Harris Paints Going Back to Basics
Tuesday May 24, 2011
CEO of Harris Paints Ian Kenyon stated, “Harris Paints regionally is on track to be up five per cent when our financial year ends in June in a market that is down at least seven per cent”.
Kenyon believes that the way forward for Harris is to go back to the fundamentals that made the company a strong brand which is outstanding customer service.
He told the Barbados Advocate, “In 2010 it was a challenging year but it varied from country to country, in Jamaica the market was down but our sales were up double digits, in Guyana the market was up five per cent and we were up five per cent and Barbados the market was down nine per cent and we were down about two per cent. We believe we were down but we are gaining market share because we have gone back to the basics of what made Harris strong”.
“It was a company symbolised by the ‘little man’ and that we would go the extra mile for customers, in 1972 to 2007 that is exactly what Harris did and built its market share. In 2007 to 2009 we took our eye off the customer and got a bit more corporate and bureaucratic and stopped really finding out what the customer really wanted”.
Therefore now, we are focusing on reigniting those basics we started with, bringing back the focus on the little man. In essence we are focused on the philosophy of great products, great price and great service”. The CEO indicated, “Competition is more aggressive and therefore we have to go back to what makes our company preferred and we believe we offer the best solutions and we have a new initiative’ Best by test’ which we can prove our products our best”.
In terms of exporting he said, “in Trinidad Sissons is a strong player in that market so we don’t compete and they don’t compete in the Barbados market”. We have just gone in Cayman Islands and Belize but we are looking at other market opportunities that we see as more fitting with our brand proposition. We are looking at Martinique, Guadeloupe but we want to strengthen the markets we are in and build market share. Going forward we want to keep expanding while holding firm to traditional markets”.
Last week Harris Paints, the Caribbean Champions of Colour established a partnership with International Paint, the world’s market leader in High Performance Coatings. Kenyon said, “this partnership puts Harris Paints in a position to grow its market share in the High Performance Coatings business , allowing them to offer a full range of solutions to customers. Harris Paints has a lot of great local talent and has a lot of people that understand the industry but what has been missing for sometime in the high performance coatings area is the technology the ability to offer world class solutions.
Therefore, Harris being a partnership with International we can meet the customer and solve that problem better than before, better for environment, longer maintenance cycles and better in terms of protection of assets than before”. (PR)
Ian Kenyon, CEO of Harris Paints