Cascades PRO Q&A: Eric Lavoie


Name: Eric Lavoie

Title: Product Manager – Bath Tissue Category

Years working for Cascades: 3 years with Cascades & 20+ years in the paper Industry

Office: Candiac, Quebec

What are your current responsibilities at Cascades PRO®I manage day to day activities, as well as work with Sales, Innovation and other groups to identify possible product innovations or market opportunities. I also help prepare marketing plans and sales tools to help promote existing products and/or new product launches. 

What are the bath tissue trends you’re seeing when it comes to the office building market today? New building owners want their washrooms to be clean and aesthetically pleasing with an ‘at home’ feel, rather than the ‘institutional’ feel of big venues, such as stadiums or schools. To accomplish this, they look for sleek tissue dispenser systems and high-quality paper for their tenants. Efficiency is also important to this market (and all of our markets), so we made it a point to incorporate 3 high capacity dispensers into the recent update of our Cascades PRO Tandem® line of dispensers. We believe this line addresses what building owners are looking for by providing a modern look and enabling better service for their tenants.

Why was it important for Cascades PRO® to enter this market? Cascades PRO® sells in many commodity driven markets and we’ve enjoyed great success in those markets. However, in the past, we didn’t think we had the dispenser and paper offerings necessary to adequately service those in the office buildings market. With our new Tandem® line of dispensers and more streamlined product offerings, we now have the proper tools to effectively support and compete in this market.

The US office building market represents ~5.6 million commercial buildings equaling 87 billion square feet. This is a market that we’re just starting to scratch the surface of and are looking forward to what we can accomplish together with building owners and developers.

How does this market differ/compare to the other markets that Cascades PRO® serves? As previously mentioned, most of the markets we work with are commodity driven. This means that our sales force engages with professional buyers looking for value goods at the best prices that also address their needs. The office building market shares these same concerns, but they are also concerned with the customer experience. They want their tenants to feel as though they are at home in a clean, beautiful washroom. So, we need to not only deliver quality products at competitive prices, but we also need to help them maintain the design aesthetic they envision for their office spaces.

What are some key insights you gained from your attendance at BOMA 2019? The BOMA 2019 trade show in Salt Lake City, UT was a great experience. We were able to meet with building owners, property managers and some BSC’s (Building Service Contractors). The first thing we noticed is that the vibe at BOMA is a little different than traditional trade shows. It’s more about how products can enhance the customer experience vs a focus on price and availability. We had our new Tandem® line on display and heard great feedback and interest in the new designs. Many attendees also expressed interest in environmentally sound products. Sustainability is a key concern in the industry right now, so that aligns well with Cascades PRO®’ values.

One key take away for me is that in order to be successful in this new market, we need to continue to find ways to enhance our visibility & network amongst our key audiences.

What Cascades PRO® products will be available for the office buildings market? Over the last few years Cascades PRO® has done a great job of streamlining its paper offerings in a ‘good, better, best’ alignment, which may be of interest to those in the office buildings market. I believe our recently revamped Tandem® line of dispensers combined with our ‘better & best’ paper products are well suited to service this market. These offerings include a variety of dispensing options in sleek, modern designs and a variety of recycled and/or environmentally certified tissue products to promote sustainability efforts – another key selling point for this market.

Beyond these products, we’re also looking at ways to add to our washroom offerings, so keep an eye out for that innovation in the future!

What do you think the office building market might look like in the future? Class A buildings are modernizing and using more and more technology to help monitor and even run certain applications. Whether its security, IT or monitoring services, we can see that new technologies continue to be incorporated into building design to help better manage properties. At BOMA 2019, several exhibitors had IoT (Internet of Things) applications that they were looking to offer. I believe this is a trend that we will need to keep an eye on. Technology that can help custodial staff know when and which dispensers need refills, for example, will become more and more prevalent.

What would you like potential customers in the office building market to know about Cascades PRO®? Cascades PRO® now has a complete paper and dispenser portfolio well suited for the office building market. Our current offerings include 65+ products that meet or exceed EPA standards. Our company values are also aligned with this market and its efforts to promote the use of recycled and/or environmentally sustainable products.

Cascades PRO® is one of the largest tissue manufacturers in North America with nationwide distribution networks to service all your needs in the US and Canada. We would love the opportunity to wow you!

Source: Cascades PRO