In Part 1 of this story, I noted that while the way we, as consumers, buy books and groceries to how we rent lodging or find transportation has completely transformed, the buying process in the chemical industry has changed very little. However, in the four decades that I've worked in this industry, never have we faced greater change than now, and this dramatic digital transformation is happening due to three key drivers: Business, Technology and Societal.
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.