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This week we have caught up with Chris Perkin, owner of A Team members Invotex Architectural Finishes, where we discussed all things Architextural.
In this interview, Chris has given us a great insight into Invotex’ s business and how they have become emersed in the Architextural world, as well as telling us what it means to be part of the Architextural installer network.
So, Chris, can you give me a short summary of your business and the services you offer?
Of course, Invotex are supply and installers of architectural films. For you that don’t know, architectural films are a durable, self-adhesive surface option for covering existing surfaces within the internal environment.
In the main, our clients are within the commercial and hospitality sectors, with the bulk of our work being conducted within offices spaces, wrapping fire doors and toilet cubicles, as well as other fixtures and fittings within this setting.
As mentioned, you are installers of architectural films. When and how did you get involved with bringing architectural film as an offering to your business?
My business partner Terry Crawshaw was introduced to the ‘DI-NOC’ product by 3M at a buyer’s event. Terry has worked within the hospitality sector for years and has been a client of my painting and decorating business.
We both immediately saw the benefits of architectural film and the size of the potential market within the sectors we currently work in. As a result, we set up Invotex exclusively to install architectural films.
You’ve mentioned the potential you saw. What are the main benefits of the utilisation of architectural films as a refurbishment method?
There are so, so many benefits of using architectural film in interior refurbishments, in fact that is the beauty of the product.
First up, there is the design potential with this solution. In the 3M DI-NOC range there is 1000+ patterns in the portfolio, providing you with everything you need and more from an interior design perspective.
The next thing which immediately jumps out is the benefits it can bring to a business, particularly in the commercial environment. From the minimal downtime and disruption, to the multi surface transformations, to the cost savings, the product really is a Facility Managers dream. And I don’t want to disregard the quality of the product either. Some people think that because it’s a wrapping material it might not be a good product, and they would be so wrong. Right from the aesthetics of the product to the durability of the film, 3M have such a high-quality product in DI-NOC.
I really could go on with benefits with this refurbishment solution, there are so many!
How did you come across the Architextural brand, as well the products and services we offer?
We were introduced to William Smith Group 1832 by 3M. We were keen on training several of our decorators and the William Smith Architextural Academy was recommended to us. There we learnt about the Architextural brand, and through Gill, Lol and Lindsay were shown the fantastic range of products available through the Architextural brand.
You have completed training here at the William Smith Training Academy in the early stages of 2020, how has that helped you moving forward?
The training we have received at WS Training Academy has given us the knowledge to provide the best possible service for our clients. Not just giving us the knowledge to install architectural film but also to sell it, understand its possibilities and limitations, giving us the tools to advise our clients in the best possible way.
You are of course part of the Architextural Installer Network. What does it mean to be part of this network? How do the team support you?
It’s a great resource. It’s a group of people who are all there to help each other, share photos of work, answer technical questions, or even help out on a job if we’re short of labour. Plus, it’s always good to see how other installers are getting on.
The Architextural team are ever so helpful too. From the sales and technical advice they offer to the marketing collateral they have provided us with, their support to help us move forward in this market is greatly appreciated.
Invotex are 3M DI-NOC Endorsed, what made you want to go down this route?
We decided that being 3M endorsed would give us that extra credibility when selling our services. Being endorsed by a company the size of 3M, an instantly recognisable global company, is worth its weight in gold. Just being able to say “we are 3M endorsed” immediately gives potential clients the reassurance that they are going to get a quality service and product, and alleviates any doubts they may have about an emerging technology that they may not have used before.
What processes did you have to go through to be endorsed?
We did the endorsed test at 3M’s innovation centre. It consists of a short theory test followed by some practical tests, a splice (or butt joint), wrap around a column, and a full wrap of a cupboard door known as the “masterpiece”, which I’m glad to say we passed.
How has being 3M DI-NOC Endorsed impacted your business? What advantages has it brought?
Being 3M endorsed reassures clients that they are going to get the best possible service from Invotex. Being endorsed shows we are experienced and trained in giving expert advice on installation, surface preparation and the best way to achieve the clients desired finish.
How do you see the architectural finishes market going over the coming years?
As confidence grows in architectural films, the bigger the market will grow. In the current climate, the hospitality industry is looking for ways to refurbish on a budget, with minimal disruption and down time. Architectural films are a perfect solution for this, as well as being a cost effective and quick way of refurbishing, some of the designs and finishes of films are amazing. Interior designers are seeing film as a way to create bespoke designs for their clients, and as a great way of introducing textures and high-end finishes that are also durable and cost effective.
Hopefully you have found this article informative in terms of a trade perspective of the architectural finishes market. If you are interested in finding out more about Invotex Architectural Finishes, please don’t hesitate to visit their website at: www.invotex.co.uk, or you can get in touch directly by the emailing the team at email@example.com.
Interested in becoming part of the A Team? Take the first step by joining us on an application training course. View the training calendar here: https://www.williamsmith.co.uk/training/1.