Spanning almost 10 million square kilometres, Canada is the second largest country on earth in terms of area after Russia and almost 28 times the size of Germany. At the same time, its population density is one of the lowest in the world with a good 37 million inhabitants, which is why it may sometimes be more likely to run into one of the numerous bears than a real Canadian – particularly in the northern regions. So how does a team of just a few people manage to reach the country’s widely dispersed customers for industrial adhesives?
“Most Canadians are easy to lure with maple syrup. It’s sticky too, but certainly sweeter than our products,” jokes Tim Martin, who can look back proudly on a quarter of a century of experience in the adhesives industry. He has been national sales manager at Jowat Canada for eight years and describes his sales strategy as follows: “To develop the market, we first concentrated on the big cities and then trained the distributors spread across the country in a very targeted way. By systematically sharing our adhesive knowledge, we have empowered our partners to represent Jowat products with focused expertise and the confidence to go with it. This approach not only allows us to successfully manage the distribution business in Canada today, but also to grow it for the future.”
Focused industry experience
This ‘we’ refers to the team of Jowat Canada Ltd. under the leadership of Managing Director Marco Kubitza. In addition to Tim Martin, this includes territory sales manager Clayton Jucke, who also has a good 25 years’ experience in the adhesives industry under his belt, and who has been advancing Jowat’s packaging business for the last four years. “Although it focuses on only a few products, it is the segment with the fastest growth for us,” explains Tim Martin. “With our Jowatherm® 250.00 and 250.85 hot melt adhesives for bonding closure systems to beverage cartons, not to mention Clayton’s expertise, we are winning more and more of the market.” And growth of the Jowat team is showing no signs of slowing down either: 2020 saw two further colleagues come on board in sales employees Brian Sufak and Jean Dubuc, who bring their many years of experience to work for Jowat within Canada and expand the company’s presence in the industry segment further still.
The sales office is located in Mississauga, Ontario. Canada’s sixth largest city is located west of the metropolis of Toronto on Lake Ontario, through which the border with the United States runs. Distribution warehouses are located just around the corner in Brampton, Ontario, and in eastern Drummondville, Québec. The team also works closely with the team in the US state of North Carolina to allow it to offer wide-ranging technical support. More than 800 kilometres away, Frances Ma and Crystal Stowell support their Canadian colleagues with their commitment and wide-ranging expertise in all aspects of products and applications.
Making quality advances together
Despite sometimes being incredibly far away from customers, the cooperation between the teams is characterised by one thing in particular, and that’s their ability to take a close look at specific applications and their associated requirements. By way of example, a manufacturer of cabinet doors located on the other side of the country had difficulties for years with the ‘orange peel effect’ that created an uneven surface on its high-gloss fronts. Given the high quality standard for which the producer is otherwise widely known, this situation was in urgent need of a solution.
Together with the customer, the Jowat team analysed their laminating process in detail and eventually advised them to go with Jowatherm-Reaktant® 609.40. This was recommended as the production of high-gloss fronts is a demanding adhesive application, and the suggested PUR laminating adhesive is specially optimised for processes such as these. “A universal adhesive is only suitable for high gloss lamination to a limited extent,” explains Tim Martin. “Our adhesive, for example, is processed at a lower temperature than the product our customer was using before. This alone can prevent the orange peel effect.” It goes without saying that the enthusiasm was huge when the first flawless furniture parts came off the laminating line.
Since then, the cabinet door manufacturer has repeatedly relied on Jowat’s expertise, for example in the progressive switch to PUR hot melt adhesives as a state-of-the-art solution in the field of edgebanding. After extensive testing of various products directly on the job, the Jowatherm-Reaktant® 608.00/.01 formulation finally came out on top. What’s more, the colourless, thin ‘zero joint’ meant further quality advances could be achieved with the unfilled PUR hot melt adhesive.
Read the whole story and other interesting articles in our customer magazine.