The carpentry shop Falegnameria Contarato in Teolo, Italy, purchased a Woodpecker Just 3500 in 2023 to optimise its production and improve product quality.
We asked Alessandro Contarato, co-owner with his brothers Marco and Cristiano, to tell us about the company’s reasons for this investment.
Can you give us a brief description of Falegnameria Contarato?
We are now in the third generation, because back in 1914 my grandfather Giuseppe had a carpentry workshop. He was the classic carpenter who made everything, from barrels to wagon wheels to windows.
As the years went by, the trade continued with my father Lino, who sent my brothers Marco, Cristiano and Massimoand I to other workshops to gain experience and see how others worked.
When my father passed away, my brothers and I returned to his workshop. Since the workshop was quite small and the number of windows and doors to be produced was increasing, we moved to our current premises in Teolo (Padua).
Today there are seven of us, including three partners. We exclusively produce wooden and wood-aluminium windows and doors. Our customers are mainly private individuals, along with some contract production.
How did you transition from a classic carpentry workshop to a window and door manufacturing company?
On the one hand, it was always my father’s favourite product: he liked making doors and windows more than anything else.
On the other, I had gained experience in a company that exclusively produced shutters, while my brothers had worked in a company that almost exclusively produced windows.
These two factors then led us to specialise in the production of windows, interior doors, shutters and wooden front doors.
So you produce everything that pertains to windows and doors?
That’s right, we produce everything in-house, even the painting is done in-house. We take care of every aspect directly, from the metric survey on site to the design and all the way to the installation. We have two teams of subcontracted installers who work almost exclusively for us.
What is your market area?
The province of Padua, essentially. We also occasionally do work outside the province and outside the region – a hotel in Germany, and soon some seafront villas in Koper – but given the great demand, we prefer to stay close to home.
Do you have a showroom?
Yes, we have a showroom at our headquarters where we present the products we produce but also all of those products that we call complements, so that we can complete our offer to private individuals with mosquito nets, armoured front doors, up&over doors, roof windows, etc.
You have recently purchased a Woodpecker Just 3500. This is the second machine you have made by Saomad, or am I wrong?
In 2017 we bought a used Rotowood, a very large and very fast machine, which is still in operation. In 2023 we needed to make an investment to improve production and product quality. To be honest, I didn’t have many doubts and returned to Saomad for two reasons. Firstly, the quality of the machines on offer.
I have been to trade fairs, I have seen the competition’s solutions, and I think that Saomad’s machining centres are very solid and high-performance. You immediately notice the quality of all the elements that are used in the construction of Saomad machines. They are robust and solid solutions, which is synonymous with durability.
And the second reason?
The service. All the staff – from the technicians to the sales people – are always available. Should I have a downtime for any reason, it wouldcertainlybe resolved very quickly. I once came to Saomad to get a spare part at seven in the evening!
From this point of view, geographical proximity plays in their favour, but in any case the company goes out of its way to provide you with the answers or information you need, to meet your requirements.
What led you to choose the Just 3500 model?
In addition to what I have already said, the Woodpecker Just is not only a compact machining centre, it also provides us with the flexibility, precision and quality of finish that we were looking for. All this while optimising production time.
What initiatives do you use to promote your company?
Fortunately in our area there is not much competition left and our name is well known, so many customers come by word of mouth. A lot of requests also come from our website, from the posters we put up on the various construction sites we are involved in, and from the advertising initiatives we conduct on a regular basis.
You told me earlier that you have a lot of demand. How do you see the market situation?
We come from 2022 where we saw an impressive increase in orders and quantities, in my opinion anomalous compared to the trends of the pre-Covid years and due in good part to construction tax bonuses.
As a corporate choice, we worked mostly with the ‘minor’ bonuses, almost nothing with the larger ‘Bonus 110’, which I personally never shared.
The bonuses eventually will stop being granted but I think the market will continue to provide positive prospects for those who offer quality solutions. As far as we are concerned, we really have a lot of orders that we aim to process faster with the new machine.
Plans for the future?
The goal is always to grow, and to achieve this we invest a part of the profits back into the company every year.
One year we invest in a new machine, one year in a vehicle, one year in the website, etc. We proceed without getting ahead of ourselves, each time carefully assessing what the company’s priorities are at the moment.