Industry

Our four divisions are our connection to the market. Each of them aims at leadership within carefully selected business segments.

 



Led by Steven Heytens, our Industry division develops and produces cutting-edge insulation products and fire protection solutions that are found in diverse buildings, industrial structures, energy storage technologies and vehicles, from the skies to the ocean floor. Steven provides a high-level overview of the division’s context, performance and achievements in 2020 – and a glimpse at the future.

"Despite extremely tough conditions for our markets, we never lost sight of our strategic execution.”

What main messages would you like to share to describe 2020 as a whole for the Industry division?

The year was very much about executing on our 2025 strategic roadmap, which we defined in 2019. However, Industry was hit very hard by the results of the pandemic, as our business is project based. With lockdowns forcing most of our customers to postpone or cancel projects, our division suffered as well, further down the chain of business.

But there is good news to share. Due to our ongoing strategic efforts in 2020, we now have a robust commercial organisation in place that has shifted from a geographical to a segment basis, enabling intra-divisional collaboration and alignment. Today, we are rolling out an end-to-end customer experience platform for Europe. With this in place, we are preparing to further digitalise our interactions with customers, improving our service and laying the groundwork for lead generation and commercial activities to come after market conditions improve.

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In terms of COVID impacts on the division’s markets, is there a recovery in sight?

We immediately put a number of initiatives in place to limit and offset COVID-19’s impacts on profitability. The cost containment measures we have put in place are quite impressive, and we have executed commercial restructuring as well, by rolling out a technical platform and a customer service platform. These efforts were initiated before COVID hit us, and they helped us contain its negative impact. By December 2020, our divisional pipeline for future sales was at the same level as pre-COVID, which is very encouraging, but the evolution of the situation remains uncertain. It may take us a couple of years to absorb the impact, no matter the scenario.

What factors will enable the division to bounce back?

Our focus on new growth segments and our strong strategic execution in 2020 will be key here. Our talented teams have shown great resilience in tough conditions, which was boosted by our performance-driven new organisational structure and commitment to global processes, knowledge-sharing and best practices.

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