North American Tissue News

Cascades is focused on building meaningful relationships

“What we really want to do is become more customer-centric.” – Francois David

Cascades is the industry leader in Canada and the fourth-largest tissue paper manufacturer in North America. The company manufactures and converts tissue paper products for residential and commercial use and due to the investments in innovation, they have been developing a unique, value-added product line that meets third-party environmental standards.

During the latest Talk Tissue, Brian Uzcategui chatted with Francois David, VP Sales, Marketing and Innovation at Cascades, who shared some of his role in the company.

“I joined Cascades about 18 months ago. When I started, I was VP for both, retail and professional on marketing and innovation, but last July I was lucky to be awarded the position of sales for [Cascades] Pro, so now I manage the whole commercial operation,” he said. “We worked with the Cascades leadership team on a new strategic plan for the next five years and my role is to take the tissue group and the Cascades Pro team to the next level.”

According to Francois, the company is focused on building a meaningful relationship with its current partners and customers throughout the industry.

Hired during the pandemic, Francois had the opportunity to meet his team and Cascades locations only in 2021. “That’s been great to meet most of my direct reports and employees in the US, because three quarters of my team is located in the US, and same thing for our mills.”

This year also saw the return of in-person events, which brought opportunities for companies to talk in person with their customers and industry players. For Francois, who recently participated in ISSA, it was great to talk to his top customers face to face instead of on online platforms.

During the conversation, he also mentioned Cascades’ products and current projects. “What we did last year as the market was slowing down, we looked at everything we had, the projects we were working on and really focused on the top trend that we were seeing.”

“Definitely hygiene is one of the top ones and I’m super proud of our Tandem family of dispensers,” he mentioned. “We came out with this line about two years ago and have the touchless, the electronics, which fits super well with this new trend.”

Currently being a big trend on the market and part of Cascades DNA, they have been working on their sustainability strategies. According to Francois, sustainable issues are trending more on the retail business, however he can see it coming to the professional side as well.

“We are working on many innovations. We already have a very nice line called Latte, which is 100% recycled and offers great technology, same absorbency to our partners, but there’s a lot more coming that way.”

Another big trend they are working on is e-commerce. “We’re seeing astronomical numbers and as a provider of solutions, I think it’s our role to be able to supply e-com ready type solutions.”

Looking forward, Cascades wants to move from managing the business to growing it. “What we really want to do is become more customer-centric. This is something that comes out of what we created in our strategic plan, and we really want to be perceived as a true strategic partner.”

“This remains into our identity, and we like to build strong relationships, but we need to do even more. It’s not just about selling cases or price; we really want to be perceived as a partner but also bringing value-added services. Could it be supply chain, data, market trends, co-development for innovation, and let’s not forget about sustainability. These things are the big anchors of who we are and what we bring to our partners.”

Be sure to watch the complete Talk Tissue!

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