How Did PPG Become a Global Player in Product Quality Initiatives
April 7, 2020
PPG has come a long way since it was founded way back in 1883. The company now occupies a rarified space as a Fortune 200 organization with approximately 47,000 employees and over $15 billion in 2019 net revenue.
It would be easy for a company like PPG to stand pat as one of the biggest, most successful coating, paint, optical products and specialty suppliers on the planet.
However, what makes PPG a great company is its commitment to continuous improvement in an effort to provide the best tools and resources for its commercial coating customers and homeowners. Most recently, this evolution at PPG has been focused on improving PPG technology, enhancing the company’s digital resources, developing new tools, and constantly educating its staff and its commercial and residential customers about the latest and greatest PPG innovations.
Mike Cochran, president and co-owner of Cochran & Mann, a leading mid-Atlantic commercial paint and wallcovering company, recently sat down with its long-time partner PPG to discuss the company’s efforts to improve the customer experience.
Cochran spoke at length with Danielle Hunsicker, director of trade marketing and sales effectiveness for PPG’s U.S. and Canadian Architectural Coating division, about how PPG stays ahead of the curve when it comes to technological innovation, tool development, training and education.
Access to the right information when it's needed is critical for PPG and its customers. PPG recognizes that customers, now more than ever before, have choices when it comes to selecting a paint-and-coatings partner for their home, business or other commercial needs.
“Information and getting it easily and quickly is critical for us in today’s environment. So taking all the information we have of the various products and brands and being able to aggregate it in a single website was a huge undertaking,” stated Hunsicker.
“We felt this was critical for our customers and for our business. The whole emphasis on technology to enable finding information, learning about an application or selecting a color is all part of our roadmap for leveraging technology,” she added.
A great example of PPG’s commitment to developing technologies to help its customers is its Visualizer Tool, which can be tried out here. PPG’s Visualizer Tool allows a customer to take a picture of a room and virtually apply a variety of PPG paint colors to identify the best match. The entire PPG family of paint colors is available to try out.
In addition to developing a fast, user-friendly online interface for its customers, PPG understands the importance of attracting, retaining and continually training its talented workforce that’s 47,000 strong.
“PPG is a great company and we are fortunate to have a lot of tenure at our organization, which allows us to take all of the expertise we have and really make it a value to our customers. At the end of the day our success is because of our people. That’s maybe easy for some companies to say but PPG really believes that,” said Hunsicker.
“We have to have the right people and in addition to having them we have to enable them to be the best partner ... We have to educate our teams and our customers-at-large. Education, training and expertise is really important to instill on the market,” she added.
PPG takes a multi-faceted approach to training its team and ensuring continual improvement. The company leverages face-to-face onsite professional development, practical in-the-field, hands-on training and distance learning/remote education. This varied approach to professional development creates and maintains a highly educated staff empowered to deliver best-in-class service and a consistently outstanding residential and commercial customer experience. A team that has a deep understanding of the broader market as well as market niches can serve all markets well.
When it comes to serving micro-segments of the market, whether that’s a residential customer or a large healthcare organization, PPG has its finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the industry.
“On a big scale we have our Global Color Team. They are constantly converging science, art and design to identify the trends in color in the marketplace, and one facet of that is leading to the selection of the Color of the Year. But there is also designing the color palettes for now and the future,” said Hunsicker.
“There’s another piece of that specific to the commercial markets that we work in where there are trends that we have to be attuned to. We’re seeing warm colors come back, but if you look at the healthcare environment you might see more earthy tones and biophilic trends in design. If you go into the home space you’ll see more of the clean, crisp hospitality feel,” she added.
PPG’s commitment to technological advancement, product innovation, continual training, and customer experience improvement means a greater ability to deliver what the market demands.
Because of PPG’s commitment to evolving as market needs change, the company is at the leading edge of market trends on both the residential and commercial fronts.