For 28 years, Santa & Cole has lived for industrial design. Industrial design is the art of paying attention to everyday objects in the search for a better user experience, and therefore it makes us think about the culture of material.
Santacole works with furniture, urban and domestic lighting, plants and books. It is an apparent dispersion that flows in the same concern: to choose and not to accumulate, to enjoy quality not quantity.
Santa & Cole is structured around four axes: strategy, structure and knowledge.
It is clear that the only way to earn more is having exclusive and competitive advantages. Today, we know that the only socially acceptable legal monopoly is the intellectual property – trade brands and patents. These relevant intangible assets are so relevant that, nowadays, it is more useful to be the owner of the knowledge than its producer.
But if protectable knowledge is the key for developing one strategy or another. If strategic exclusivity is focused more and more each time in making use or not of certain rights of knowledge; then it means that the human structure of the company is essential. That is so because the knowledge is generated by people and this allows the company to establish a very different strategy against a human structure that does not generate knowledge.
That is the reason why Santacole define themselves as a industry of the knowledge. They try to generate, hire, protect and disseminate knowledge, expressed through well-design products. This is the GuteForm of Bauhaus: constructive solidy, aesthetic sobriety and functional quality, which become into a moral statement.
Politics of edition
Santa & Cole edits with their brand:lighting products and interior design, urban elements, books and plants for urban reforestation. Spain also represents the interests of some of the leading manufacturers: Ingo Maurer - German indoor lighting – and La Courne - French kitchens. These are a group of different products that share a sale network because all of them have a common feature: project professionals, interior designers, architects, urban and landscape designers are interested in an original quality contemporary design. .
Santa & Cole outsources 100% of its production to a large fleet of suppliers mainly in Spain (but also in other countries). Therefore, they do not manufacture, they are editors. Their work - in terms of catalog products that are not specific to a single project – is summarized in: Selecting what should be included in the catalog; developing techniques; Subcontracting and financing the production of store components; Selling, stocking up and collecting the finished products and protecting the property of their publishing rights against third intruder as well as the value of their creative authors.
The importance of design for SantaCole
The essence of Santacole is the protectable industrial design and the required knowledge for its industrial exploitation. Their vocation is editing and their registered design is their key of their strategy.
Santa & Cole only works on the copyrightable original design either registered by their authors or generated in their internal departments.
Their philosophy of taste is more modern than futuristic. They are interested in reason and balance. They prefer silence to loudness. They specially want to be the Spanish reference model most known all around the world. Spanish internationally known architects and designers are mostly the creator of these objects we edit. That is so because they value their ability to give ideas, new perspectives about objects and about the world.
Knowledge Management Policy
Santa Cole origins were based on editing their catalog expecting that customers will be interested in those products. This company is living a transformation of their organizational culture into a centralized model, so that their mission is to bring knowledge to the specific needs of their clients: from lighting a seafront promenade to arranging a kitchen, an office, large public spaces or even a urban woodland. However, they do not sell the project, but the used elements: their knowledge will serve as an advice for their customers.
Santa Cole has several specific areas of the development of knowledge:
Regarding culture project: the process of discussion, selection and validation of new authors and catalog products. Some of this knowledge is published through its collections of books, coedited with the School of Architecture of Barcelona (Technical University of Catalonia)
With regards to technologies: the implementing of ISO 9001 standards, of the Santa Cole Intranet, of a PDM (Product Data Magement) system and a CAD (Computer Aided Design) are some of the ways to generate, store and internally disseminate that knowledge. They manage thousands of different pieces and components manufactured by suppliers from different countries.
As for the corporate strategy and marketing, Santa & Cole has innovated in their performances in different markets, such as the commercialization for kitchen furniture or urban elements. Now, they try to do so with a new commercial approach of their Division of Forests (woodland for public areas). The internal systems of information for management include programs such as: ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and their corporative web that already includes an online shop. Part of that knowledge is published through a new collection of books about enterprise management, in coedition with ESADE (University Ramon Llull).
In this context, the importance of knowledge as a essential element of the strategy for Santa Cole the project is part of the Park Belloch. This project promotes an innovation campus related to a new academic institution of the highest order.