The industrial chemicals are the backbone of a variety of industries across different segments. The world’s chemical industries may produce approx—70,000 different kinds of products. The chemical supplies and products, including polymers, specialty chemicals (including adhesives and industrial gases), and biological substances, among innumerable others, are prerequisites for many productions. The industries relying heavily on industrial chemicals may include pharmaceutical, cosmetic, textile, apparels, food, consumer goods, life sciences, and technology.
In the present era of globalization and stiff competition, the companies must rely on quality chemicals for their end products and establish an efficient, scalable, and reliable supply chain for procuring them. Ensuring a smooth supply of raw materials and chemicals reduces downtimes, improves productivity, reduces wastages, and helps companies satisfy their markets optimally without failing on the deadlines. Below are some chemical trading methods through which the industries can ensure smooth chemical supply chains and networks for their industrial, manufacturing, and production processes.
Locating Reliable Manufacturers and Suppliers
With the internet accessible through smartphones and tablets and other devices, it is easy to procure any chemical from domestic or international markets. However, it is highly essential to locate a certified and reputed manufacturer/supplier of chemicals. The quality of chemicals used in producing a product will inadvertently also reflect on the quality of the end and finished products. Hence, to reduce waste and ensure reliable and profitable production, the quality of supplies and their packaging and supply processes should be carefully evaluated.
Certified and reputed manufacturers and the suppliers associated with them produce and supply chemicals according to international standards and benchmarks. A manufacturer and supplier must hold the ISO 9001 quality certification to ensure that the goods comply with the quality standards. Another necessary certification is the OHSAS (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series) certification. When an industry procures chemicals from a supplier, it should ensure that it is a reputed firm that ranks favorably in the crucial lists. For instance, the ICIS (Independent Commodity Intelligence Services) Global Top Hundred Chemical Distributor list includes only reliable suppliers from across the world. They provide quality chemicals through a reputable distributor and retail network.
Identifying the Challenges
From weather to terrorism, the business processes and the supply chains can be impacted by a variety of known and unknown risks and challenges. A PESTLE analysis or the analysis of the political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental aspects and factors affecting a supply chain may help a company determine the risks that may be hidden. For instance, the firm’s technology may need an upgrade to ensure better connectivity and communication with the suppliers. In other cases, certain political or legal developments/occurrences may be on the horizon. In these instances, a firm may be required to make suitable changes in its supply chain configurations to ensure that it can face and overcome an adverse situation and has the right contingency plans beforehand. Sometimes, firms may ensure better reliability of the supply chain by partnering with a reputed global chemical supplier. Hence, sticking to a domestic supplier may not always be the best option in terms of quality or efficiency.
Talking with Expert Consultants
If the company does not have adequate resources or does not want to spend time and effort towards locating the best suppliers, it can also reach out to the consultant companies. The chemical consultancies do extensive market research, site auditing, sample testing, logistic support, and price negotiation services. Chemicals, especially the specialty chemicals, can be quite complex. Companies should ensure that they are buying the right grade of materials in the most cost-effective packages. The consultancy services may alone improve the reliability of chemical procurement and supply processes manifold, as they possess the necessary expertise, resources, experience, and exposure in the segment.
Diversifying the Supply Chain
A supply chain can be affected by a variety of factors, including political and environmental factors, as discussed above. If a company does not want to fall back on lead times, it should have access to a greater number of qualified and certified chemical manufacturers. Diversification is a key and crucial supply-reliability factor. After careful research, a firm can choose reliable partners and ensure that it fulfills market demands in time and can also achieve cost-effectiveness while doing so. The latter benefit can be achieved by comparing the cost quotes from different manufacturers of chemicals and choosing the best option.
Flexibility in the supply chain and its agility towards adapting to the market volatility and price-demand patterns can be fruitful and help a company ensure a smooth and efficient supply chain even in the times of distress. For instance, a company may stay partnered with a reliable supplier that fulfills most of its requirements related to chemical supplies and raw materials. The best of suppliers and chemicals importers in India deal in a variety of chemicals. However, they also deal with quality advanced materials, engineering products, gases, paper, waxes, paper, minerals, pigments, and other supplies. This primary supply chain of the company may provide it with cost-effective procurements and connect it to a “one-stop-shop” where it can shop for a variety of chemicals. However, a company may also stay connected with other chemical manufacturers and suppliers to ensure that it can run its basic operations even when the primary supply is disrupted.
Being proactive can be quite fruitful for industry, and it should never save its efforts for a time when a risk occurs. Fortunately, the best suppliers with international credibility and a range of certifications and awards have impressive digital footprints. Their intuitive corporate websites are commendable platforms through which all kinds of interactions and information can be obtained quickly.