Headquartered in Barletta, BICAP was founded in 1979 by Giuseppe Battaglia and then led by his five children: today, it is a leading enterprise, at the forefront of safety shoes production
An entrepreneurial and family history that began over forty years ago and that is embodied by the BICAP brand, currently a benchmark in the safety shoes sector. The historic shoe factory, whose facility is based in the industrial area in Barletta, was established in 1979 by Giuseppe Battaglia, after approximately thirty years’ worth of experience acquired in leisure footwear sale. A long past in the sector that gave him the opportunity, in the space of a decade, to set up his own company, thus launching a little entrepreneurial “gem”, then handing down the leadership to the second generation. In 1989, the founder’s five children opened 5BI, a dynamic enterprise that, from the original craft production focused on sports and trekking shoes, apres-ski models, football and futsal boots, quickly grew into a true industry, earning recognition internationally as a prominent business in the safety footwear field featuring the BICAP registered trademark.
A growth trend carried on in the ‘90s, in 2000s and in 2010s as well, a trend that concerned not only the turnover and the number of employees, but also the drive to quality when it comes to raw materials selection as well as technological innovation, via the implementation of industrial automation systems, thus resulting in a product that manages to combine experience, technology and all-Italian know-how. 5BI, whose operational facility covers an overall surface of around 30 thousand square meters, ensures a production potential of 6000 pairs of shoes per day, approximately 2 million pairs per year. A long- standing entrepreneurial history that, at the end of this decade, will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary and that, in the meantime, can rely on the support of the third generation, that is, Giuseppe’s grandchildren.
BICAP’s mission revolves around the satisfaction of its customers, whose loyalty is almost complete. A commitment confirmed by Antonio Battaglia, when we met him at the impressive corporate stand set up for the A+A exhibition in Düsseldorf – the sector’s most prominent international trade show: besides his role as co-owner of the firm, he is also the External Production Manager.
“Our key goal,” explained Antonio Battaglia, “lies in meeting the customers’ demands, providing them with high-quality articles and efficient services. This is possible thanks to our tradition deeply rooted in the excellence of Italian manufacturing, able to combine three pivotal elements: product quality, the expertise of human resources and technological innovation. BICAP safety shoes are designed by skilled professionals and made with cutting-edge industrial technology processes, shoes that are fully Italian in all aspects, quality-wise as well. Our brand has gained global recognition: our export share is 91%, as we market our products in 62 countries worldwide. The strategy focuses on the sustainable development of the product in full compliance with its primary functions, that is, comfort and safety. 5BI is striving daily to pursue its entrepreneurial philosophy: to create, thanks to our solutions, optimal occupational safety conditions.”
As for this growth-driven prospect, a key role has been played by the manufacturing process, with a special mention for quality management systems. Currently, the Barletta-based enterprise, designs, produces and distributes its articles worldwide, via quality management systems that aim at ensuring customers’ satisfaction and environmental safeguard. “Our corporate organization,” stated the firm’s co-owner, “relies on two quality management systems that improve both the effectiveness and efficiency of production. The first one is the ISO 9001 system, whose activation, through the implementation of strict monitoring procedures throughout the whole manufacturing chain, guarantees process quality and the making of an article in line with the finest quality standards. The second is the ISO 14001 environmental management system, conceived to reduce environmental risks, to steadily upgrade performances and to promote the optimal, rational use of raw materials.”
Among the main prerogatives pursued by 5BI, there is sustainable development, a field to which the renowned brand has been committed for years, resulting in the design of a range of eco-friendly products. “This is a choice made years ago,” stated Antonio Battaglia, “to provide our customers with the highest safety standards while respecting the environment, so as to be a step ahead of the related regulations’ enforcement. An example of this type of investments concerns the installation of automated systems for the release agent application during sole injection operations: such a technological upgrade has succeeded in reducing, by approximately 80%, the dispersion into the environment of said substances, thanks to the use of extraction hoods with special filters. An outstanding benefit in terms of environmental safeguard and for the employees’ wellbeing.”
BICAP – www.bicap.it
Antonio Battaglia Partner & Board Member Calzaturificio 5Bi Srl