What is driving the competition?
The consistent motivator we see everywhere is opportunity. In the BRIC countries alone, they’ve grown from barely a blip on the radar of composites demand to nearly 35 percent of the market in just 10 years. That kind of growth, combined with the fact that composites are still only about 1.5 percent of the materials industry, means there’s lots of head room for all of us to continue to grow this industry.
How do you try to “think global, act local?”
It’s easier for us than other companies because in most places, we are local. But the best way is by continually evaluating the best places to invest, being prudent with how you invest and remembering to think like your customers, who usually are global.
How do you create value for your customers?
Creating value starts with alignment of interests. We both want to be successful for our shareholders and generate investment-grade results. In order to create value, you need to understand what’s important to the end game. When we are looking at a product we like to think “how will that product work” and “how can we add value to that?” We put our money behind invention, selling, and a good technical support team to make sure the product does what it’s supposed to do. Some of the most interesting people we have are our technical people—the customers really appreciate them.
What do you believe would help the composites industry expand its presence?
Education. Our industry has, on average, grown faster than the GDP around the world. However, we’ve only just begun to truly transform the materials market and get the world thinking differently about how composites’ stronger, lighter and more durable properties can change the performance of everything from infrastructure to transportation. That continued push to get the world thinking differently is a key objective of our new “Composite App Challenge,” where we’re challenging the world’s professionals and students to find the next big composite application that will help take our industry to the next level.