Acrílicos Serna (AS), located in Colombia, manufactures and transforms acrylic sheets into innovative, technically advanced products. With over 30 years in the industry, founders of the business, Dario and Luis Serna prefer not to talk about what stock they hold or the products they make, because at AS every day is new, and imagination is the only limiting factor. We hear from Commercial Manager, Diego Serna about this fascinating business.

Acrylic for courtyard glazing by AS

How long have you worked with Lucite International (LI) and what do you value most about your relationship with them?

DS: We’ve been sourcing our MMA from LI via its long-standing agent in Colombia, Goracrílicos, for more than 10 years and I’d like to express our gratitude for all that they bring to us. The quality of the product, on time/in full deliveries, and, most importantly, complete commitment to their customers – these combined qualities speak volumes about the entire company.

Tell us a little more about your business and your customers.

DS: There are two parts to our business – one is focused on industrial usage the other is design-led. For our industrial market, we make guarding for large machinery, supply raw materials or parts for final products. Our industrial offer also covers the supply of simple acrylic covers and acrylic sheet for cutting and use in other applications.

Our design line is where our experience, innovative approach, high-tech processes, and the quality of the materials we use really add value. This covers lighting, interior design, product and furniture design, high-end signage, in-store display, POP and more. We are always looking for new applications and new markets for our product.

Acrylic is ideal for this suspended lighting made by AS.

You offer ‘Customized Integral Solutions’, what do you mean by this?

DS: It’s simple – whatever you imagine from an acrylic sheet, we can make it! From a straightforward sheet to a particular piece of furniture (for bedroom, dining rooms, etc.) or a bespoke product, we are able to use different techniques to turn what is imagined into reality; any color, any complementary material, or another element to add in to the mix – we can even combine more than five different colors in one acrylic sheet. The result is that the majority of our work is unique.

That’s a big promise, how do you deliver?

DS: The secret is to be sure about the all-round qualities (performance and aesthetic) of your products compared with other materials and competitor acrylics in the market place.
For us, the customer is our priority and we must always provide the best, most comprehensive solution to their problems. What matters most is we spend time understanding their ideas and wishes and then we go to work on providing answers.

AS made this contemporary cloakroom wash stand with matching molded hand basin.

Where do you sell your products?

DS: AS currently distributes across the entire Colombian market. We’ve had some conversations with international businesses but this is one of our main goals for the future – hopefully beginning 2018/2019.

What do you believe is the most unique thing you bring to your customers?

DS: First, acrylic is the friendliest material; it has the transparency of glass, it can be polished like wood, it can be colored, molded and much more besides. Our challenge is to explore and expand all of these qualities through research, innovation and design so that we can pass on these flexible benefits to our customers. In addition, AS prides itself on the very highest levels of customer service. A big part of this involves teaching them about the benefits of acrylic (production processes, fabrication techniques etc.) and how these compare with other products. We believe this attention to detail and personalized service encourages our customers to come back to us time and time again and we feel very fortunate in this respect.

What major challenges do you face being based in Colombia?

DS: Our major challenge offers us a unique opportunity too. First the challenge, which is to compete with Chinese made products. Although our quality and innovation offers an advantage, products from China are much cheaper. The challenge is not the price itself but to educate customers about the advantages and qualities of acrylic made by AS. This leads to our unique opportunity which is to take advantage of our design ability, our quality products and our innovation expertise, all of which can be used to help expand our customers’ horizons – finding new markets, new applications, totally new solutions based on creativity and joint collaboration that turn imagination into reality.

Crystal clarity of acrylic allows this award to shine through.

How important is innovation to AS?

DS: For AS innovation is everything and without it we’d be nothing! Why? Because it is our key differentiator and what separates us from other acrylic companies. It is the foundation for our relationships with customers and the means we use to demonstrate what can be combined with creativity and design to turn a simple acrylic sheet into a work of art.

What is your vision for the future?

DS: Increase local sales and expand internationally because the world has to know more about the amazing opportunities that can come from working with acrylic. In our view, acrylic has to be put on the top of the rock because we believe it is the most complete, functional, and aesthetic material and it is our responsibility to help the world fall in love with the ‘treasure’ we’ve found.