Excellence in software development requires a number of elements be in place including a proven and flexible structure and process, management’s engagement to provide strategic direction and candid input, and disciplined decision-making. It also takes patience to sweat the details and ensure the user experience is carefully thought through. In this post, I’ll give you a look inside our software development process that led us to an important milestone this week: our 2nd Beta and opening up the ChemVM application to the world. It starts with a development and design team that’s been around the software block a few times.
Finding a chemical service provider that is an ideal match for your projects, which may range from complex reaction chemistry to custom blends and packaging, bulk storage, and transportation, can require weeks or even months of searching. Suppliers you normally use may not have the right capabilities or location for the new project and searching for a new one poses many challenges that often force you to make sacrifices to stay on track to avoid putting your project timeline and company profits at risk. Complicating things is the uniqueness of each customer’s project and the specific expectations they hold.
In my nearly forty years working in the chemical industry globally, there’s hardly been a time when I’ve seen our industry face greater change than right now. As consumers, the way we buy books and groceries to how we rent lodging or find transportation has completely transformed, giving us the ability to fill online shopping carts or order and track pickup and deliveries within minutes of ordering them. It amazes me that I can buy a $14 book from anywhere in the world on any device in seconds, and I can find out exactly where it is in real-time, and when it’s arrived, be sent a picture of the book at my front door.
Recently, I sat down with Michael van Marle to ask him about the founding of ChemVM. What was the spark that ignited the idea for the company? What has this first year building the team and the product been like? Why is now the ideal time in the chemical space for a matching platform to help process engineers, procurement leaders, entrepreneurs and other chemical customers find ideal service providers? We talked about these questions and more in my interview that follows.