new technologies.
On the Italian market ODEL s.r.l. has a small share on account of the fierce competition by large manufacturers. On the international market the share of ODEL s.r.l. in France and Great Britain may be considered quite high, taking into account the size of the Company. Other sales are made on several other markets - European, African, Middle Eastern and South American - where the buying power depends largely on the ups and downs of local economies.
To be trustworthy, it is necessary for the Company to maintain its image on the market. To do so ODEL S.p.A. establishes a relationship with its distribution channel in order to give customers an efficient service.
The distribution channel, both in Italy and outside Italy, is the re-sale organizations, which guarantees sales, service and maintenance of the products, while the Company rests responsible for possible technical problems, which may arise especially in the case of devices just presented on the market.
ODEL s.r.l. chose this channel after discarding, as too expensive, the alternative of direct sales and service, which had been adopted previously. Obviously the recruiting of re-sale organizations willing to take full responsibility for the sales and servicing of ODEL s.r.l. products has been made easier by the image of quality and reliability acquired in Italy and on the international markets.
The Italian sales organization has developed from a local small scale in the 60’s to the current much larger coverage. Orders are collected directly from customers, by the re-sale organizations and other companies of the electrical medical industry.
The attention to the image of quality and reliability of ODEL s.r.l. products, which is the only basis for growth, relies on suggestions from the sales organization and their knowledge of the technical advances of the Company. This mutual support has been based on the policy of public relations developed by ODEL s.r.l. management, as in its participation to fairs and important international meetings. This marketing effort, which has drawn many resources, has contributed potently to sales growth in various European countries, Africa, Middle East, Far East and South America.