Janus Perspective: Colombo Special Fasteners Srl 01 March 2024

Welcome to the 2024 Janus Perspective, a unique feature that includes a wide cross section of global fastener business leaders. Named after the Roman God 'Janus' – who had the ability to look to the future and to the past, and was often depicted with having two faces – this feature brings together thought leaders from every facet of the industry, from around the world, to give us their retrospective on 2023, as well as prospects and challenges for 2024.

Marco Colombo, CEO and owner

We can consider 2023 as a positive year for us, despite the sharp decline in orders that started in the spring. This is because a series of new projects for special fasteners supported sales, contributed to the consolidation of sales and margins, as well as to the continuation of our investment plan.

The substantial increase in energy and raw material costs in 2022 impacted our business, forcing us to revise our costs and sales prices. After the first few months of 2023, the slowdown in price increases created the opposite situation, with partial cost reductions and an immediate demand for price revisions, as well as a market now saturated with commodities and consequently a reduction in volumes of up to 20%.

We reacted to this situation by reducing costs as much as possible, stopping some machines and focusing on new special business. One of the characteristics that has always distinguished us is that we are a very dynamic company and, above all, not bound by large volumes. From an energy point of view we are also dynamic, as 60% of our energy needs are covered by solar panels.

Throughout 2023 the markets proved to be rather turbulent, due to several factors including the Ukraine/Russia conflict and the resulting import difficulties, which resulted in a real slow down towards the end of the year. However, whilst 2023 was a complex year for us, it was also a fruitful one. We completed our Industry 4.0 project for the renovation of our Italian plant in Cisano Bergamasco and completed a new plant dedicated exclusively to heat treatment in Usmate Velate, again with an Industry 4.0 perspective. At the same time, we developed new special fastener projects, giving us good opportunities for growth.

As for 2024, in my opinion the recovery will be slow and we will only be able to see its signs of growth from the second half of the year. The reason for this is because there are a variety of factors and challenges that companies will need to manage. Firstly, in the face of new emission and consumption containment targets, there is a need for many companies to renovate their environments and facilities, as well as to keep track of emissions on a per-product made basis. These activities entail a range of costs and will have a strong impact on product margins.

Another challenge that will have a strong impact, perhaps even in 2025, is the still unclear automotive policy (electric, hybrid, hydrogen, etc). In my opinion, already starting this year, the budgets of fastener manufacturers will be impacted by higher financial costs and reduced revenues. 

Manufacturers who, like us, invest, despite the complex situation, will face a number of high financial costs in order to cope with the increasingly large sustainable policies in which I personally place great faith.

This is why we are letting the advanced technologies in which we are investing to guide the future phases of internalising the stages of our production cycle, with the aim of reducing costs, transportation, and timing, while improving services and quality offered to customers.  



Content Director

Will Lowry Content Director t: +44 (0) 1727 743 888


Will joined Fastener + Fixing Magazine in 2007 and over the last 15 years has experienced every facet of the fastener sector - interviewing key figures within the industry and visiting leading companies and exhibitions around the globe.

Will manages the content strategy across all platforms and is the guardian for the high editorial standards that the Magazine is renowned.