Focus On CHEMCENTRAL Streamlines: Its Distribution Strategy
CHEMCENTRAL, Chicago, is the world’s largest privately held distributor of industrial chemicals with annual sales of more than $880 million. The company targets five key markets that include adhesives, caulks and sealants; paint, coatings and inks; household, industrial and institutional cleaning; personal care and cosmetics; and rubber and plastic compounding.
Regionalization Plan Enhances Customer FocusLast August, CHEMCENTRAL initiated a new operating strategy designed to expand and enhance the company’s customer and market focus. Termed “Regionalization,” this new strategy centralizes support functions into regional business centers while retaining sales and operations at its many distribution sites throughout the country.
According to John R. Yanney, CEO and president, “Regionalization helps CHEMCENTRAL get our sales and marketing people out of office administration and into the field to do what they do best — service the marketplace.” The Regionalization program enhances customers’ and suppliers’ access to the company and improves local presence while eliminating the multiple and sometimes confusing points of contact for billing and administrative transactions.
With the restructured process, CHEMCENTRAL has made it easier to do business by centralizing or managing the business out of the five regional centers while still maintaining existing facilities. This results in improved logistics, faster service and superior responsiveness — a major advantage to suppliers. The program also streamlines the process for buyers so that they can select from one of five locations based on their location instead of choosing between 36 purchasing sites.
A Market-Driven Company“Another benefit of the restructuring is the emphasis on market focus for greater efficiencies,” says William R. Hough, senior vice president and director of marketing. By providing value-added services and at the same time reducing operating costs, CHEMCENTRAL has positioned itself for long-term sustainability. Geographically based specialists in market development, including adhesives, can concentrate on technical support to back up the sales staff.
An award from Milwaukee-based Northern Coatings recognizes CHEMCENTRAL as a key player in the chemical supply chain. CHEMCENTRAL received the #1 Supplier Award from Northern Coatings for the second-quarter 2001. The distributor was rated the highest out of 31 suppliers in the categories of on-time delivery, pricing, invoicing, consistent-quality product and service.
CHEMCENTRAL has also strengthened its business by incorporating Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), including management of inventories and procurement, which helps facilitate the order-fulfillment processes by driving an efficient supply chain and delivery of products on-time to the satisfaction of suppliers and their customers. According to Steve P. Hollman, technical director, “ERP systems make transactions seamless for our customers.”
Internet ReadyFor routine or spot purchases, a visit to CHEMCENTRAL’s Web site reveals that the distributor also offers an e-commerce alternative to branch-office ordering. Registered users click Buy Products and log into the Marketplace. From there, they can browse the entire CHEMCENTRAL catalog of more than 8,000 products.
Online customers can buy the same products, from the same suppliers, at the same prices and with the same services as customers who order from branches. In addition to quality chemicals, the online Marketplace offers thousands of additional products from e-business partners.
Export LogisticsCHEMCENTRAL currently operates full-service distribution facilities throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico in addition to joint ventures in Asia and India. CHEMCENTRAL is also a founding member of CHEMWORLD Alliance, a global chemical-distribution partnership. The company is a respected industry leader for its Responsible Care and Responsible Distribution programs.
CHEMCENTRAL has established DoveChemCentral, Inc., a joint venture in the Pacific Rim with Dovechem Holdings for distribution of specialty chemicals. DoveChemCentral provides a broad line of specialty products and local inventory to core markets throughout much of Southeast Asia. DoveChem, founded in the 1960s and headquartered in Singapore, has six locations throughout Southeast Asia with annual sales of over $300 million. For sales offices and warehouse locations, visit http://www.dovechem.org/network.htm.