Once a month we ask a member of Flowcrete’s global team to share some of their insights and expertise with us. This month we talked to Tom Wunderlin, Flowcrete Americas Technical Sales Representative for the Mid-Atlantic.
1. Where do you foresee the growth in the industry over the next five years?
The ongoing development of products and systems that help reduce maintenance costs, improve slip-resistance and safety while keeping operations inspection-ready and compliant will remain constant.
Success in the specialty floor coatings industry relies heavily on innovation and continual advancement. Specialty and new market segments are emerging and seeing robust growth that can benefit from carefully selected floor coatings to suit their specific needs.
Environmental concerns are driving dramatic changes in the materials specified and used today. This has required an intense development of efforts throughout the entire industry from materials suppliers, coatings manufacturers and applications equipment vendors.
I’d say to look out for more acquisitions in the future as larger specialty floor coatings manufacturers acquire companies to help broaden and expand their capabilities.
2. What has been the biggest flooring challenge you have had to overcome?
A floor system has no value until it’s installed, but getting it installed correctly is a challenge for every flooring project across the country!
Accept that changes must be made from project to project and that no floor is the same. The biggest challenge for me is staying current with ongoing learning and training as well as reviewing technical information with mentors and technical specialists to gain a greater understanding of the features, benefits, advantages and disadvantages of the recommended system as well as its specific preparation, application, cure and cleaning info.
Each project is unique and each end user has their own expectations regarding wants and needs. Accepting the challenge of becoming a trusted resource for functional and decorative specialty flooring is ongoing. Earning respect is a challenge.
3. Is there a flooring project you’ve seen that has particularly impressed you?
There are so many impressive and varied projects that I have been fortunate to witness and help specify, many of which have won industry awards.
Stadium and arena flooring projects are always a favorite. The new metallic epoxies are trendy and allow contractors to create effects and make floors look three-dimensional. The growing and expanding brewing, winery and distillery markets have demonstrated many different functional, aesthetic and customized projects.
4. What has been the major game changer in your career?
When feedback is delivered well – and heard clearly – the results can be transformative.
The best game-changing career moment for me was realizing the importance of listening and more importantly listening to carefully selected mentors within the coatings industry. I have been fortunate to work for and with many of the industry’s best over the last 30 years. Surrounding myself with a wide range of experienced, respected and innovative associates and carefully listening and absorbing what they say and why they say it, allows me to improve each day. Being competent and capable helps to separate ourselves as the very best.
5. What’s your number one piece of advice for someone going through the flooring specification process?
A few bullet points:
- Better before less expensive
- Understand the service conditions and develop a system to attain superior performance
- Assemble the right team
- Consider the customer
- Deliver Positive Outcome by being consistent