ChemVM Finds Supplier Fast, Saves Critical Project
A project manager at a used ChemVM to quickly find a chemical supplier that had specific solids flammability handling capabilities for a project that was on a tight deadline. The project manager had been searching for weeks using other methods but could not find a solution. In a few days, he had a match on ChemVM.
The project manager worked at a multi-billion dollar global specialty chemicals company with thousands of employees in over 30 countries whose primary expertise is in specialty chemicals and plastics. The project was with an existing customer for a new product that would initially begin as a small batch, but had the potential to grow into a much larger opportunity. Working on an aggressive timeline, their customer required a certain amount of the new formulation with a fast turnaround, so time was of the essence to find a supplier.
"I would rate my experience using ChemVM a 9 out of 10 and I would recommend it 100%."Project manager at Global Specialty Chemicals Company
The project manager, who was located at one of the company's US plants, was responsible for identifying the supplier to handle the pilot batch. The project consisted of a wet cake that included both solid and liquid materials from a centrifuge. In the liquid, during the bag filling process, there was one flammable component resulting from vapors developing, so nitrogen blanketing and several other measures were needed to compensate. The supplier needed to not only be able to create the product but have special equipment to ensure a good extraction system and proper sealing as well as experience with specialized handling of flammable materials. This made it increasingly difficult to find the ideal supplier.
Inefficient Supplier Searching Leads to Business Risk
Searching for a chemical supplier on the Internet simply using keywords such as “repackaging” yielded poor results, as the project manager explained:
“The companies that popped up in my search couldn’t do it. There’s always a solution out there somewhere but how do you find it? Time was of the essence; we knew there had to be a solution, but the clock was ticking on deliverability and we were in critical need.”
The project manager contacted three or four of the companies resulting from his search. Often, suppliers would initially indicate they could do it, but through further research and conversations, he realized that they couldn’t. In this case, to win the project, he and his team needed to produce a certain amount of the product by the customer’s deadline. Yet, each day that passed - searching for, contacting and evaluating suppliers - meant more time lost. If he was not able to meet the customer’s deadline, the company faced several risks, including the future relationship with this existing customer. Losing the opportunity could allow another company to step in, and potentially weaken his company’s strong position as a go-to source for products with this important customer. The customer had a firm deadline and may have looked for another partner if he and his team could not meet the timeline. This in turn resulted in financial risk - if the new product is successful at pilot, there could be significant revenue potential that they might miss out on if they weren’t successful in this early stage.
One of the suppliers the project manager initially called, who could not complete the project, suggested he contact ChemVM, explaining how the company brings supply and demand together via an online matching database. He had not heard of ChemVM before, but immediately called them. Within a few days, he had a supplier matched that met the project requirements, including special flammability handling and the tight deadline.
“In the future, ChemVM will be the first place I go to when I have a certain demand and don’t have a supplier.”Project manager at Global Specialty Chemicals Company
The moment the project manager learned he had a supplier match, he sent out two colleagues to do an inspection of the matched supplier’s facility, as he explained: “We have high safety standards and I needed to make sure the supplier met these. The report was positive and they confirmed that the supplier could complete the project while meeting our strict safety standards.”
ChemVM had alternative suppliers if the first match was not successful, which was important to the project manager. Having additional options would allow him to quickly pivot to another supplier and reduce the risk of losing more time. Additionally, throughout the process, the ChemVM team proactively communicated and provided him with regular updates, as he explained: “In the end, ChemVM helped me find a solution. We didn’t even know if a solution could be found and time was of the essence. The customer deadline was looming and no other search methods were working. I valued how ChemVM brought the parties together and allowed me to talk to the supplier directly. I must have direct conversation – there can’t be a middleman,” said the project manager.
On a scale of 1 to 10, the project manager rated the likelihood that he’d use ChemVM again as a 9. In fact, based on his good experience, he arranged a demonstration for his colleagues in operations, engineering, production, procurement, manufacturing and plant management to learn more from ChemVM management and to see the platform first-hand so that they could be ready to use it next time they are in need of a supplier. In his words, “In the future, ChemVM will be the first place I go to when I have a certain demand and don’t have a supplier.”
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