- Color Expert
- At Business Area AkzoNobel
"Knowing I played a part in the race with people from a number of locations is really special"
Did you know AkzoNobel developed unique custom colors for every team in the Volvo Ocean Race, not just our own team AkzoNobel boat? Meet Andy Ward, whose color expertise and passion for our customers made a splash in the world’s longest and harshest sailing race.
We're very proud to be the official supplier of performance coatings for the Volvo Ocean Race, showcasing our coatings and color expertise to a huge global audience. Our people made it happen – like color expert Andy Ward, Awlmix Coordinator for Performance Coatings. Based in Felling, Andy played a major role in developing the fleet's vibrant custom colors.
Delighting the customer is a team effort
Responsible for the control and management of our Awlgrip color range of topside paints for yachts, Andy is also responsible for the formulation and coordination of new product colors. Team work and customer experience are at the heart of his role.
Andy says: "I work very closely with the Yacht Research & Development topcoat development team, yacht Marketing, yacht sales teams and the color delivery team. This helps us to understand the needs of our customers and how we can align our activities to deliver to them more efficiently."
Helping us reach our 15 by 20 goals
New color technology for our yacht coatings customers will help us become a winning paints and coatings company and reach our target of 15% return on sales by 2020. Andy explains: "We've recently adopted a new color delivery system in the yacht color team. It enables us to formulate, produce and deliver new and existing colors more quickly and accurately than ever before."
Andy is also responsible for a small batch production team that supplies special mix batches of Awlgrip topcoats. One of those special batches was destined for use on the Volvo Ocean Race boats.
"We identified the required colors in Felling and then shared the digital references with the Bangalore Color Team to formulate," says Andy. "These were then uploaded to the Color Data Management System and our production team in Wapenveld made the products and shipped them to the Volvo Ocean Race teams for application."
Loud and proud
Rightly proud about his team's contribution to the success of the Volvo Ocean Race project, Andy was happy to see the results of their hard work highlighted when the boats were first unveiled and all throughout the dramatic race.
"I felt a lot of pride in my work when the media showed pictures of team AkzoNobel’s Volvo Ocean Race yacht," says Andy. "There were many positive comments about how it looked and the unique color scheme. Knowing I played a part in this exciting race with other colleagues from a number of locations – it’s really special. It’s a project that really illustrates how we are able to make a sizeable contribution to the success of our customers and end users."
Growing a career with AkzoNobel
Andy says of the path that brought him to this moment in his career: "I believe that being conscientious and hardworking form the foundation of being successful at AkzoNobel. But the support and drive of a strong manager who was willing to give me opportunities to grow was an enormous help."
We're on our way to becoming the best paints and coatings company in the world, thanks to the efforts of our people and their winning mindset. Our experts and colleagues from across the company are sharing their stories about our innovative products to show how we're delighting our customers.