Creating a B2I Experience for the Chemical Industry (Part 2)
In Part 1 of this article, I describe how our current system of buyer/supplier collaboration in the chemicals market has enormous inefficiencies and suggest we embrace a more efficient, data-driven B2I approach to serving customers in chemical market. Evolving to a B2I model allows the IDEAL chemical & service supplier to create superior value for their customer with reduced costs for all by serving each customer very specifically with precisely what they need and when they need it. In this second installment, I'll describe how we get there. You may not find it surprising to discover that it requires a digital-first approach.
Digital Technology Drives B2I – In a Private, Secure Environment
Why shouldn’t individual chemical buyers expect their partners to treat them the way the best industries already serve them now? And why wouldn’t chemical service providers want to deliver a best-in-class customer experience? After all, from a supplier standpoint, if each individual customer is served better, they will be more successful and want to do more business. Of course, we all want this, but delivering on it is easier said than done. How can we get there?
At ChemVM, we have invested thousands of man-hours of software development and commercial systems to accelerate the chemical market’s adoption of B2I. It starts with extensive profiling of each unique chemical service provider to document their unique:
- Equipment capabilities
- Chemistry knowledge and expertise
- Industry, product and application experience
- Permits and certifications
- Analytical lab offerings
- Regional/global footprint
- Commercial “sweet spots” (ie, product wheel or logistics sequences)
- Customer service features
- Approach and responsiveness to individuals
- Seasonality fluctuations
For customers seeking chemistry and services, we’ve developed a comprehensive customer tool to define and detail each individual project’s specific requirements, from the simple one-step blend and package process to a complex product formulation requiring highly technical reaction processing. The tool helps document and track projects and is designed for ease of use, tracking and reusability. Our proprietary matching engine dynamically creates a list of targeted suppliers that have the specific capabilities the project requires.
Trying to achieve this level of customized B2I matching in a manual manner can take weeks or even months by procurement and supply chain leaders on the buy side, and sales people on the service side, often still resulting in sub-optimal or failed results. This has been the experience of Rob Keeling, Vice President of Operations at Environmental Operating Solutions, who said “Our experience in prospecting for service providers reveals its time-consuming nature, which in some instances falls short of targeted results. We’re excited for ChemVM to deliver a market solution, providing an additional resource for the success of our organization.”
Only a digital solution, using state-of the art matching algorithms, can deliver reliable results at scale that buyers and suppliers need. By creating a self-service tool that buyers can use to enter their exact project requirements, and using our proprietary matching engine to select and rank the ideal service providers, ultimately the individual customer and supplier select each other. If that’s not efficient enough, the commercial process starts with a beautifully and comprehensively documented project the customer entered in a thoroughly confidential process respecting the individual’s privacy. In fact, the buyer is totally in control of choosing what project information is shared, with whom and when.
The goal is to streamline the market’s native complexity and comprehensively determine the optimum partners and logistical paths to create and deliver the customer’s chemical requirements.
In a digitally-powered B2I chemical market, both customers and suppliers are more efficient, working with the best-fit partners and better served throughout the lifecycle, project after project. This is a straight-forward approach to B2i commerce:
- Understand individual customer needs
- Comprehend individual supplier and service capabilities
- Treat individuals as retail consumers are treated
ChemVM is on its way to redefining chemical and chemical service sourcing. Our founders have an extensive background in our industry and have talked for many years on how to do this. Digital transformation in the chemical market is at the tipping point, and we are proud to promote Business to Individual (B2I) commerce as our foundation here at ChemVM. It is about time we got around to this!
See how dynamic matching works in the ChemVM platform in this the 3-minute video: