EXECUTIVE OUTLOOK | CHARLES VALENTINE, SES FOAM
“It is so much
a team and
21 SPRAY FOAM MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2016
as a team and helps one another. Their
successes not only help them grow,
they also help us grow as well.
SFM: The industry has grown since your
first days in the chem lab. Where do you
see it in 10 years?
CV: I see greater commoditization of
products, with fewer larger suppliers
controlling the manufacturing side.
I see companies walking away from
contractor support and limiting
their investment in the customer.
Who knows, perhaps the fiberglass
manufacturers will finally figure it
out and take on a bigger role. It seems
strange that they haven’t already
diversified their product lines, since
(American Chemistry Council), SFC
(Spray Foam Coalition), and CPI
(Center for Polyurethanes Industry),
to name a few. We also feel that it
is very important to support our
contractors as much as we can with
training and field support. At the end
of the day, we are partners in business
SFM: So not only are your products
“Green,” but also your approach to
business is holistic?
CV: Supporting our contractor
partners is a very important part of
our business model. By providing
comprehensive field support, we try
to help manage each relationship to
a win/win. We absolutely want our
customers to be successful and try
to help wherever we can. I once had
someone tell me that they refused
to do the “Tom and Jerry Thing”
when it came to working with their
contractors. I’d never heard that
expression, but it fits so perfectly that
I now use it. Remember the Tom
and Jerry cartoons? Remember how
Tom and Jerry would beat up on each
other and everyone would laugh?
That is exactly what you want to
avoid – fighting with your team and
becoming a laughing stock. It is so
much better when everyone functions
they are essentially in the best position
to take advantage of the situation.
Quite often, commoditization forces
an industry to push responsibility
downstream. That would hurt our
industry, but commercial forces
cannot be denied.
SFM: Would a fiberglass-involved
marketplace worry you? Where do you see
SES in 10 years?
CV: At SES we forecast trends. We
are in the process of so many new
developments, that a narrowed market
with competition from fiberglass
manufacturers is something that
we’re already able to accommodate.
It wouldn’t disrupt our plans in the
slightest. In 10 years’ time, we will be
a full-service provider of urethanes.
Our unique technology can and will
minimize the competition, allowing
our contractor partners to provide full-service cutting-edge technology. We
still expect our proprietary technology
to differentiate us for the near future,
and the new technology we have on
the shelf will propel us even further
ahead of the marketplace. We have
already introduced a sucrose-based
polyol line that is patent-pending and
proving to be a game changer in many
areas of polyurethanes.