Video: Four For
Caparol starts the coming season with the four core themes of efficiency, sustainability, health and design. Stefan Weyer, Managing Director Sales, explains the concepts behind it.
Author I Photo: Martin Mansel
Mr. Weyer, would you please explain the ideas behind the four subject areas to us?
Stefan Weyer: The key topics for 2019, which we recently presented at the FAF in Cologne, are health, sustainability, efficiency and design. These topics are reflected in our products, which means that all of our focus products for 2019 always relate to one of these core topics. An example: So far, the topic of efficiency has been reduced to price and consumption too often. With the Airless system Nespri-TEC we focus on an efficient application that is also completely fog-free. In addition to the cost-saving use of materials, their advantages are less time and higher coverage. The product price then plays a lesser role, since both processing speed and quality are higher. The advantages of NespriTEC also apply to NAST,our low-fog spray technology for lacquers and glazes. In summary, we improve efficiency both on the product side and in processing.
The term sustainability includes many aspects. What is it specifically about?
Stefan Weyer: Sustainability is very important to us. Today, for example, hardly any public building is being built that does not have DGNB certification, otherwise there would be disadvantages in terms of financing. We have the right products for this. We are well ahead in terms of sustainability. With Caparol Sensitiv, we developed the first preservative-free paint 20 years ago. Today we are the largest supplier of emission-minimized and solvent-free paints, water-thinnable paints and glazes and emission-minimized, solvent-free and preservative-free paints, water-thinnable emission-minimized paints and glazes as well as emission-minimized floor coatings.
Sustainability also means regrowth and thus resource conservation. This is an essential part of the corporate philosophy, as the CapaGeo range shows, for example. The wood finishing product "UniversalLasurGeo" contains a binder based on camelina. Caparol has already been awarded for this environmentally friendly, innovative product concept. Now we have presented a product based on potato starch with "PlantaGeo" on the "Color, Finishing & Facade". With the interior wall paint "PlantaGeo", the previous binder based on crude oil is replaced by modified potato starch. This is obtained from the wash water that is produced during the production of potato products. The highly opaque interior color is suitable for all new and renovation coats. Of course, the following also applies here:The innovation does not come at the expense of quality, PlantaGeo meets the demands of professionals. With PlantaGeo, craftsmen can achieve the same results at the highest level as they are used to from Caparol products.
How do you define health in 2019?
Stefan Weyer: For me, sustainability and healthy living go together. People's sensitivity to possible pollutants in living space continues to increase. When it comes to healthy living, Caparol ELF-Plus products play the main role. They contribute to a good indoor climate, they do not smell and are free of preservatives.
What do you want to convey with the term design?
Stefan Weyer: At Caparol we combine functionality and aesthetics. Consulting has always been one of our core competencies. On the one hand, we support planners and architects with technical questions, for example when it comes to how thick thermal insulation has to be or how deep a reveal. We are concerned with the question of how we can make leaner systems with the same or better performance. On the other hand, there is the color design by the experts of the color design studio. The result of this can then, for example, be implemented in real projects with our new tinting system, with which we can display all the desired shades in the highest quality on around 1600 systems in Germany. When it comes to a special design, a special value of rooms,is our answer Caparol ICONS. The 120 colors reach a special depth of color.
Which topic is particularly moving for you in 2019 and why?
Stefan Weyer: For me, the customer is clearly the focus. I want to create conditions so that the painter can do his job as easily and as efficiently as possible. We do well to provide customers with a very extensive range of services. The material price must not be the decisive argument of our customers. We want to make the painter fit for the future. That is why we develop new concepts that go beyond the product and technical support. We want to support the painter where he needs support, whether on the important issue of young people or on business issues.
You come from a family of painters yourself. What is your personal assessment? Where is the industry going?
Stefan Weyer: You have to say that we are already in a special situation. On the one hand we have a very well-used painting trade, on the other hand there are paint manufacturers who have to record declining sales and volumes. We are very concerned with the sometimes sharp rise in raw material costs. And finally, the issue of logistics will affect us more than many suspect today. I believe that the times when I order in the afternoon and the color is delivered the next morning are over.
Why is that?
Stefan Weyer: Exceptionally, it is not cost reasons, but the lack of resources. Getting cargo space and competent truck drivers is becoming increasingly difficult. Producing the goods is not the problem. I am convinced that in future you will have to calculate much more precisely when you need material and where. The ordering behavior will have to change.
Does that mean the painter will have to plan better to ensure his availability?
Stefan Weyer: Yes, definitely.
Where do you see further challenges?
Stefan Weyer: I think the entire industry has to think about how we can maintain the high level of service that we offer the customer in the event of a decline in sales and less added value. We must present these services, which we want to offer our customers in the future, more transparently and clearly. Maybe we have to separate the product
and the service.
Mr. Weyer, with all adversities
in the industry, why is it still worthwhile to become a painter?
Stefan Weyer: Because painting is one of the most creative professions that I know, because at the end of the day you can always see what you have created, because you have very close contact with the customer and you get direct feedback. When the painter leaves an apartment after the work is done and the clients shine, it is one of the most beautiful things there is.