January 1991 PIGMENT AND RESIN TECHNOLOGY 3 H. Marcel Guest are to be congratulated on the coverage they received in Channel 4' s T V programme, "Th e Gold-Brush" , show n early in December. The programme was alledged to be an examination of the "modern paint industry" and its response to current demands for more environmentally-friendly products. However, it wa s about as authoritativ e as a treatis e o n brain surgery by your editor would be. To represent what the programme makers considered to be a typical paint maker, they chose a small company operating off the Old Kent Road in South London called Screeton Paintmakers Ltd. They are so wel l known that w e could not find them in any of the paint or finishing industry handbooks. Perhaps Screeton's make some good paints, I don' t know because I have never used any of them , let alone heard of them. A s an example of the high tech end of paint making, w e had H. Marcel Guest. HMG are a long established family firm making specialist paints, wit h modern manufacturing methods, and a good reputation, but wil l all due respect, using football league parlance one woul d not put the m any higher than Ipswich (currently middle of the Second Division) among the other paint making "teams". Having shown the viewer how "nasty" paint really was, the Channel 4 Equinox tea m did briefly mention powder coatings as one wa y of overcoming solvent pollution — but again, th e experts called into commen t upon the m wer e HMG , wh o probably make about as muc h powder in a year as International Paint or Ferro does in a day. No, we are not "getting at you", H. Marcel Guest (and congratulations to your PR man), but at TV programm e makers wh o do not even carry out the basics of research in case they contradict their own preconceived views that they are determined to put across. Polymer industry shedding staff too quickly? Polymer recruitment expert David Mendex, has warne d companies against 'panic reacting' to the recession by shedding staff too quickly. Reviewing New Year prospects for the industry, Mr. Mendez, director of East Grinstead-based Whitehall Polymer Recruitment, said: "W e could face an acute crisis in the industry if companies don't recognise tha t by axin g too many staff they lose the very talent they need to survive. "Companies which remember the last recession are panic reacting to this one." Wel l said, M r Mendez! He believes that th e outlook for the 90s is very different from the early 1980s when industry suffered from chronic overmanning, high inflation and low productivity. He says: 'Toda y w e have leaner, fitter management teams. There isn't room to trim any more quality people." Whitehall Polymer Recruitment's in-depth knowledge of its sector shows that some firms are making redundancies — before they have really assessed th e long term effect. Mr. Mendez said: "In the last five weeks, I have had more candidates asking to be put on my database then in the last five months. An d what' s even more worryin g is tha t a goo d proportion of those high calibre candidates are asking to be placed abroad. "I n five years' time w e may not have the luxury of choice from well-qualified suitable candidates. "Shedding high calibre, committed staff is not the way forward. Innovation and quality added t o strong marketing and qualit y trained staff, is the recipe for a successful future for Britain's polymer industry."
Pigment & Resin Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 1991