Supplying industrial adhesive tape is a complex business. Tape suppliers are often faced with several variables and challenges as they transform an idea for a new tape into a successful end product. For many, the most common challenges revolve around the tape’s most important component: the adhesive.
Most industrial tape suppliers are not vertically integrated and purchase the adhesives needed to create industrial tapes from third-party manufacturers. While this strategy works and is viable, it’s not sustainable.
A few vertically integrated industrial tape suppliers do compound their own adhesives. Instead of buying adhesives elsewhere, these suppliers have the resources and technology to formulate adhesives in-house, resulting in a highly sustainable business model. Because vertically integrated suppliers own the supply chain and hold the purchasing power, they have several advantages over non-vertically integrated suppliers, such as speed to market, cost control, flexibility in product development, and increased opportunities for new and superior product innovation. Following are three reasons to consider partnering with a sustainable, vertically integrated industrial tape supplier.
1. Steady, stable value.
First, suppliers that are vertically integrated are able to stabilize manufacturing costs, which helps stabilize the customer value stream. Unlike other tape suppliers, vertically integrated suppliers continuously have upfront knowledge of raw material costs. And, if the vertically integrated supplier uses the latest advancements in adhesive technology, such as 100% solids adhesives as opposed to solvent or emulsion adhesives, fluctuating costs of petroleum and other natural resources aren’t as much of a concern.
In addition, being vertically integrated eliminates the middleman, which makes the product development process more efficient. Around-the-clock, vertically integrated suppliers have the components and resources available to blend and formulate adhesives. Furthermore, immediately after blending and formulating, they can quickly and easily feed the adhesive into the adhesive coater, where the adhesive and tape components are joined. With the efficient cooling, rewinding and finishing processes that follow, the entire product development process is much more sustainable than the alternative.
2. More product options for more applications.
Not only does this model deliver customers steady, stable value, it also increases productivity and available product options. With 24/7 in-house adhesive formulation capabilities, vertically integrated suppliers can better ensure products are available when customers need them—offering added reliability in meeting new or ongoing application demands.
In addition, customers have more product options to choose from. Since vertically integrated suppliers make their own adhesives, they control all adhesive performance characteristics and have more flexibility in product development. They can modify adhesive properties on the spot to create different adhesive blends and supply customers with a broader range of product options to solve a wider variety of application challenges. Non-vertically integrated suppliers, however, aren’t as flexible and typically only offer standard off-the-shelf adhesive options for more general application needs.
3. Superior product performance.
In addition to having more products for more applications, vertically integrated suppliers also tend to deliver customers higher quality products and exceptional product performance. Suppliers that are vertically integrated and formulate their own adhesives can incorporate cutting-edge raw materials and technologies in the product research and development process.