Arpex Textiles, excellent products and just-in-time customer service, the keys of success

ARPEX TEXTILES is a company based in Barletta (Puglia region), working for over forty years in the Italian and international market. Its history began with shoe laces and today it follows that path with additional products: at first, a tapes’ line, then it started the production of fabric labels, a pioneering step forward at that time. Among its customers, Arpex ranks companies in the clothing and footwear industry, with a particular focus on safety footwear, to which it provides high quality products compliant with the current regulations.
Aldo Musti, an eclectic entrepreneur representing the soul of this company, represents a “self – made man”: he started as a worker in the footwear industry and today is at the helm of a company operating worldwide, both in terms of production and exports. In 2019, the prestigious “100 Italian excellence” award was assigned to Arpex, a significant reward for a 40 -year business.
Arpex laces represent the story of a proud Italian company that has decided to invest in quality, innovation, technology, the milestones of the industry. It wasn’t easy to succeed but the company could finally stand out, and still pursues quality in the name of the Italian excellence.
In the business for 40 years, awarded with “Industria Felix” and “100 Italian excellence”. What is the secret of your success?
There are many factors, of course, but perhaps the most important is our devotion to work. Every day we have a briefing, for forty years: I am always here in the morning at nine, for this daily meeting. In addition to being an entrepreneur, I am also a business planner, so I take care of organizing our business according to the numerous modern indices. Everything we do as a company must be evaluated in every aspect; this, perhaps, is another “secret” resulting in satisfaction of customers. What percentage, from 0 to 100, can represent their satisfaction? Our goal is to always reach a high percentage, near to 100%. This working methodology pays off: we recently underwent an audit by an important client, at the end of the evaluation process they gave us a score of 97 out of 100. It was a great satisfaction.
How did all this begin?
I was born in the shoe industry; I worked in a footwear company accounts department, at that time the Barletta cluster was being started. Then I abandoned my job to become an entrepreneur. We started with shoe laces, then we gradually moved from laces to ribbons. Later, we expanded our activity and introduced a completely different technology for fabric labels. We were among the first fabric labels’ promoters in the South of Italy: it was twenty years ago and you could find them in the North only. We can proudly say that we have introduced this kind of labels to Barletta. We always innovated and expanded our busines and it’s been forty… We have some white hairs, but we don’t want to give up.
There is a precise organization within your business, equipped with the latest technology. These are hidden aspects that are not easy to perceive.
Last December, in Rome on the occasion of the “100 Italian Excellence” award, the winners were called one by one. After a round involving great personalities including Defense generals, a short break introduced the motivation for our award: “For laces, ribbons and labels. They belong to the Italian universe too”. Everybody and the reader himself were surprised. In fact, he wanted to underline that Italian excellence is made up of many items that we ourselves often do not know.
Is your company and production located in Italy only?
Yes. Today, we are the same people we used to be. The choice to avoid relocation, in the end, paid off: we are proud to have done this. We focused on quality, we made constant investments in updating production processes, we trained our staff and kept on innovating our products. Thanks to this, we can say we have won the globalization challenge.
Why did you choose to obtain ISO 9001 certification?
We had achieved this certification in 2001 already and even always followed up the requested procedures; ISO 9001 officially certifies what we have always done at Arpex: quality work in compliance with current regulations.
What is the balance after the health emergency lasting for more than one year?
Despite the very difficult time we have gone through, our turnover has registered limited decreases. Now we can stop the production of masks’ elastics we had started during the emergency and come back to our normal work.
The crisis has been overcome thanks to an impeccable service we have been able to grant to our customers and to certain delivery times with 4 employees dedicated exclusively to managing orders in real time; moreover, our great ability to innovate helped a lot. Our customers are always looking for trends as well as for novelties; last July, we set up a large booth at Milano Unica and we noticed that the desire for “new items” is very strong. We are therefore convinced that constant innovation is the key to success: this is why we want to continue investing in technology. We have recently invested on new machines, that will escort our company towards greater digital integration.

Aldo Musti, Arpex CEO