In the market for an industrial chemicals supplier, but not quite sure what to look for? Choosing a partner in any industry can be a headache, especially one with as many focused specialties and nuances as industrial chemicals. To help you sort through your options and choose an ideal partner for the future, we’ve put together a quick guide to the key components of a superior chemical company.
Experience alone isn’t enough for a superior partner; a company with a century in industrial chemicals may nonetheless be inappropriate for your needs, if their experience and expertise isn’t relevant to what you’re aiming to do. If you’re looking for a supplier for something like Carbofast, for example, you don’t want a company that never or rarely works with it; even if they can manage to meet your needs today, you stand to lose due to the lack of familiarity.
Consistency or repeatability should be a very high priority when looking at partners in industrial chemicals. A good partner in the chemical industry should be able to deliver products which react consistently to spec, even if it’s been a while since your last order. If you can’t expect consistent purity, granule size, etc., you can’t make your own end of the process efficient, safe, or reliable to any real degree.
Making sure your approach to logistics plays nicely with a partners approach to logistics is always a good idea. This makes all aspects of the exchange of chemical products easier, from the physical logistics of shipping and storage to more complex issues of compliance and safety across both companies. Figure out the ‘how’ of logistics before you commit to a company.
Good partners don’t hide things from each other. If an order is going to be late because something went wrong at your partner’s facility, you should hear about it as soon as they realize it’s going to be a problem—not a week later when you finally call to ask about your missing order. Transparency also extends to matters such as transparency in pricing for products, shipping, etc. You should know what you’re paying for and how much you’re paying for it.
When you need to make an adjustment or change, or need a quick order at the last minute due to something unexpected, a great partner knows how to make it happen with a minimum of headache. A good chemical partner can keep up with your demands and adjust to ensure optimal efficiency on your end. You don’t want to find your company growing slow to adjust to changing markets or designs because your chemical supplier can’t keep up.
If you expect your needed volume of industrial chemical products to grow in the years to come, or even to shrink, you need to make sure you’re working alongside a partner that can scale to your needs then as easily as they meet them now. Changing your supplier for chemicals later will add an unnecessary complication to your business; avoid it if at all possible by keeping growth or contraction in mind.
Good partners don’t just get you what you need in an appropriate quality, they make sure the entire process works smoothly on the front end and back end. When you call to make an order, check up on something, or follow up on something, it shouldn’t lead to a massive headache.
This ties in closely to support and transparency, but warrants its own section. Good communication means reliable communication of goals, expectations, and capabilities on both ends. A superior partner in this industry should know what questions to ask to pull out the maximum amount of information, and use that effective communication to better meet your expectations.
In most cases, the key factor in your relationship with a partner in industrial chemicals or any similar market will be their ability to adjust to your specific needs. Appropriate experience and a generally positive experience for customers play a critical role in making this happen; a company which doesn’t bother to adapt to your needs can’t bring you to maximum efficiency.