Tell us a little about your own business background.
Gerard de Reuver (1956, Dutch) studied Pharmacology / Physiology and Biology in Utrecht. He started his career with the Swedish Pharmacia Biotechnology and started his own company in 1985. After he sold this in 1988 he has held various general management functions in Unilever (UK), Perstorp (Sweden), Zylipsis (UK), Gemini (NL) and PerkinElmer (USA). He was holding non-executive positions for the UK investment bank 3i in a number of Biotech and life science companies in UK and Germany before he joined DSM in 2002.
Within DSM he took the responsibility of the DAI Mainstream Business and was appointed president for the DSM Anti-Infectives group in 2005. In 2009 he was leading the corporate initiatives to manage the crisis impact and gave content to the culture change agenda for DSM. In April 2010 Gerard became president of DSM Dyneema.
What has been DSM Dyneema’s business strategy to gain market share?
In a market environment which changes fast and unexpectedly and a social environment which becomes more transparent and truly global, we believe that there is a need with our customers for a differentiation of their products which is beyond quality only. Our strategy is based on offering innovative products at a faster pace, supported by our strong Dyneema® brand. We are loading and sustaining the Dyneema® brand with factors like innovation, sustainability and safety. By making our customers successful with this approach, we are confident that a long-term relationship is appreciated.
Describe the core branded products of DSM Dyneema that you promote most heavily.
• Dyneema® Diamond Technology offers a new standard for cut protection. It’s a leading combination of cut protection, comfort, value and sustainability for the food, metal and glass industries. Recent application examples include:
• The first ultra-lightweight Hyflex 11-518 glove from Ansell being brought to the market has set a new standard of comfort in medium cut protection;
• The G-Tek® 3GX from Protective Industrial Products (PIP) offers superior protection at ANSI 3 level without adding glass;
• The Memphis Diamond Tech from MCR Safety puts cut protection to the “Max” with outstanding grip.
• Dyneema® Force Multiplier Technology platform: A radical step change in armor innovation which sets a new standard for ballistic armor protection; offering ultimate protection, extreme flexibility, lowest weight.
• Dyneema® Max Technology is the solution for permanently loaded applications like deep water mooring. This innovative platform completely redefines the material’s already exceptional performance being lighter, stronger and creep-resistant.
How do distributors contribute to your success in the marketplace?
We have established partnerships with a select group of protective equipment manufacturers and glove brands that represent global leadership in personal protection. Only those companies that share our commitment to quality, innovation and to “create the world’s safest hands” are offered the opportunity to use our trademark and sell cut-resistant work gloves made with Dyneema® and Dyneema® Diamond Technology. We operate in this manner to make sure the strict standards of quality with which we develop our materials carry through to the companies purchasing products to protect their workers.
Do you offer distributors training and other value-added services?
We do offer training on a variety of elements — for example, training on working with our materials in the glove manufacturing process and sales training on how to differentiate Dyneema® from other materials used to offer cut protection. In addition, we work with our partners with joint marketing opportunities and educational efforts such as the Zero Excuses program that targets manufacturing end-users with the goal of eliminating hand and finger cut injuries in the workplace.
What business characteristics do you look for when selecting to work with a distributor?
First and foremost, the commitment to quality and innovation that mirrors our own. We partner with brands that have achieved leadership because of such dedication, and we trust them to provide protective products with Dyneema® and Dyneema® Diamond Technology that meet market needs. Our licensing partners share our goal of establishing a new standard for workplace cut protection, working toward zero injuries in the workplace.
Do you have any recent DSM Dyneema news about new facilities or new personnel to report?
We expect demand to continue to grow worldwide. The overall growth potential in all our markets remains high. With a basic manufacturing philosophy of manufacturing “local for local,” we are committed to growing our business – especially in high-growth economies. As such, we will evaluate all opportunities that arise to strengthen our business and pursue those that make strategic sense and add shareholder value. We will continue to grow our business in areas where we are already strong, and strategically supplement areas where we need a larger presence and where opportunity is great. A great example is the technical centers that we opened in the U.S. (Stanley) and Singapore in the last years.
What should distributors know about DSM Dyneema’s future?
We should always be open to new opportunities outside the world in which we currently operate. But wherever we go, it is important that our customers see us as the partner of choice. Expanding across geographies in many cases requires an investment from both us and our customers. The consequence, and it’s a good consequence, is that we forge a sustainable rather than transactional relationship. We see opportunities especially in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India & China), but we are looking further, too, at Turkey, Indonesia, and the Asian countries. Although the production process of Dyneema® is one of the best in the world – and the Dyneema® fiber provides the best performance, compared to nylon, steel and other high-performing fibers – there are still many opportunities for improvement and step-change innovation.