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Innovation

Interview with CEO Bernard Thiers

The best way to predict the future is to invent it. This is a quote from Alan Kay, but it perfectly describes the UNILIN philosophy. "Business is always looking to make things better, more beautiful and more efficient. You always have to question every process. Reinvent things. Or before long you will be chasing the competition," says Bernard Thiers, CEO of UNILIN. Innovation and modernisation have been a driving force in his entire life. It is also an urge that is embedded in UNILIN's corporate culture.

"Innovation is to anticipate needs, not be afraid to go against the grain."

"As a leader you have to anticipate needs. Don't just offer consumers they want, but above all give them what they need. You have to not be afraid to go against the grain. Just look at our Uniclic click system. Actually, everyone wanted better parquet adhesive, but by thinking ahead, we changed the entire industry with an innovative product. Suddenly everyone wanted parquet that simply clicks together."

"No matter how big or small the innovation, at the end of the day you make the difference."

Innovate and modernisation is a team sport. It is the result of exchange, mutual inspiration and fresh ideas. Of course there are a private think tank and several innovation teams, but new input is also expected from workers and managers. "Every day, we test promising ideas and promising concepts. I do this as well. Because no matter how big or small the innovation, at the end of the day you make the difference. "

"The freedom of a start-up. The power of a multinational."

It is UNILIN's mission and goal to be a leader in each product group - from chipboard to MDF, from insulation to laminate - and at every level - from Marketing to Sales, from Production to Assembly. "That is why we feel the entrepreneurship of our employees and engineers is so important. They are all entrepreneurs enthusiastically experimenting with the freedom of a start-up, backed by the power of a multinational."

"If we have to admit that someone else is ahead, the race is on to do even better as soon as possible."

According to CEO Bernard Thiers, being satisfied with the status quo is human. "Innovation is at odds with that feeling. That is why it is so challenging. When you study and welcome the environment, the world, the industry, the technology and the trends with an open mind and with open arms, new possibilities emerge. And if we have to admit that someone else is ahead, the race is on to do even better as soon as possible." Resting on one's laurels is clearly not on the UNILIN agenda.

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