Sim Tools is an Italian company that has been operating for two generations in the production and development of systems aimed at geotechnical, structural and environmental monitoring. The strength of Sim Instruments is not only the reliability, the result of 30 years of experience in the sector, but the efficient assistance service that is provided to all customers.
Today Erik Busel, partner of Sim Instruments, is here with us to talk about the growth of a consolidated company that does not stop looking for innovative solutions to offer to its customers. A new success story of Viva Digital for a company that, thanks to an SEO positioning strategy and advertising campaigns on the web, is always acquiring new customers not only in Italy, but also abroad.
Can you briefly describe your company?
Sim Instruments, founded in 1992, is a company that has been operating for 30 years in the sector of production and development of professional instruments for geotechnical, structural and environmental monitoring. We deal with systems that control and secure land or other spaces that have undergone changes, so that they are not a source of risk for those who work or live in these areas. The products that we propose therefore serve to make the conditions of all the places where man intervenes to avoid creating dangerous situations safer. For example, before starting certain works in potentially dangerous places, we carry out checks to measure the risk of landslides and based on the measurements made it will then be possible to establish adequate alarm levels and introduce any precautions.
How was the company born and what is your role within the company?
Sim Instruments was founded by my father, who had previously worked at another company active in the same sector, Elsim, until it closed after the owners moved. He was mainly involved in mechanical engineering, both at the design and instrument level, and later he also approached electronics, which has now become the central part of our company. My father's knowledge and experience formed the basis for a family business that now has three partners. I currently hold various roles. I mainly deal with the graphics, catalogs, website, but also design brochures for customers who require special work, for which it is necessary to customize the project. Slowly, I am starting to take care of new customers as well, who therefore require an initial consultation to find the right option for them, unlike regular customers who already know what they are looking for.
What are your flagship products and services?
The two main products are the load cells, especially those for tie rods, and the electric piezometer. The load cells are used to measure the load on the tie rods, i.e. the indicator on bridges and in construction works where the walls under construction must be held upright to see how much the load actually measures. We have been selling a lot with this product lately, especially overseas, particularly in Israel where we have a couple of clients dealing with large projects that require a large number of instrumentation. Instead, the electric piezometer is used to measure the pressure or level of water in groundwater or wells. This product is also in great demand in Italy, as it is relatively inexpensive but provides accurate and precise measurements. It is also a product made of stainless steel and for this reason it is very durable, so much so that we have customers who use the same tool even for 10 consecutive years!
What is your type of customer?
Here in Italy our clientele is mainly composed of professional geologists, geological studies or municipalities or regions who turn to these studies to take care of monitoring at a territorial level. To these are added the companies that carry out surveys in the ground, for example through holes in which inclinometer chains and tubes are inserted to see how the earth tilts at various depths. Sometimes we also have to deal with universities that ask us for tools for small jobs or tests.
What sets you apart from the competition? What is your winning feature?
Our strong point is undoubtedly represented by assistance. There are many companies, new or growing, operating in our sector, but we know how to distinguish ourselves thanks to post-purchase assistance services. Often people turn to bigger and better known competitors, they buy products influenced by the popularity of the brand, but then they find something they don't know how to use. Instead we provide continuous and free assistance: customers can call us at any time and we are ready to help. We have often personally intervened on construction sites because we know that it is difficult to use new equipment and we know that it is useful to have someone who will answer you immediately and tell you what to do in case of any problems. We like to respond and help everyone.
How do you see the market in the coming years? Do you have any future projects?
In our opinion, our sector guarantees a certain growth; in fact, even now we see that new names are starting to emerge, both in Italy and in the rest of the world. Public works that require large investments covering not only the design but also the fundamental maintenance works are increasingly numerous and frequent.
Is there more sensitivity on the subject of safety and controls for this type of work?
I think yes. In Italy they began to carry out more checks after the collapse of the Morandi bridge, not only on the bridges, but in general on the entire motorway network. In particular, many bridges that featured a double lane in each direction have been reduced to a single one to avoid any risk. And in sectors like this, some of our products find their place. In fact, the importance of the precautionary phase of work is increasingly important as we want to avoid problems not only for the population but also for the environment, a topic of great topicality and importance.
In light of these good future prospects, do you have a new direction you want to take?
We are currently focusing on vibrational monitoring and are trying to incorporate this area, which has taken hold in recent years, into our program. Connectivity is also an important part, although there are still customers who prefer to go to the site to collect data and do in-person inspections, most want greater autonomy and efficiency from the system in terms of data acquisition and management of data. alarms. Precisely for this reason our service also includes data processing and their management through a web application in which you can create an account to access to observe your data daily.
Do you see any difficulties in the future?
Remaining in the Italian panorama, we cannot ignore the political instability that slows down work choices and blocks construction sites. Then for sure the competition that is growing: there are more and more young companies that are catching on and making the sector more competitive. But we are a united and determined team, so I don't see any problems in that regard. We are providing more and more products and services and our main focus right now is business growth. We want to strengthen our team to be able to count on even more internal resources and improve the service offered to our customers.
For those interested or those working in the sector, you can visit our site www.simstrumenti.it, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.