Q&A with Kolja Eikelmann, CMO & Head of Marketing at PPG Industries

MEDIA 7 | June 20, 2019

CMO & Head of Marketing at PPG Industries
Kolja Eikelmann, CMO & Head of Marketing at PPG Industries is a forward thinking and result-driven Marketing expert with 20 years of experience in the FMCG marketing industry. 

In this Q&A, Kolja shares his unique marketing experiences and gives us interesting insights about PPG Industries, a global supplier of paints, coatings, optical products, and specialty materials which is driving innovation, sustainability and color in the industry.

MEDIA 7: What inspired you to get into Marketing?
KOLJA EIKELMANN:
I wouldn’t be able to say when I first realised marketing was the path for me, but I think it’s been evident my whole life that I’m interested in the diversity that marketing allows. Since childhood, I have always been so fascinated with the details of a product, no matter what it is. I have an endless sense of curiosity and I think that was the major driving factor for me to enter the world of marketing.

I realised marketing might be for me when I discovered the unique opportunity it offers to be involved in all spectrums of the business; not just advertising, but also in creating solutions and analysing outcomes. The overarching goal is always to make a real difference and help people in their daily lives, and marketing allows you to both be a part of the solution as well as a witness to the outcomes.

My job with PPG is very colourful – just like my company! Within my one job title I get to explore innovation, creativity and analysis. This variety has always been appealing to me.

M7: You have an exemplary marketing experience of more than 20 years in the FMCG industry. How have the marketing dynamics changed over these years and what tactics do you feel modern marketers should adopt, to survive in this competitive world?
KE: 
As you would expect of any industry in the 21st century, marketing is constantly changing and increasing in complexity in this digital age. The increasing presence of digital media and the growing demand for ease-of-access online services, has resulted in the field growing broader than ever before. The possibilities now are numerous, but they are fragmented; you must be truly dedicated to the field to build the knowledge base of marketing tools required to thrive in such a climate. Ultimately, PPG wants to produce work that has the greatest impact on businesses, this was arguably easier in the past when you had a traditional, simple media mix, as opposed to now when success depends on mastering traditional media and online outlets, social media and digital advertising tools.

For example, it can be easy to spend a lot of money on Google ads that are expected to be high value, but instead, organizations might see greater return on sales if the money had been allocated to a faster and more agile response to SEO.

In marketing, it can be easy to get caught up in the creativity of the work – as that is most often our strength – but not fully immersing yourself in the analytical side of things is a mistake that is often reflected in outcomes. I would recommend that every marketer should always make sure to know their KPIs inside and out and try to get as familiar with Excel spreadsheets and analysis as they are with the creative work.

In this constantly changing modern landscape, marketing has become even more important than ever before. Specifically, in the paints and coatings industry, marketing was a late bloomer as it has been driven by shelf sales for so long. However, as an industry we are refocusing on innovation and purpose; and pushing the boundaries on what is expected from paints and coatings and what they can do. PPG aims to improve and protect the world through our products – but none of this is possible without proper marketing to support the business.


"A focus on our customers, our innovation, our people and our entrepreneurial way of working – are all elements that inspired the One PPG vision, and what most accurately represents the key to our successful way of working."

M7: Your work experience spans across highly complex matrix organizations to entrepreneurial and start-up businesses. What do you believe is your driving force behind your proven track records and achievements?
KE: 
I am very proud to say I have left behind a strong track record of positive differences within the companies in which I am working. Although I have worked in many different, seemingly unrelated industries, the knowledge and tools that I learnt at each step along the way continue to prove invaluable for each new challenge I face. From paints, to dairy, to cosmetics – your collective marketing knowledge spans across whichever business you are a part of. Once you’ve built up this knowledge base, the true challenge is not having the tools but knowing which tools to use and when.

I have always been most drawn to companies that challenge me to make a difference. This is how I’ve shaped my career and how I made my decisions on where to work.

M7: How well do you believe that a service-oriented and data-driven leadership approach along with business strategy and operational execution can lead to company growth with an upsurge in revenue/sales?
KE: 
I strongly believe in a service-oriented and data-driven leadership approach, as well as incorporating social and ethical capabilities. Data-driven leadership is the key to the future – in many industries – but especially in marketing. The industry today is all about knowing your KPIs and business cases, which are data rich. Working in marketing is about being able to positively impact business outcomes, and that ultimately boils down to the ability to add value for your customers and consumers. Focussing on PPG work as a service-oriented industry highlights the need for data availability – both in that of the business and that of our customers – to be able to best consult and serve. Knowing your data is the key currency for success in the 21st century.

Data analysis can provide us with information such as click through rates and viewership. We are able to access tools now that, if used right, can prove invaluable to achieving successful outcomes. Being able to use this information to your advantage will allow you to instantly see whether your data retrieval is successful. Every business case and KPI that you set out to tackle can then be achieved using the data to measure sales growth.

M7: PPG Industries has been included in the list of American Fortune 500 companies. What do you think has made it possible to build a fortune for PPG industries?
KE: 
PPG has a strong culture of building the business across SBUs through investment, innovation and acquisition. We are one of the leading and largest paints and coatings companies in the world. This status is maintained by PPG’s culture of investing in R&D and constantly challenging the boundaries and expectations of the coatings world.

The opportunity to build our position as a market leader in many countries around the world is only possible through our global network and international approach. For example, our Alison Park facility in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a major hub of innovation for PPG – but work that is done there is often inspired by an idea from Europe, that itself was driven by a customer need from Asia. To stay on the frontlines we can’t sit still and be complacent. Our recent acquisition of Hemmelrath and a new plant in Tianjin, China is evidence of our strategy to expand our foothold, our abilities to deliver for customers and our capacity for innovation to maintain our position as a market leader.

PPG has many moving parts which all function in different areas of the world across different business units, but our central goal is to add customer value. A focus on our customers, our innovation, our people and our entrepreneurial way of working – are all elements that inspired the One PPG vision, and what most accurately represents the key to our successful way of working.


"Data-driven leadership is the key to the future – in many industries – but especially in marketing."


M7: How is PPG Industries’ tagline ‘WE PROTECT AND BEAUTIFY THE WORLD’ serving its purpose of enhancing the world through its paints and coating solutions?
KE: 
PPG is in every part of daily life – even if you don’t realise it. You touch and feel PPG in your living environment practically 24/7: from your car to an airplane, to your refrigerator, to your laptop or even your soda can. This tagline reflects how PPG’s paints and coatings cover every part of life. PPG products provide the expected functionality of adding a colour or coating to an object, but even more than that, PPG products enhance the longevity of an item and increase its appeal. Whether it is an electronics coating that makes a laptop feel smooth to the touch, or a coating that protects the body of an airplane from overheating in the sun. PPG’s mission is not to provide what is expected, but to offer innovative solutions to questions no one expected an answer for.

Environmental impact is one of the greatest concerns of the 21st century, for both our customers and us as manufacturers. As a business founded on mass production, it is our responsibility – and therefore our challenge – to be as positive a force as possible in the fight against climate change. This is why so many of our modern products are developed to align to both PPG’s mission of protecting the world and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals: boat coatings that reduce friction and therefore reduce fuel consumption, aircraft windows that don’t need frames to reduce plane weight to help minimise carbon emissions, electric vehicle battery coatings that enable cars to travel for significantly longer periods of time per charge, increasing the viability of electric vehicles on roads. We are innovating with purpose – for the public, for our customers, for consumers and for our own PPG people.
The world cannot function without paints and coatings in our everyday life, and that’s why PPG’s tagline is so powerful. If we are going to continue to be a worldwide presence, we want to be sure we are making the world a more beautiful place in the most long-term, stable way possible.

M7: You have taken transformational business initiatives to foster incremental business changes and drive cultural change throughout the organization especially in dynamic business sectors. What are some of the advantages of taking such timely measures?
KE: 
As part of the global shift towards greater digitization, businesses have the opportunity to drive cultural change. Digital transformation is a key component, especially as peoples' buying habits are evolving and changing how they purchase products. This is acutely felt in Europe, with its variety of different countries, cultures and languages. From a marketing standpoint, the industry is offering incremental business changes in this new culture of on-demand. In the age of Amazon and digital transformation, people want easier and faster solutions from the paints and coatings industry. Customers want to get the job done as quickly and as easily as possible with support from the supplier. As a result, PPG is innovating to be more agile and fast, by developing architectural paints that take less time to dry or offering customers a more on-demand paint matching experience.


"A successful campaign is one tailored to the needs, style and audience of the customer."

M7: You have an amazing experience of working with top leading companies like Nestle, L’Oreal and currently PPG Industries, how influential was your role in transforming marketing tactics for these organizations?
KE: 
My roles in these organizations were really diverse. For L’Oréal, I was more into sales and worked within category management. This later proved very influential for my future marketing career as it introduced me to the integration between marketing and sales in helping to serve customers in the best way possible. Integrated communication between marketing and sales is an essential tool in connecting both ends with the business purpose while still staying customer focused. You need to drive your campaigns forward and also sell your products in a much more complex way that is completely focused on the customer’s view. In order to do this, you need to know what is best for the customer when you place your products within a category role. This requires a lot of analytical skills to convince a customer what is best for them. You need to oversee the whole thing and act almost as both an internal and external consultant for your company. This whole picture view of the marketing process really influenced my journey and helped me strengthen my skillset for my future roles, such as when I was head of digital for Nestle.

When it comes to marketing, you can’t just pick the most creative, 360 media campaign available and offer it to the client. A successful campaign is one tailored to the needs, style and audience of the customer. To be best at what we do, it is essential to build an in-depth understanding of your customer’s view and what is best for them. This experience came with me into my work for PPG in using this knowledge to establish myself in a more leading role. At PPG I am also the communicator in the company and need to understand everyone’s view and connect with all the different departments. I am not only the marketer in my department but I’m also responsible for looking at the whole value chain within this digital leading role. PPG has experienced double-digit growth in the past two years in both B2B and B2C and this success is down to how closely we collaborate here.

M7: Kolja, what is your super power?
KE:
I would say my super power is a combination of my visual and analytical skills, articulated through my courageous and enthusiastic mindset. Being able to both develop a specialized skill set and confidently acknowledge my areas of expertise and strength makes for a very beneficial cocktail to drive progress. Having empathy and other social skills are important to exert a positive influence within my team at PPG. However, these qualities should also be backed by facts – knowledge, experience and history -- which is a combination I have not seen in many people. Being self-confident and believing in my strengths is a powerful tool in business, and something that has greatly helped me along the way.

M7: Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your younger self?
KE:
I’m really driven by being up to date and well informed in as many areas as possible, and I would advise my younger self to do the exact same. I’ve always been a very curious person, but I would tell my younger self to be even more so and to take in as much information as possible. In this fast-moving world, that is just getting faster as we become more digital, there is always something new to learn or discover. If you remain stuck in one point of view or one way of thinking, you are already behind the curve. Stay flexible, stay interested and always remain in a constant state of learning.

ABOUT PPG INDUSTRIES

PPG: WE PROTECT AND BEAUTIFY THE WORLD™
At PPG (NYSE:PPG)
, we work every day to develop and deliver the paints, coatings and materials that our customers have trusted for more than 135 years. Through dedication and creativity, we solve our customers’ biggest challenges, collaborating closely to find the right path forward. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, we operate and innovate in more than 70 countries and reported net sales of $15.4 billion in 2018. We serve customers in construction, consumer products, industrial and transportation markets and aftermarkets. To learn more, visit www.ppg.com.

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Founded by Tony and Sue Mira in 1979, MiraMed is a leading provider of end-to-end RCM and business process outsourcing services for anesthesia practices and commercial healthcare clients in the U.S. MiraMed delivers medical coding, billing, and receivables management solutions to regional anesthesia-focused physician practices and other commercial healthcare clients, supported by a highly strategic hybrid onshore/offshore delivery model. Veritas acquired MiraMed from the Mira family, who will retain an ownership position in the combined company. “This combination brings together two highly complementary businesses with a shared mission to improve operations for healthcare providers across the U.S. Coronis’ end-to-end RCM solutions paired with MiraMed’s expertise and global infrastructure creates a robust platform for growth in a highly fragmented market. We look forward to leveraging our expertise in healthcare technology to support the combined company and, in partnership with management, deliver innovative technology-based solutions to ensure the continued success of the company’s healthcare provider clients.” Ramzi Musallam, CEO and Managing Partner of Veritas Capital “We are thrilled to partner with Veritas Capital through this combination, which will better position us to help our clients focus on providing what’s most important – the absolute best patient care,” said Mr. Grubbs, CEO of Coronis. “MiraMed has a terrific team and value proposition, and we are confident that, with a larger platform and enhanced resources provided by Veritas, the combined company is poised for continued organic and inorganic growth to benefit our clients, employees, and partners." “Our family built MiraMed to serve the growing needs of our healthcare clients and their patients. By combining with Coronis, we created a new company with the scale, resources, and global infrastructure to provide an expanded set of solutions to our clients,” said Tony Mira, founder and CEO of MiraMed. “Together, we will expand our operational footprint to serve clients across various specialties and make investments in technology to enhance operations for our clients across the healthcare industry. I look forward to working with the talented team at Coronis, as well as Veritas, as we embark on this next chapter.” “Our investment in Coronis and partnership with Stephen and the entire management team firmly established how our playbook can create value in the healthcare technology sector,” said 424 Capital Managing Partner Walter Beinecke. “We welcome Veritas as the new stewards of Coronis and wish the team continued success.” Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal counsel to Veritas. Lincoln International LLC and TripleTree LLC served as financial advisors to Veritas. Guggenheim Securities LLC served as lead financial advisor and Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP served as legal counsel to Coronis. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP served as legal counsel to MiraMed. About Veritas Capital Veritas is a longstanding technology investor with a focus on companies operating at the intersection of technology and government. The firm invests in companies that provide critical products, software, and services, primarily technology and technology-enabled solutions, to government and commercial customers worldwide. Veritas seeks to create value by strategically transforming the companies in which it invests through organic and inorganic means. Leveraging technology to make a positive impact across vitally important areas, such as healthcare, education, and national security, is core to Veritas. We are proud stewards of national assets, improving the quality of healthcare while reducing cost, advancing our educational system, and protecting our nation and allies. About Coronis Health Coronis is a leading provider of end-to-end RCM solutions to U.S. healthcare providers including primary and specialty physician practices, laboratories, and hospitals. By using industry-leading technology combined with high-touch relationship building, Coronis Health allows healthcare practitioners to focus on patient care. About MiraMed Global Services MiraMed is a leading provider of end-to-end RCM and Business Process Outsourcing services for anesthesia practices and commercial healthcare clients in the U.S. MiraMed partners with physician practices, hospitals, health networks, and related industry service organizations to provide a broad portfolio of solutions to streamline operations, improve productivity and ensure compliance.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Performant Capital Creates Platform Delivering Managed Technology Services and Revenue Cycle Management to the Healthcare Industry

Performant Capital | August 01, 2022

Performant Capital announced that it has formed Provider Technology, LLC through the acquisitions of DavLong Business Solutions LLC and its affiliate Administrative Advantage LLC and On Demand Solutions Inc. Provider Technology is a leading technology provider of outsourced software and IT services, revenue cycle management (“RCM”) and back-office business support primarily to physician practices and health systems. The businesses will continue to operate independently under their respective brands but share best practices across all functional areas. Performant, investing out of Fund I, closed the DBS and ODS transactions simultaneously in June. The Private Credit business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management provided first lien debt and an equity co-investment to support the acquisitions. “The team at Goldman Sachs has been invaluable as we executed this platform investment. We look forward to meaningfully accelerating the growth of the business given the scale enabled by Goldman’s partnership.” Mike Ciaglia, Partner at Performant Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Savannah, GA, DBS provides turnkey IT solutions for physician practices by fully hosting, maintaining, and supporting all software needs for the medical office, from cloud hosting to cybersecurity. DBS combines its proprietary suite of software offerings with leading third-party solutions to provide medical practices with a fully integrated electronic health record and practice management system from a single vendor. In addition to its best-in-class software offering, DBS also provides complete RCM services designed to manage and optimize the entire collections process for practices. Across both primary functional areas, the company leverages technology, analytics, and the expertise of its skilled teams to improve operational and financial performance for customers. Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Boise, ID, ODS provides practice management software, RCM, staffing support and business advisory services to healthcare service providers and organizations. Its solutions improve business operational efficiency, reduce administrative costs, and assure managerial control so clients can stay focused on providing quality patient care. The combination of DBS, AA, and ODS creates a national back-office and healthcare technology platform servicing more than 3,000 medical providers across the U.S and across medical specialties – developing best-in-class offerings and technology for specific specialties, such as Ophthalmology, EMS and Hospitalist providers. “These businesses are highly complementary acquisitions that together provide enhanced technology capabilities and support services with broader geographic presence to better meet the needs of clients and improve their financial outcomes,” said Chris McLaughlin, Partner at Performant Capital. “Both businesses have a reputation of providing superior customer support as value-added partners to physicians and health organizations. Customers value our company as more than just a service provider, but extensions of their core teams. With an expanded presence and enhanced capabilities to drive further value for clients, we’re excited about the future of the combined business under Provider Technology.” Provider Technology continues to look for best-in-class revenue cycle management and managed service provider software businesses to healthcare customers that would expand its geographic footprint and service capabilities. If you have an opportunity that might be an add-on acquisition candidate for Provider Technology, please contact Mike Ciaglia. About Performant Capital Performant Capital is a Chicago-based, lower middle market private equity firm focused on investments in technology-driven companies. Performant acquires businesses across SaaS, technology-enabled services, and data intelligence products and services. With over 50 years of collective investing and operating experience in these sectors, Performant’s principals seek opportunities where its depth of investing, operating expertise, and partner network can materially impact performance. More information on Performant Capital can be found at www.performantcapital.com. About Goldman Sachs Asset Management Private Credit Bringing together traditional and alternative investments, Goldman Sachs Asset Management provides clients around the world with a dedicated partnership and focus on long-term performance. As the primary investing area within Goldman Sachs it delivers investment and advisory services for the world’s leading institutions, financial advisors and individuals, drawing from its deeply connected global network and tailored expert insights, across every region and market—overseeing more than $2 trillion in assets under supervision worldwide as of March 31, 2022. Driven by a passion for its clients’ performance, it seeks to build long-term relationships based on conviction, sustainable outcomes, and shared success over time. Goldman Sachs Asset Management invests in the full spectrum of alternatives, including private equity, growth equity, private credit, real estate and infrastructure. Established in 1996, the Private Credit business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management is one of the world’s largest private credit investors with over $90 billion in assets across direct lending, mezzanine debt, hybrid capital and asset-based lending strategies. Its deep industry and product knowledge, extensive relationships and global footprint position it to deliver scaled outcomes with speed and certainty, supporting companies from the lower middle market to large cap in size.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

UPS to Acquire Multinational Healthcare Logistics Provider Bomi Group

UPS | August 08, 2022

UPS announced plans to acquire Bomi Group, an industry-leading multinational healthcare logistics provider. The transaction will add temperature-controlled facilities in 14 countries and nearly 3,000 highly-skilled Bomi Group team members to the UPS Healthcare network in Europe and Latin America. “As a leading global healthcare logistics company, Bomi enhances our portfolio of services and accelerates our journey to become the number one provider of complex healthcare logistics. UPS Healthcare and Bomi Group employees share similar values and our cultures are firmly rooted in a relentless focus on quality. The combination of our two teams will significantly improve our healthcare customers’ ability to continue to develop and deliver life-saving innovations.” EVP and President of UPS International, Healthcare and Supply Chain Solutions Kate Gutmann Since 1985, Bomi Group has provided high value-added services for the Medtech and Pharma sectors with a customized and tailored approach. It is a quality-focused company devoted to healthcare that has built solid and long-lasting business relationships with more than 150 multinational customers worldwide. Key Bomi Group leaders, including CEO Marco Ruini, will continue in their roles to provide seamless service to Bomi Group customers after the transaction closes. Bomi Group’s employees will also continue to play vital roles in the combined organization. “With over 35 years in the healthcare logistics industry, our team has developed best-in-class services designed to meet and exceed the needs of our medical technology and pharmaceutical customers,” said Ruini. “Joining the UPS team will expand those capabilities and create an even more integrated and powerful global network for our customers.” The acquisition will add more than 350 temperature-controlled vehicles and four million square feet to the UPS Healthcare global footprint, offering customers access to faster shipping times, greater production flexibility, and offerings to help them attract new business. The acquisition will play a key role in the delivery of next-generation pharmaceutical and biologic treatments that increasingly require time-critical and temperature-sensitive logistics. “We are focused on building healthcare logistics capabilities and services that allow our customers to deliver the newest healthcare innovations,” said UPS Healthcare President Wes Wheeler. “We are excited to combine Bomi’s talent, expertise and capabilities with UPS Healthcare – together, we will provide unmatched solutions to our customers, powered by UPS’s integrated, global smart logistics network.” The acquisition of Bomi is part of UPS Healthcare’s continued expansion of its network and services to meet growing demand – including Bomi, UPS Healthcare has doubled its global footprint since 2020. Recent expansions include newly constructed and soon-to-be-opened dedicated state-of-the-art healthcare logistics facilities in Germany and Australia, and expanded campuses in Hungary and the Netherlands. UPS Healthcare also recently enhanced UPS Premier, a technology-led service that can prioritize and track critical shipments within 10 feet of their location anywhere in UPS’s global network. UPS Premier brings worldwide visibility, control, reliability and product recovery capabilities to UPS Healthcare customers. These expansions and new services meet the complex and varied needs of UPS Healthcare’s customers, helping them turn logistics into a competitive advantage. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, subject to customary regulatory review and approval. The value and terms of the transaction are not being disclosed at this time. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as the financial advisor to UPS. About UPS UPS is one of the world’s largest companies, with 2021 revenue of $97.3 billion, and provides a broad range of integrated logistics solutions for customers in more than 220 countries and territories. Focused on its purpose statement, “Moving our world forward by delivering what matters,” the company’s more than 500,000 employees embrace a strategy that is simply stated and powerfully executed: Customer First. People Led. Innovation Driven. UPS is committed to reducing its impact on the environment and supporting the communities we serve around the world. UPS also takes an unwavering stance in support of diversity, equity and inclusion. About UPS Healthcare UPS Healthcare delivers unparalleled healthcare logistics expertise to its customers around the world. UPS Healthcare has 11+ million square feet of cGMP and GDP-compliant healthcare distribution space globally. Services include inventory management, cold chain packaging and shipping, storage and fulfillment of medical devices, and lab and clinical trial logistics. UPS Healthcare's global infrastructure, its UPS® Premier visibility service, its track and trace technology, and its global quality system are well-suited to meet today's complex logistics demands for the pharmaceutical, medical device, and laboratory diagnostic industries. About Bomi Group BOMI GROUP is a leading Italian multinational company in the field of integrated logistics serving the Healthcare sector. Bomi is the logistics partner of more than 150 customers worldwide, including major players in the medical device, in vitro diagnostics, biomedical and pharmaceutical sectors. The Group is present through its subsidiaries and affiliates in 14 countries worldwide, with a particular focus on Europe and South America, employs over 3,000 people and has its own fleet of vehicles for daily deliveries to hospitals, clinics, laboratories, pharmacies and home patients.

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