As part of our Allura Meet The Maker blog series, we catch up with Roy Schepers, Product Manager LVT at Forbo Flooring Systems, to find out more about his involvement in the creation of the new collection, what it means to him, and the new products within the collection designed to make installation easier and quicker.
What was your creative process when designing the new Allura collection?
As a product manager, I do not have much input in the design process. However, I do think that we have designed some well-balanced product ranges, which will suit every type of end-user. The creativity comes from our designers, but the process of developing the various ranges come from when we test some of the designs. We also have to think carefully about what kind of designs our customers desire, while also ensuring that they work well across all of our formats, such as Allura Puzzle and our other adhesive free products.
What is your favourite Allura design and why?
It's difficult to choose; the whole Allura collection consists of a whopping 450 stocked items!
I think the light ash, which is only available in dry back and in the 150x15cm plank format, is my favourite. It is a very elegant size and based on the real ash planks, which you find in Scandinavia. I also like the colour variation between the different planks, as it gives an even more natural but also playful look.
What helps you to relax before or after work to get you in the right frame of mind to develop new products/solutions?
I really enjoy Crossfit, which is a form of high intensity training, but I also like to lift weights. Olympic weightlifting is a skill that you practice with Crossfit. It is an exercise where I can place my focus somewhere else for an hour or so.
I also like riding my motorbike and discovering new places. It helps me to relax, so I can start the next day fresh – but it’s very weather dependent!
Nature in every sense inspires me – not only for flooring, but to also get the best ideas!
Are you seeing any particular design trends within the industry that you think the Allura collection might help customers achieve?
I see a trend of colour variation between planks continuing to be a popular choice.
In our previous Allura collection, introduced in 2017, we had our first design that featured colour variations across the planks. Normally it takes a while before a new design becomes well-liked, but this design ‘Autumn Oak’ (also available in the very recognisable Hungarian point) was a huge hit.
How long have you been working at Forbo and what does your average day look like??
I have been working at Forbo for more than four and half years; I started in January 2016. At that time, I jumped directly into the development of the 2017 Allura collection. There is no average day, every day is different! It varies from being physically in the factory, to giving presentations to customers and also being on hand to answer any questions my colleagues from all over the world may have.
What do you enjoy most about your role at Forbo?
I like seeing the opportunities we have, thanks to our in-house technology, to test and develop products, and of course, watch how a product grows along its journey.
What’s been your proudest moment to date?
I am very proud that our new Allura Ease and Allura Puzzle adhesive free products are now available, after a long period of trial and error. The first trial floors, which were installed two years ago, showed us the great potential the products have in terms of balance and stable product construction.
I know new products need some time to become established in the marketplace, but I am convinced that once installers and end-users see and understand how easy Puzzle and Ease are to install, replace or renew, then they will want to use them on many projects. They really are future proof products. They can also be recycled, as they are true adhesive free products and they are suitable for all kinds of applications!