Umicore Director Reports Positive Progress, Collaboration in Australian Division

Top Quote "The local team has developed a great relationship with highly skilled, loyal installers." End Quote
  • Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC (1888PressRelease) November 09, 2011 - Laurent Heindryckx, Director of Operations for Umicore Building Products USA, headquartered in Raleigh, NC, recently spent five and a half months in Sydney, Australia, serving as temporary general manager of Umicore Building Products Australia while the actual general manager, Maria Iorio, was on maternity leave.

    When he returned, he discussed his time "down under" and opportunities he sees for that division.

    "The biggest challenge for me was to keep the business going with the existing customers, keep the team as highly motivated as they were before I came, while I was still working on several projects with my team in the US -- with a 14-hour time difference," Heindryckx said.

    He also had to train a sales representative that Iorio had just hired in Melbourne, and provide technical training to the local CAD (computer aided design) technician.

    "I was very well received by the members of the Sydney team, who have great energy and are highly dedicated," he said.

    During his short tenure in Sydney, Heindryckx increased sales by helping the sales force promote to architects and panel manufacturers zinc composite panel produced by Alpolic, one of the world's leading manufacturers of aluminum and metal composite materials.

    "Just before I returned to the US, zinc composite panels were being installed on a high rise building one block away from our office," he noted.

    Does he see any real challenges for Umicore Australia office? "Not really," he said. "Australia enjoys a five percent unemployment rate. Their 'challenge' is to find skilled workers. Australia, and New Zealand for that matter, are probably the best kept world secrets.

    "Architects in Australia and New Zealand love zinc for its beauty and use it for high end residences and institutional buildings," he added. "In Australia and New Zealand, the local sales team has developed a great relationship with several highly skilled and loyal installers who help promote Umicore's VMZINC® products."

    The Umicore Group has industrial operations on all continents and serves a global customer base; it currently employs some 14,400 people. VMZINC Australia's building products include façade cladding, roofing, rainwater systems, and ornaments. For more information, visit

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