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Specialty Fabrics Review interviews Cheryl Gomes, lead principal materials engineer for QinetiQ North America’s Survivability Group

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What is your greatest challenge in product development and application?

I think it’s universal—looking for ways to develop adjacent markets and uses for the products you have. I’ll go to trade shows and see someone marketing a truck cover material and think of how it could be used as an army tent. Or how a multichanneled fiber might be used in bio defense materials. I’m always looking for ways to utilize technology transfer.

How do you track customer satisfaction?

Customer satisfaction is one of our top priorities. We send out surveys asking if they’re satisfied with our products and services, and we track on-time deliveries. I probably have about a 95 percent on-time delivery record for my projects, but if I’m going to be late, I let the customer know. It’s when a customer is hit cold with a delay that they are dissatisfied.

Sigrid Tornquist is a freelance author and editor based in St. Paul, Minn. She is also the associate editor of InTents magazine, a publication of the Industrial Fabrics Association International.

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