The loss of Francesco Comunello. The 1980s: New Challenges for Francom
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The loss of Francesco Comunello. The 1980s: New Challenges for Francom

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The loss of the founder

With the launching of the new factory and headquarters, Francesco Comunello established a solid base for the future of Francom – but the future would take a twist that he couldn't have forseen.
Just one year later, in 1982, a car accident (returning from a convention in Cologne, Germany), would take his life. Francesco left his wife Maria and his three children, Luca (19), Bibiana (14) and Adamo (12). In the days and weeks after the tragic incident, the future of the company was decided; Luca, the oldest, only 19 years old at the time, chose to leave his studies and take the reigns of the company, alongside his mother. In the following years, they were joined by Adamo and his wife Fabiola. Thanks to the help of friends, employees and personnel, the company was able to regroup… overcoming the shock of the loss of loved one and founder. And as Francesco had always done, they looked ahead to the future.

The 1980s

From an economic standpoint, the period was extremely positive for the entire Veneto Region: production, in both the industrial and services industriies, was increasing at more rapid rate than the the average in Italy. Francom was not an exception. In 1989, the year that the Berlin Wall came down, the company reached an all-time record of 300,000 tool boxes in a single year.

The 1990s

With the beginning of the new decade, once again changes appeared on the horizon: the effects of globalizzation began to be felt in the Italian market. In a very short time, national products and prices were competing in a new, limitless world market. For Francom, this would mean yet another challenge: the arrival of plastic tool boxes imported from the United States led to a drop in the metal tool box market – in Italy, it reached as high as 90 percent.

The direction of the company once again veered (according to the laws of supply and demand) to keep astride the needs of the changing world market. Francom launched new production lines, including small metal cases for nicknacks and tools, metal tool pannels and safes/security boxes. This initiative required the necessary tecnical changes in the production phases and with the acquisition of specialized machinery, Francom found that through time, the company was able to free itself from the dependence of outside contractors.