Chris Bradford, AkzoNobel Global Marketing Director – Industrial Coatings speaks to Wood & Panel on the effect of global pandemic and unlocking growth possibilities at the upcoming AWFS fair and more.
2020 has been a difficult year. What are your plans on unlocking growth in 2021?
Chris Bradford: Indeed 2020 was a difficult year but we are proud to say that we were able to continue business as usual by a combination of teamwork, customer focus and adopting digital tools to service our customers during COVID restrictions. AkzoNobel and Chemcraft will continue to innovate and lead the market in service delivery. Later this year we will be launching our new AcquaDuro Waterborne System with best-in-class durability, ease of application and the benefits of low VOC. Come visit us at booth 4155 during AWFS to learn more!
AWFS Fair is actually happening. Tell us about your excitement and plans on participation?
Chris Bradford: Our team is very excited to be reunited with our customers, meeting in-person again, at the AWFS Fair. Top experts from AkzoNobel/Chemcraft Industrial Wood Coatings will be staffing the booth and talking directly with attendees. Our experts are looking forward to answering questions in person, one-on-one; we love the challenge of new problems to solve.
AWFS Fair will be the first live and in-person fair after the pandemic pause. Do you think face-to-face meets are important or digital connect is the way forward?
Chris Bradford: Virtual meetings can be useful, but nothing beats a real handshake and face to face conversation. We thrive on in-person meetings and are thrilled to be reunited with our customers. Face to face meetings allow people to see and touch finished surfaces and examine the effects of various wood coatings and get a sense of the latest color trends.
What are the newest innovations you plan to showcase at the show?
Chris Bradford: We will be showcasing:
What are your expectations on market recovery from this most awaited event?
Chris Bradford: AWFS is a great platform to meet our customers and industry partners and it is great to see a level of normality returning to the world. The industry has been resilient during this past year, and we will continue to engage our customers and expect new business opportunities coming through to us. We value the strength of our partnerships and hope to service our customers with continuous improvements around efficiency, aesthetics, color solutions and new product platforms.
How do you plan to balance business amidst constantly growing virus threats and with no immediate permanent solution to combat COVID in the immediate future?
Chris Bradford: Our priority is to keep our employees, their families, and our partners safe and well. We monitor the impact of the pandemic on our people continuously and make sure to protect their physical and mental health as much as we can. We’re also taking all reasonable steps to serve our customers and maintain business continuity. Our sourcing and sales teams are working closely with our suppliers and customers to proactively manage our end-to-end processes to ensure a security of supply of products.