Davor Mehes, Vice President and General Manager of Sales at Buckman Canada, was interviewed at PaperWeek Canada 2013.
Q Can you tell us about Buckman's vision and the importance of the pulp and paper industry?
Davor Mehes : Buckman has been in business for over 65 years and we've been focused primarily on the pulp and paper industry for the entire period. It remains our most important industry segment with more than half of our business globally, and it's even more than that in Canada. So we partly measure our success based on how we perform in that industry in Canada as well as elsewhere.
Q What type of products do you provide to the industry?
DM: We provide total solutions, from water-in to water-out for the pulp and paper industry. We are continually developing new and innovative technologies to the point where 27% of all sales are in fact derived from new technologies that are less than five years old. There is constant change and anticipation of what the needs of the industry are and we reflect those through our R&D efforts.
Q What does sustainability mean to Buckman?
DM: Sustainability at Buckman is measured in two distinct different ways. First of all, we judge and measure our own contribution to sustainability efforts with our own operations. But more importantly, our focus is on delivering sustainable benefits to our customers. As stated in our mission statement, we focus on delivering measurable, cost-effective improvements and output quality and sustainability as measured at the customer account. This means that our customers derive benefits from our involvement with them. That's how we measure our performance.
Q Finally, where do you see the industry in the next five years?
DM: I think I see things quite differently, based on my conversations with people in the industry. Everyone is seeking ideas and opportunities for great development and changes, and a lot of this has to do with new technologies. From our perspective, the types of products we're selling focus on the development of technologies that are greener, derived from nature, biodegradable and non-toxic. A lot of our newest technologies are enzyme-based, which contribute performance beyond what we've seen historically from traditional chemicals. So I think the industry is going to change in terms of the grades it produces, particularly in Canada because of economic pressures. The types of products we provide to help to assist our customers to achieve their goals are going to have change as well.
Q You must continue to innovate because the industry is changing so you have to as well?
DM: Well, it's through dialogues such as these conferences where we learn more about the true needs of the industry - whether people are looking for fibre substitutions or usage, or energy efficiency improvements. Very often we learn most here at these conferences and understand better what the needs are going to be in the future. And that helps us decide where to invest our R&D dollars and deliver those products to the industry.
To learn more, visit www.buckman.com