Innovations
Published: October 07, 2019
Innovations
Published: October 07, 2019

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It’s the People Who Drive Change

Having a “can-do” attitude is just one of the many commendable character traits that our colleagues at PPG possess. And for people like Mark Poland, a technical manager at PPG Whitford, UK, life at PPG is also not just about “the 9 to 5”. It’s about seeing his job as a chance to learn from experience and use that to make a difference.

Learning by Doing

The values of Whitford and PPG are closely linked.

Mark joined the “One PPG” family from recently acquired Whitford Worldwide. Headquartered in Pennsylvania, Whitford specializes in low-friction and nonstick coatings for industrial applications and consumer products. Mark believes that PPG and Whitford shared the same values, especially when it comes to customer care, and that both companies will benefit from the recent integration.

Employees have a great chance to access a larger organization, including the increased technical capabilities and widespread expertise.
 At our annual PPG Coatings Innovation Summit in Switzerland, customers and other participants got a behind-the-scenes peek at some of our biggest innovations and also the brains behind them.

Representing the Xylan Coatings range, Mark was one of those brains at the summit giving attendees a deeper understanding of these innovative products. Very much focused on sustainability, these high-performance and functional coatings control and reduce friction, which is critical to the renewable energy sector. Not only do they improve efficiency and power output, they also decrease the carbon footprint by reducing the service frequency.

Knowledge Makes the World Go Round

On a global level, we focus on the cross-fertilization of knowledge.

Mark originally joined Whitford in the UK in 2011. But his work doesn’t just have an impact at a local level, it extends far beyond that. As a member of the  Worldwide Technical Leaders Group and chairperson of the Worldwide Color Group and Coil Group, he facilitates the “cross-fertilization of knowledge” globally. Knowledge is power, and this is why Mark strongly believes that insights gained locally can also have a significant impact when shared with colleagues in other countries. 

Mark is also a keen advocate for tearing down other “walls” too. He is involved in the running of multiple multi-disciplinary teams with the aim of creating a state of operational excellence through the removal of any inter-departmental barriers. This has been done by establishing performance-focused teams drawn from commercial, production, quality control and the technical departments. This knowledge-based powerhouse has had a positive effect on Whitford UK’s organizational culture, creating an impressive force.

Taking Skill Sharing to a Whole New Level

Coaching a member of staff to realize their potential is just as rewarding as improving efficiencies or achieving targets.

Mark enjoys the opportunity PPG gives him for personal development and to support his colleagues. Using the business and leadership skills he gained while completing his MBA, he coaches his staff to help them unleash their true potential to grow, innovate and surpass their goals.

 His sense of helping others to better themselves doesn’t just stop at the workplace either. His family and local community also play a significant role in Mark’s life. When not relaxing at home with his loved ones, he is taking his professional skills to a new level by coaching kids’ football. So it seems management know-how can be useful almost everywhere. After all, the children’s sports field can be just as tricky to negotiate as an executive meeting!