Douglas Gray joined BOFA as International Sales Manager just as the UK entered its first lockdown. Not an ideal environment to take on a new role, but thanks to support from his colleagues and the availability of digital tools, he is now firmly part of the BOFA family and engaging with customers around the world…even if he can’t meet them face to face at the moment. We took the opportunity to catch up with Douglas to find out about his experiences in these most unusual of circumstances.
You joined BOFA shortly after the UK had been put into lockdown, so what immediate challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
“Like all new starters, I spent a lot of time getting to know the BOFA products and how they are applied in creating value for our global customer base. The lockdown and the extended period of home working also made it harder to get to the know the team – and who to go to and for what – but everyone has been really welcoming and has given their time and insight with real enthusiasm.
Of course, meeting existing customers and building new relationships under these circumstances has been hampered by the current situation, but BOFA’s reputation opens many doors and video conferencing has really helped to make connections. Of course, we all look forward to a return to business as usual as soon as possible.
That said, I have been busy working on sales strategies for new opportunities, because the market is definitely moving in BOFA’s direction through a growing acknowledgment of the role of fume and dust extraction in both helping protect health and improving productivity.”
What do you see as BOFA’s strengths?
“BOFA is a very successful and ambitious business with a strong market position. Its reputation for high quality, world leading products continues to grow around the world, thanks to its investment in innovation and its strong commitment to customer relationships.
This has created a brand recognised for excellence, with a track record of delivering solutions for customers. One of BOFA’s most valuable USPs is the depth of its research and development resources – not just through the inhouse R&D team but also because the company can tap into the extensive scientific expertise that comes from being part of the Donaldson group. This experience and expertise translates into solutions that meet the specific needs of customers and market sectors.”
Which industry sectors are you specifically focused on and where do you see any growth opportunities?
“I am in a position to support customers across all BOFA products, but my main area of focus is the laser market – marking, engraving, coding and cutting and I will also be aiming to develop new opportunities for BOFA in the print market.
The laser market has grown rapidly in recent years and I can see further business potential across Europe and Asia. BOFA has also developed an extensive product portfolio for additive manufacturing/3D printing and I hope to help the company capture more business in these areas.”