#Designgoeson: Francesca Martignago, CEO and Sales Director at Isoplam

#Designgoeoson: Designdiffusion.com talks with Francesca Martignago, CEO and Sales Director at Isoplam, about the changes caused by the health emergency

How did you manage the two months of Covid-19 health emergency?

Francesca Martignago: “Our company has an Ateco code that allowed us to work regularly even during the shutdown. However, we autonomously decide to implement remote working for all possible tasks and departments. Therefore, the marketing, sales, administration and technical departments worked remotely, and the experience was very positive, so much so that we are considering how to reorganize some activities in this way. Of course, we will not work remotely only, but we will probably organize work on different shifts – some days in the office, other days from home, we have to consider several factors. But we are quite sure that also for families, especially those with little children, smart working can be beneficial.

Skyconcrete floor at Gaber showroom

Has online communication helped you manage clients?

New technologies have helped us keep the relationship with our clients alive, also continuing to provide technical support. We export about 50% of our products and work with both European countries (Northern Europe, Germany, Belgium, Eastern Europe) and Asia (Korea, Japan, China). Until two months ago, a very important part of our work consisted in several trips, which we cannot do now. Therefore, virtual communication has been necessary to supervise the work and keep working.

Microverlay floor, Unico ice cream parlour, Notting Hill, London

In the meantime, we continued our training activity by organizing online courses. Training installers is a fundamental part of our work; the quality of our products is excellent, but incorrect installation could create some problems. That’s why we invest so much in training and offer in-house courses. Given the situation, it is currently impossible to organize in-person courses and online training can help. We train about 300 installers every year, so we could not stop courses. However, I must confess that I hope that it will be possible to travel again as soon as possible: human contact cannot be replaced yet. Not only for training, but also for customer relations.

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Microverlay floor, Whiteluna restaurant, Chia Resort Laguna, Sardinia

Trade fairs, magazines and digital communication: how will communication evolve in the future?

I think it depends on the goals of the communication. For two years now, we have been privileging printed magazines. We think that, in the near future, magazines will be the favorite means of communication for a large part of the audience. This is due to several reasons. First of all, major trade fairs will suffer an inevitable setback for some time. And, for some time, it will not be possible to hold neither small events nor company visits. Therefore, magazines will be the best media to launch new products or projects in the best possible way. Of course, in-house events will certainly come back sooner or later; it is even possible that they will replace big fairs for some time.

Microverlay floor, Chia Resort Laguna, Sardinia

In this situation, digital communication plays an equally important role. It cannot replace paper, but it is doubtlessly useful for communicating with clients in a direct and immediate way. We firmly believe in online communication, and we offer concrete support to our installers by helping them develop their websites and manage social networks, another important means of communication.

Microverlay waterproof concrete resin wall by Isoplam, in a bathroom in Krk island, Croatia

Can design help solve the health emergency and meet the consequent demand for safety?

I think that in the future more and more attention will be paid to hygiene and the cleanliness of the surfaces with which we come into contact. That’s why I think that materials such as the finishes produced by  Isoplam may be suitable for the surfaces of public spaces or common areas – and for several reasons. First of all, they have no joints where dirt can accumulate; moreover, we treat surfaces to prevent dust from depositing, offering higher hygiene standards. I believe that the demand for hygiene will grow in the future and we are ready to take up the challenge.

B & B in Francofonte (Syracuse). Artificial rocks created by Isoplam with Plam Rock bruno, Plam Wax brown and giallo tufo, Plam Pol Isoplam

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