Following a long career in the paint industry in Australia, in 2014 Stephen Read headed off to take up a new opportunity with AkzoNobel headquarters in Amsterdam. While his initial focus was colour support for the global Vehicle Refinish (VR) business, this quickly transitioned into colour and technical service support, with a key focus on digitally enabled training and technical service projects. Significant effort and resources were invested in developing a broad portfolio of digital training solutions, along with a strong focus on technical communications.
The COVID-19 challenge during 2020 dramatically accelerated the demand for digital solutions, with both internal and external technical stakeholders ready to consume technical content in many forms – e-learning modules, remote training events, podcasts and many technical videos – all exciting initiatives that will continue into the future.
To support a strong growth mandate in Asia Pacific, he returned to his hometown of Melbourne in late 2020 to take up the role of Regional Technical Service Manager VR/Automotive Asia and will drive a strong digital agenda. A key focus is to develop technical service and training programs that blend the best of digital learning and communication, supported by a strong network of dedicated Automotive Training Centres across the region.
“It is fantastic to be back in my home region of Asia Pacific and be able to really support the continued growth in the industry,” said Read. “Blending digital tools with great support programs provides so many exciting opportunities in this large and diverse region.”
We look forward to seeing what exciting initiatives are in store in the future from the AkzoNobel stable – watch this space! As a taste of things to come, here are some examples of the work from Stephen and his team during his time in Europe.
Podcast – Automotive Insights: Refinish – Skills
YouTube Tech Tips
Editor: Having worked with Stephen on two occasions during his career, it’s great to see him back home. I am sure he will continue to add significant value to our regional collision repair industry.