With nearly 25 years’ experience in the coating and polymer industries, Andy Gent joined AGM’s business development team in 2018. Playing an instrumental role in the company’s sales progression, Andy was promoted to Commercial Director in February 2020 with the task of building on recent customer successes to drive further revenue growth. However, shortly after his promotion, the UK went into its first national lockdown as a result of Covid-19.
One year on, Andy reflects on the challenges the AGM team has faced over the last year, and the impact that the global pandemic has had on the company’s commercial strategy.
Since my promotion, I think it’s fair to say the world has seen a number of changes! As with many companies, we encountered challenges with the restrictions imposed by coronavirus, and it certainly impacted our business over the past 12 months. However, it also gave us an opportunity to take stock of our current business development position and outline the key areas that we wanted to develop and strengthen.
Having looked deeply, I felt that with increased reach into the market we could develop a stronger platform to be able to maximise the opportunity to deliver our high-quality standard products directly to our growing customer base. That’s why through 2020 we have worked hard to identify strategically aligned distribution partners which have enabled us to significantly expand our sales network. Through 2020, we signed five major new agreements with partners in the USA, Canada, South Korea as well as across most of Europe and there are more to come.
To support our growing partner network and customer base, it was also clear that we needed to rethink how we are delivering our company, technology and product messages. Our marketing team has done a fantastic job completely re-branding and redeveloping our website to give us a fresh, modern and innovative platform that enables us to clearly communicate the benefits of our products in real applications.
To achieve success in the chemicals industry, products need to gain acceptance and we need to build customer trust so they know they can rely on the products for long term performance. This ethos has not changed over the last 12 months, we have continued to build even stronger customer relationships as we come together at a global level to ride out this pandemic.
Our technical team has done an outstanding job of building a technology platform that customers can depend on. With our standard Genable dispersions, we have a toolbox that delivers real value-adding performance benefits to new and existing industrial systems. Alongside this, with our Innovation Accelerator development programs, we have the capability to offer customised solutions tailored to meet our customer’s exact needs.
Although we are starting to see signs that the pandemic is releasing its grip, it is clear that the chemical industry globally still faces challenges, however, I am confident that the future is really positive for AGM. We have all the pieces of the jigsaw and are now putting them into place to ensure that we maintain our position as a world leader in graphene dispersion technology. Exciting times ahead.