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Spray paint expert reveals his go-to brand

When Axel Gernhardt joined spray equipment specialist SATA as a technician, he discovered a ‘love brand’ that inspires incredible loyalty.

When Axel Gernhardt joined spray equipment specialist SATA as a technician for the global markets, he discovered a ‘love brand’ that inspires incredible loyalty.

When it comes to dream jobs, it doesn’t get much better than working for SATA, according to Axel Gernhardt. As one of only two SATA export market technicians, he gets to indulge his love of travel to a wide variety of different countries, while showing people the finer points of exactly what SATA technology is capable of.

When he was completing a spray-painting apprenticeship and working in the collision repair industry in Germany, SATA was clearly the dominant brand in the local market but that didn’t prepare Axel for the remarkable level of worship on display from fans all around the world.

“If you are a painter in Germany, you pretty much grow up with SATA. However, where SATA has a real benefit on a global scale is that it’s a ‘love brand’. For example, all around the world you can meet people who have SATA tattoos. The crazy thing is this is a spray equipment manufacturer! It means that if you are in the paint industry, you know SATA. It makes me proud to come from being a regular painter in a body shop to being a technician at a company like this.”

At SATA, an export market is defined as the entire globe, excluding the home markets of Germany and Austria. It makes the Export Market Technician role vital because it helps to create a pipeline linking all those global markets back to SATA’s head office in Kornwestheim, in the suburbs of Stuttgart.

“We are basically there to support SATA importers and distributors with training and technical support whenever they need it. Rather than go in and tell people what to do with our products, we aim to make it more like an information exchange where we can give them some valuable information to improve their process. After all, some of the people I deal with have been painting for decades so they have a lot of experience, and we can also learn from that.”

Although refinish painters around the world are generally aiming to reach the same goals, Axel has found they can often have quite different ways of achieving it and that makes actually visiting countries the best way to learn. It also means he spends a lot of time getting to know different countries and cultures and he couldn’t be happier.

“For me, the most enjoyable part of the role is the travel that lets me explore the world. Australia and New Zealand are definitely two of my favourite countries – both have a really relaxed and open culture which I love.”

“Wherever I go, because I am actually working with people who live in that country, it helps me get closer to SATA end users. It’s an important part of staying in touch with the people who are using our products, so we get feedback on how they are being used and any issues that crop up. It’s easy to just concentrate on the upsides of a product but that doesn’t help SATA to improve. We know we make great products but there can still be room for improvement which is why a key part of our role is to gather information about what is happening in the markets and what people want from our products and ensure it gets to our R&D team. This constant flow of information puts any issues in the spotlight where they can be solved and the result is better products for SATA users.”

SATA’s passion for perfection means the technologies it offers are never going to be cheap, says Axel. However, it’s the joy of using a SATA spray gun and the clear-cut return on investment which often makes painters a SATA fan for life. “I have travelled to a lot of different regions and countries and that is what I get everywhere – once a painter uses SATA it’s very difficult to go back. As a premium product, SATA will never be the cheapest but we are aiming to be the best. If they are prepared to make the investment in SATA, we can show them how it makes life easier for the painter, improves processes and transfer efficiency and saves money in the long run.”

A comprehensive range of SATA spray equipment and spare parts, is available from authorised SATA distributors across Australia and New Zealand.

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