Chosen by the Italian National Standards Body (UNI), the Mapei Group is the world's leading manufacturer of mortars, adhesives, grouts, sealants, waterproofing agents, additives for concrete and other speciality products for the building industry.
The group comprises 68 subsidiaries, 18 main R&D centres and 60 production facilities in operation in over 27 countries on the five continents, each with its own quality control laboratory. Mapei has always placed great emphasis on research and development, aiming at improving the quality, safety and ease of use of its products. Today, the company’s main R&D efforts are directed at developing eco-sustainable and environmentally friendly products. Mapei’s industrial processes have evolved in sync with the development of European and International Standards (CE marking of construction products is mandatory in Europe). Standards are extensively used by several of the company’s business functions and, since 1994, Mapei has implemented a quality system, later integrated with environmental and health and safety management systems. The company participates actively in the development of standards within UNI national mirror committees, European and International committees.
The analysis focuses on Mapei’s adhesives for ceramic floor and wall tiles, since 40% of sales are derived from this single product line, while the remaining 60% is covered by eight other product lines. It also investigates the issue of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals that may have short- and long-term adverse health effects.
The analysis shows that standards are clearly recognized for their contribution to operational efficiency. However, most importantly, standards are considered by Mapei as strategic tools that support the company’s business development. The active involvement in standards development is seen by Mapei as a way to strengthen technical and business knowledge, with a positive return on operational efficiency and contributing to gaining competitive advantage.
Specific examples of standards having an impact on business development have been used to quantify their direct economic impact. The result is an estimated 3% of the total group EBIT, corresponding to 0.14% of consolidated group sales.