Speed up supply processes!
For more than 30 years chemfidence specializes in the supply of raw materials, laboratory supplies, auxiliary materials and supplies, packaging materials and articles OSH. Emerging from the central purchasing and the supply control of the former Hoechst it is today purchasing service and care coordinator for many companies in the fields of chemistry, plastics, crop protection, life sciences and pharmaceuticals. CHEManager talked with Alois Strott, the managing director of chemfidence services, about the special services of the company and the advantages of one-stop shopping.
CHEManager: Chemfidence has an interesting history. How is the company emerged in its present form?
A. Strott: The resolution of Hoechst also the service units had to regroup. The functions of the department materials management were resolved into individual units, such as eg Strategic Purchasing, physical logistics and supply control. The latter resulted then in 2001 in the establishment of an independent society and indeed the Infraserv Chemfidence as 100% subsidiary of Infraserv Höchst. In 2005 followed the sale to solvadis. Solvadis has taken a similar development as chemfidence, because she was the former chemical trading company Metallgesellschaft, which was also disbanded.
What the company offers customers the chemical and pharmaceutical industries?
A. Strott: In the case of liquid raw materials transported by barge, stored in large tanks and pumped by pipeline to the customer, the customer expects a smooth supply. I compare it with love at home: You turn on the tap and it comes out the appropriate water quality. Here in the industrial park customers expect that they at their production facilities is the right product for turning up the corresponding tap in the agreed quality available. Ensure these different supply routes, is our job; the customer wants to take care of his primary processes of production, leaving the secondary in his view of the supply processes chemfidence.
Which product groups are sold? Which area is the strongest in terms of quantity?
A. Strott: chemfidence services consists of four business areas and thus generated in 2012 a turnover of € 104 million. The largest area is business unit solvents with large amounts (> 200,000 t / y) of liquid raw materials, for example methanol, acetone, isopropanol, and other organic solvents. Followed by packaged raw materials, laboratory supplies, packaging materials, laboratory supplies, personal protection as well as operation materials.
You mentioned your online shop. There are the products of all product groups available?
A. Strott: Yes, except for the products of the division Solvents find all other products in the online shop. Here the products with the latest information on delivery time and customer-specific prices are displayed. All important product information such as CAS-No. or the risk and safety phrases the warnings for characterizing the hazard characteristics of dangerous goods, are visible to the buyer.
For products from the Occupational Safety and Health to the buyer all the possibilities of configuration (size, etc.) are available and are therefore also be ordered online. In packaging the spectrum of individual containers extends to all truckloads, which of course goes hand in hand with different prices (season prices). A company needs only a subset of product catalogs, individual areas can be hidden customized on request. Recurring orders are stored in personal patterns baskets.
What is meant by the term one-stop shopping?
A. Strott: With more than 800,000 articles are derived from 14 supplier catalogs and its own product catalog to order but on a single platform, we enable our customers in fact the possibility of one-stop shopping.
Can you name the most important benefits that this system brings to your customers?
A. Strott: The electronic ordering or collecting orders from several catalogs, the care processes of customers accelerate significantly: leaves no annoying catalog, no complicated inquiries for customers and employees. Since the standardized orders are generated directly from the online shop, eliminates the manual processing of calls or faxes. Once a customer has filled a shopping cart and complete the check-out, the order goes into the SAP system from chemfidence. There, the order will be executed and sent a notification to the supplier or customer. That is a significant acceleration of the settlement processes and reduction of manual, administrative activities. The special composition of the product range, especially in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries is a major selling point of our online shop.
You already talked about the distribution of bulk quantities. What are the typical products and up to what amounts they can be delivered?
A. Strott: The large amounts chemfidence specifically distributes the Höchst Industrial Park, are methanol, acetone, isopropanol, formic acid and other organic solvents. All these products are available through our parent company Solvadis course throughout Germany.
Organize in the case of larger bulk quantities which transports itself?
A. Strott: Yes, the large quantities we obviously try to optimize freight costs to organize, speak, as long as it is possible to use the inland waterways, as this in the garbage is converted still economically and ecologically the most favorable means of transport. Together with our logistics partners we have comprehensive approaches to ensure transportation via water, rail and road.
As a special service offer also chemicals that are not listed in the catalog. What may interested customers expect here?
A. Strott: Often strategic chemicals or special specialties are needed by our customers, who are not to be found in a catalog. Here chemfidence has created a good reputation over the years, as we now have a good international network, which allows us to obtain the specialties.
This international procurement means for our customers in addition to the request in the world and international procurement with all formalities incl. Customs, freight and hazardous materials declaration. Furthermore, it includes reviewing the suppliers on quality, reliability and availability, and all this at the best possible price.
What are your most important plans for the coming years?
A. Strott: Our goal is to ensure the supply of our customers with the necessary products for them for a smooth production. It is not only the physical supply extremely important but also the information and data that come with it. These are electronic interfaces which ensure a secure data exchange.
There are different modules for economical supply chain processes and here it is important to be fully integrated as a reliable partner. The closer and more we are involved, the easier it is for us to be able to make a recognizable added value for our customers with our expertise as an experienced industry suppliers. These are so banal things such as, informed about production changes, but also the cooperation with the customers when times must be changed by high or low water of inland waterway transport to other reasons.
The entire supply chain process, we support very intense hand in hand with our customers and also to invest together with our logistics partners in the necessary infrastructure. In short, the customer can rest assured that we will ensure through constant market monitoring and stocking up, they always get the right goods at the right time, the right place, at the best possible price.
The interview was conducted by Dr. Sonja Andres, editorial CHEManager
Publication in CHEManager no. 23-24 / 2013