Giovanni Affinita, Executive Director at SAPA, was one of the speakers at the event organised by OBR (Regional Bilateral Body for Training in the Campania Region)[1] and Rete Fondimpresa[2], with Rete Ferroviaria Italia SpA[3] and Centostazioni Retail[4]. The objective: discussing the importance of training as a lever for business competitiveness

There is something terribly alive in our region. It is difficult to explain what it is to those who don’t live here and hence don’t appreciate the changes that we who live here witness to every day.

But I want to try because I think it might be of interest to you.

There are many reasons why the Campania region is famous, and these are the ones I am not going to tell you about. And there are many less widely known reasons that make it a lively and thriving place, a volcano ready to erupt.

You may know the Vesuvio and its story. But you may not know that in the Campania region is also one of the most active and dangerous geologic areas: it’s called the Campi Flegrei and it is located in the Pozzuoli gulf.

Imagine a dragon buried under the earth, imagine a force coming directly from the centre of the Earth and that is waiting for the right time to come out.

Well, sometimes I feel like I am living in a business environment that is similar to the Campi Flegrei.

I often said that our region (I mean the Campania region, and particularly the Sannio[5] area) is a very lively area with a high concentration of Italian companies of excellence. Yesterday I was a guest at an event that in my opinion confirmed all this.

I am very keen on telling you about this because often the businesses that are further away from the major industrial areas, in particular of Northern Italy, are considered to be flukes that are about to disappear and be forever forgotten.

But I realised that it is exactly the opposite. Please bear with me and I’ll tell you why.

As I was saying, yesterday I was invited to an event organised by OBR-Regional Bilateral Body for Training in Campania and Rete Fondimpresa, with Rete Ferroviaria Italia SpA and Centostazioni Retail at the high-speed train Station in Afragola[6].

The high-speed train station of Afragola was designed by architect Zaha Hadid and it connects Naples, the Caserta province, the Sannio region and Irpinia .

The topic that we were invited to address was training and the importance of training in the companies that are now planning and getting ready for Industry 4.0.

The morning session was chaired by the Vice President of the Small Industry group of Confindustria[7], Mr Renato Abate, by Dr Ronzani and Dr Possio and the focus was on Lean Organisation, Lean Thinking and Lean Education practices.

These are very topical issues that I am sure you are familiar with if you work in the automotive industry.

Today, we often hear about Lean Production: a market requirement that I am sure you must be faced with every day. Of course, it is not easy to get results that go in this direction if the underpinning thinking is not “lean” itself.

For years at SAPA we have been working towards making the production process into a lean process, and also to make the creation phase and the underpinning philosophy lean, too.

The One-Shot® Method derived precisely from this need, the need to make production phases leaner to obtain parts with:

  • Less weight
  • Less waste
  • In shorter time;
  • High quality standards

The One-Shot® method rests exactly on the topics we discussed yesterday: the importance of training to create innovation.

The afternoon was dedicated to the businesses that embraced this idea and are implementing it. The topic was “Business competencies on the rails of innovation” and the guest companies shared their experiences and projects that have had a great impact on the market.

SAPA, who believes in training since it came into existence, implements several projects in this respect.

The Award that we dedicated to my father Angelo Affinita stems from years of collaboration with universities and it is directed at universities, in order to support research projects on issues related to our business.

Besides this, SAPA (together with FCA, SOPHIA and CFR) participates in the LIFEBIOBCOMPO Project, with the support of the European Union, which aims at reducing emissions by deploying bio-composite, recyclable and less polluting materials.

The One-Shot® Method itself is the result of the efforts of SAPA’s internal research department, which is called Innovation Engineering, which designs and creates parts by applying the same philosophy that aims at optimising the production chain.

Every company that took part in the event shared some virtuous examples of this vision that is driven by the future and is well anchored in the present reality, in a land full of possibilities to invest in.

I believe that the secret ingredient is, at least in part, the love for this land that pushes us to do our job better and better and to improve.

Kind regards,


Giovanni Affinita,

Executive Director and Member of the Board of Directors


[1] OBR Campania: Regional Bilateral Organism for the Campania region is a body that offers support to businesses also for what pertains training
[2] Rete Fondimpresa is a fund whose objective is to make training simple and accessible to companies and their employees
[3] Rete Ferroviaria Italiana is the Italian railway infrastructure manager.
[4] Centostazioni Retails is a subsidiary of the Italian holding company Ferrovie dello Stato. The company was created to redevelop and manage 103 medium-sized Italian railway stations
[5] Sannio (from Latin: Samnium) is a region of Southern Italy anciently inhabited by the Samnites. It is a hilly area north of Naples, straddling the provinces of Benevento and Avellino in the heart of the Campania region, south-west Italy.
[6] Afragola is a municipality of the Metropolitan City of Naples.
[7] Confindustria is the General Confederation of Italian Industry, it is the Italian employers’ federation and national chamber of commerce.


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