Customers
Published: March 27, 2024
Customers
Published: March 27, 2024

Meghan Barrera: Transformative Leadership in the Refinish Industry

Under Meghan Barrera’s leadership as business director for Refinish Allied Products, we’re expanding production, consolidating brands and launching products beyond our industry-leading coatings – from adhesives and abrasives to tape and polish – to transform into a one-stop shop for collision repair.

Driving Differentiation, Productivity into Body Shops 

A chemical engineer with an MBA, Meghan started her career as an engineering trainee in our Circleville, Ohio, plant in 2004. In the two decades since, she’s held a variety of technical and commercial roles with increasing responsibility. That diversity of experience is a strong foundation for her current position, where she is accountable for all collision repair products except for coatings. These offerings include adhesives, aerosols, sealants, fillers, polishes and other items that complement the collision repair process.

“While we’ve always offered products beyond automotive coatings to body shops, there were gaps. We’re in the midst of a transformation to offer a full-service product line under our existing SEM® brand. We won’t be developing ‘me too’ products just to close the gaps but instead innovative, high-quality solutions that drive differentiation, productivity and sustainability into the body shop.”

Such benefits are needed more than ever, as refinish customers are struggling to attract, train and retain technicians. Consolidation within the industry at the distributor and body shop level is also changing market dynamics.

As our customers get bigger, they don’t have time to work with 10 suppliers. They want a relationship with one company that can supply everything their shops require. Customers also need quality products that save time and are easy to use to help with their labor issues. These and other needs are at the core of our product development process.

Customers Asked, We Answered

That process is running at high speed, with a slate of products being introduced to deepen and expand the SEM product line. Recently released solutions include:

  • VCS™ Versatile Cup System: This unique paint cup system, which attaches to a spray gun, increases painting productivity and reduces waste. The vented cups can be used at any angle, even upside down.

  • Auto Refinishing Masking Tape and Specialty Tapes: With their high-quality rubber-based adhesive formulas, these advanced tapes deliver a secure bond on various surfaces to make painting easier and more efficient.

  • GLADIATOR™ XC Matte Extreme coating: This premium, low-gloss urethane protective coating can be used for truck beds, trailers and other products in the refinish market and beyond.

“The Gladiator product, which we launched in September 2023, is a good example of listening to our customers. Although there were options available, including ones that we produced, the market really wanted a highly durable product with more of a matte finish. Based on the customer feedback we’ve received, we delivered both as well as improved application time and ease of use.”

Other products slated for release later this year include abrasives, polish, compounds and detailing. There is a new manufacturing cell under construction in the U.S. to support the continued expansion.

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People-centric Leadership

Refinish Allied Products’ ongoing transformation under Meghan’s leadership is also delivering results to our bottom line, with 2023 sales and earnings growth pushing deeply into the double digits.

Our results have been fantastic, but it’s all about the team behind that success. People are at the center of any great initiative and business, which is why the favorite part of my day is making connections and building relationships. The more we drive these connections, the deeper we can drive success together. This is One PPG.

Seeing her team succeed individually and collectively is one of the most rewarding aspects of her job. It was a big ask for these employees to transform the business through a new strategy and new products, but Meghan was confident they would meet the challenge.

“Each person needed to know where we were going, how we were going to get there and what their part was in making that happen. The diversity of our team also brought a robustness of ideas and perspectives. Everyone was all in, wanting to get it done. I’m fortunate to lead a team of rock stars.”

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