2009 was a challenging business climate for our industry. Where do you see business going in 2010?
The outlook for 2010 will still be very challenging. Overall, we anticipate growth for the industry as a whole will be flat. ARDEX and HENRY® will remain as aggressive, as we were in 2009 with continued product innovation and the release of 20 new products. Based on customer feedback and market demands, we will continue to introduce new products throughout 2010 that deliver significant tangible advantages on the jobsite and provide our customers with a distinct competitive edge.
We see all aspects of building materials getting smarter – green technology will continue to be a major factor in our product segments moving forward. Other technologies that actively help to improve the quality of life before, during, and after an installation are also increasing in importance. One such technology is ARDEX MICROTEC, which is available in three of our ARDEX Tile & Stone Installation Products – ARDEX X 77, ARDEX X 78, and ARDEX X 32. All three products offer unique advantages to installers that allow for easier installations, better results and less waste. ARDEX and HENRY will remain on the leading edge of these technologies
In what way will green products be an important aspect of business in 2010?
There was a prevalent school of thought with the downturn in the economy that Green Building would decrease in importance and emphasis due to the pressure on project budgets. As was evident in 2009, Green Building will definitely continue to grow in importance. There has been notable growth year-to-year over the past five years and 2010 will be no exception. ARDEX and HENRY products have always been on the forefront of product developments that provide environmental benefits, as well as contributing to valuable LEED® points for qualified projects. HENRY was the first adhesive company in the United States to introduce solvent-free adhesives and an engineered technology to make adhesives environmentally friendly, which included ultra-low VOC’s, no solvents and virtually no odor.
ARDEX products have always had significant environmental benefits in the reduction of energy and raw material usage. In addition, our plants and facilities continue to explore improvements and processes to provide environmental sustainability. Our new manufacturing facility and technical training center in Mansfield, TX has incorporated state-of-the-art technology to reduce energy usage, preserve raw materials and enhance recycling efforts. There has also been recycling and environmental improvements to all of our existing facilities.
What message would you like to give the industry for 2010?
The reality has set in that things will never be the way they were before the recent economic downturn. A change in the way we go about our business and the need for flexibility is paramount to success in this new economy. We at ARDEX and HENRY view these changes in the economy as opportunities as we continue to stay true to our mission, which is to strive for excellence in all that we do. We remain confident that providing premium, high-performance products, unmatched customer service, outstanding expert technical support and developing mutually beneficial partnerships with our customers is the formula for success.
We have demonstrated this philosophy throughout 2009 with the introduction of 20 new products which included some revolutionary industry firsts. In addition, we made significant investments in our business with the opening of a new manufacturing facility and technical training center, as well as investments in new technologies.
The bottom line for our industry is that if you have always done it that way, then it’s probably wrong!