Without a doubt the story of the foundation of MTU Academy is one of many sources of pride for Meccanotecnica Umbra: yet another chapter in a story of excellence that generates tangible elements of growth and improvement. Meccanotecnica transcends all self-referential approaches to both terms, embracing them as part of a vision focused on the circularity of knowledge and intellectual capital.This is the true essence of innovation: nurturing growth and sustainability, not just for the company, but for the entire local area in which it operates and interacts.
Excellent practices developed and applied to the management of human resources at Meccanotecnica have become the sprouting seed of a company branch that offers itself in a new and contemporary way, tangibly interpreting the concept of giving back to the local area, which has always been an integral part of the company's commitment.
MTU Academy was established in late 2017, bringing concreteness and substance to two fundamental principles of business pursued by Meccanotecnica Umbra for some time now. Both focus on giving back to the local area and are grounded in the idea of the circularity of skills. Such cutting edge topics are fast becoming fundamental and decisive in guaranteeing a more actual and concrete form of sustainability and development at a global level. However, in spite of this, it is extremely difficult to come across companies that decide to afford these topics a strategic position in their business project. The foundation of MTU Academy & Consulting was preceded in 2015 by an important intervention focused on the management, defence and improvement of training paths for human resources. This ample and profound process involved the entire company based in Campello sul Clitunno. Starting with an accurate mapping of the skills, development needs and potential of people, it led onto the detailed definition of existing profiles and those necessary for managing company roles and the increasing complexity of contexts in which the company operates.
The project culminated in the definition of group and individual growth paths. This significant intervention was also an opportunity for the systematic recording of all the skills in the possession of Meccanotecnica Umbra, by running a company Knowledge Inventory. This tool is used to calculate the ratio of necessary and available skills, to identify optimised solutions (organisational, process, training, operational) in extremely short times (today it's no longer about "big fish eats small fish, but about the fastest one that eats all the others").
A fundamental and “innovative” element can also be found in how significant weight was also given to “behavioural” gaps, determining the undertaking of individual coaching paths.
This significant effort was made possible by management's deep running commitment as well as the transversality of the Human Resources function within the company, and its interconnectedness with all other company functions.
The same level of profound experience Meccanotecnica has in the management and analysis of human resources is also palpable in other crucial sectors; the company can truly consider itself to be state-of-the-art in each one, with very good reason.
Not least because it tackled certain topics even before they entered mainstream business ethos, becoming a sort of guiding light, especially in the local area.
This is the key to interpreting its internationalisation projects dating back to the early 2000s, with expansion in Brazil and China, then in other countries, until it became a small multinational. The same can be said of the virtuous path completed in the ICT sector, which since 2010 has been generating a strong impulse for modifying the company's approach to a number of vital aspects, with the introduction of a growing series of technological innovations. Lastly, over time a series of organisational aspects stimulated a series of interventions, which culminated in the adoption of World Class Manufacturing for the two-year period 2016-2017. A truly remarkable wealth of knowledge.
It was only natural that we asked ourselves how all this experience could be put to use: why not make all the excellent skills of Meccanotecnica available to the local area? In short, this was a new way of concretely translating one of the company's historic objectives with a spirit of innovation: the concept of giving back to the local area, not just in terms of employment, but also through a commitment to the environment, responsibility and the spreading of knowledge. In short, the "circularity of social responsibility".
This sowed the seed for the Academy, seen not only as an element for the protection of human resources, but also as a guarantor of the consolidation and development of manifold nuclei of knowledge deployed by the company.
The time was ripe for a company like Meccanotecnica to undertake an initiative for giving back to the local area. The establishment of MTU Academy & Consulting testifies to the will to tangibly develop such aspects, making a series of skills and experiences available in the form of products and services, present in the local area in limited form, or not at all. A flywheel, a multiplier of those energies that flow in abundance in local companies, both in intellectual and cultural terms, according to the principle which states that when these energies are channelled and systematically recorded, they yield more.
The idea was so popular that for the first time since 1966, the year of its incorporation, Meccanotecnica Umbra actually modified its articles of association to allow for the establishment of a subsidiary company, MTU Academy & Consulting, for the provision of services and products different from traditional ones.
MTU Academy & Consulting obviously started from a privileged position, with a 'captive' client the likes of Meccanotecnica Umbra. Therefore the first step was to manage the company's formidable training budget, but from an external position, as consultants, so as to optimise processes and relations with other training providers. Over time we came to focus on presenting MTU Academy & Consulting as a consultancy services provider. We don't have immense fire power, given our involvement in the daily business of Meccanotecnica, but with Top Management we have negotiated the opportunity to dedicate part of our time externally, remunerating Meccanotecnica for the 'lending' of resources. The logic is simple but unprecedented: MTU Academy & Consulting is a consultancy firm with its own project, which relies on external consultants to transcend the limits of its own skills, with a select list of consultants who have embraced this project and who are activated whenever required.
Thus we are able to provide anyone with a General Contractor function, complete with the organic management of all needs, with focus on giving back to the local area and the circulation of knowledge: the aim is not to develop a business in the true sense of the word, but this doesn't mean we disregard the Break Even point of companies. With such potential, we overturned the concept of the company Academy. We reiterate:
we don't just provide training, we offer ourselves as a partner for the development of small to medium sized enterprises.
Immediately we set about providing consultancy services in the truest sense of the word, on a number of levels and with different depths of intervention.
One of the most complex yet satisfying (we can safely declare it as "mutually satisfying) operations was undertaken in a medium-sized company that expressed its need for an organisational overhaul: from organisation to governance, procedures, the introduction of IT instruments for the management of processes and individual training paths. We even reorganised industrial processes for them.
Despite focusing on the local area, as previously mentioned, we still have the possibility of expanding our area of operation, especially in light of our positive experiences with remote work during the pandemic, used to deliver most of our consultancy services.
Four years after the establishment of Mtu Academy & Consulting, we can proudly state we have achieved our initial objective:
we are helping companies to grow, make decisions, train internal resources and to develop skills in a more complete, organic and above all, efficient way.
Sometimes interaction with other companies in the same area may present different levels of delicateness and complexity. It is necessary to raise awareness of the collective advantages of sharing issues which are sometimes considered strategic, like working on the growth of local providers, for a company with a supply chain as extensive as that of Meccanotecnica.
Understanding how pooling intellectual assets generates a return in the form of system growth should not be underestimated, as it brings undeniable advantages for everyone.
This question comes up often, even during audits. Meccanotecnica Umbra is a company with a high level of complexity, which manages manifold and diverse industrial processes. The ability to link company strategies to contingent issues has become crucial in this sense.
We manage complexity with a number of instruments, but above all, by understanding the importance of continuous training and the centrality of knowledge, with individual development plans and continuous needs analysis. Therefore over the last two years, in a context of rapid and unexpected evolution, we have felt perfectly at ease and capable of guaranteeing a serene company response. We succeeded in growing during the highly complex time of the pandemic, not least thanks to the close cooperation of the Human Resources and ICT functions.
The mapping of needs, the monitoring of skills, assessments, and the drawing up of job descriptions are integral parts of a continuous work flow. For each activity we identify the skills involved in a dynamic way, meaning that we adjust them to meet the needs of evolution, technological ones first and foremost.
As previously mentioned, at Meccanotecnica Umbra, we operate "from within", as part of an ongoing path of investigation, analysis and knowledge, with the aim of building a capital of resources and know how. This is how we have come to define a method and a profound knowledge of processes, which are also spendable abroad.
The rewards of such activities are initially seen within the rest of the industrial group, as companies and foreign branches all adopt the same process, thus completing the path. Despite the profound diversification of geographic and cultural contexts in the MTU group, the application of methodologies has proven to be a winning strategy and is far from a mere automatic reassertion.
Through annual meetings we have always set ourselves the target of profound integration between the group's different cultural souls, which can only emerge from relations. This is when methodology becomes a dynamic element of growth and understanding, both with regard to other departments and in work with colleagues and branches abroad. By the side of highly localised teams, subject to specific contexts, also in regulatory terms, and for whom we provide general rules translated into the local "language", there are many transversal topics, valid for all branches of the group. Meccanotecnica Umbra is always the pioneer of methods and initiatives, in virtue of its greater wealth of experience compared to subsidiary companies, providing an initial method that is successively discussed and adapted.
We are company employees before being consultants, so we are in a privileged position as we have full empathy for our interlocutors. This is clear, right? We are lucky to come from the same context, to have experienced the internal dynamics of the company world, every single day. We perfectly understand these dynamics, often individual in nature and which govern change. This translates into success and satisfaction, generating a virtuous process of word of mouth, testifying to the correctness of our approach, which companies welcome with open arms.
The desirable tendency to quantify all forms of investment in terms of documentable returns is a constant occurrence at the company. However with training, a very large slice of the benefit is immaterial: enrichment is in terms of openness, motivation, dynamism, dimension of thought and skill, but there is always a return. Training is never just a means to an end.
We succeeded in getting the idea across that it is an instrument for both individual and collective growth. When pondering the optimisation of organisational processes, it is easy to evaluate the impact of an intervention, for example through the reduction of costs or the freeing up of resources. However, discussing ROI in relation to training is oxymoronic, as it is almost impossible to immediately quantify the final result of such vast and high-impact processes. However, by creating highly specific paths and constantly monitoring the organisational climate, we are able to understand the significance of a training operation, in the entire company economy.
At Mtu Academy & Consulting, we have learned to effectively describe how connecting so many aspects and dynamics of company life to training paths is possible. Now, after so much preparation, we can safely confirm that we have made it possible for training to be considered a fundamental instrument that completes the value each person brings to themselves and to the company: in this way, skill acquires the value of a company benefit.
For Meccanotecnica Umbra we also manage funded training: our training plans are always very ambitious and require the extensive involvement of all company functions, above all in the definition of interventions tailored to single requirements.
We have succeeded in dynamically composing operations for investigating and interpreting training needs. We guarantee constant interaction between professionalism, education, the development of responsibilities and skills profiles. All this is an enormous added value that has materialised at last, enabling us to leverage all the knowledge capital in our possession.
This is the essence of People Development, which is also one of the pillars of WCM.
The local area is the start and finish point of this great and important circular path, because MTU Academy & Consulting is the "operative arm" of Meccanotecnica, also for interventions in the social field.
Consulting and social actions are aspects that integrate, engage in dialogue and, if well-structured, generate a virtuous system of growth and circulation of thought. Both aspects may sometimes appear to be downright contradictory, due to their drastically different appeal, but the truth is they are closely connected, part of the same approach to the circularity of knowledge that has been guiding our entire experience over the last few years. So, we're not afraid of combining higher education interventions which, when seen from outside, may not necessarily be understandable. The strength of Meccanotecnica enables us to act on social topics without undermining the strength of our consultancy offering, because the company's management is well aware of the importance of investing in the local area, for forging the skills of tomorrow.
This is why we have built a network that also includes other important companies, such as Intesa San Paolo Formazione, or higher education institutes, like the University of Perugia and L'Aquila, bringing levels of absolute excellence to the land of Umbria. Our aim is to create an educational community, also starting from extremely simple initiatives, like school schemes. In this way we are laying the foundations for a genuine connection between the world of work, school and institutes of all levels, starting from the local area of Meccanotecnica Umbra and placing it in touch with experiences of international and national excellence.
It is a vision of contextual growth, a natural and virtuous completion of process development paths and of company skills, and we can't help but be proud of it.