The outlook for specialty chemicals is strong! SOCMA members and industry colleagues are placing particular emphasis on supporting their current customers while simultaneously dealing with supply chain disruption and logistics challenges. These are three key takeaways from the Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates (SOCMA) 2022 Specialty Chemicals Industry Census+ released this summer.
For three years, SOCMA has delivered this critical intelligence to the specialties sector through the Census+, as conducted in partnership with Vault Consulting, LLC. The information flows through ChemSectors, a vehicle to carry out SOCMA’s mission to provide essential and timely analysis for business leaders seeking to understand and anticipate driving forces transforming the industry. The ChemSectors Steering Committee lends expertise and leadership to the annual survey.
Riding the Wave of Momentum
Through the Census+, we learned that project calendars remain tight and existing customers maintain a leading edge with their suppliers when it comes to project timelines and availability.
The specialty chemical industry is diligently working to:
- Find solutions for supply chain disruptions
- Procure starting materials to overcome supply challenges
- Address the increasing difficulty in filling job vacancies
Focusing on ESG and Sustainability
The drumbeat for implementation of ESG (environment, social, governance) and sustainability programs is growing louder, so new to this year’s Census+ were questions directly related to how companies are prioritizing sustainability initiatives and the key drivers influencing supply chain factors.
Members and industry colleagues shared via the Census+ that they are viewing and applying sustainability efforts to their businesses in varying ways. Sustainability in a manufacturing environment can take on many roles, ranging from business continuity, to supply-chain risk management, to ESG metrics. For example, 34% of respondents view supply chain as the most important factor for sustainability, with business continuity as the second leading factor.
Anecdotally, we know that some companies are adapting programs like EcoVadis and Together For Sustainability into their business operations and manufacturing processes whether it is an internal initiative or responding to their customers’ supplier requirements.
As a trusted resource for the industry, SOCMA is developing a framework for companies to adapt and evolve to meet the demands of future environmental, health, and safety (EHS) and sustainability expectations from its customers and business partners. Stay tuned for additional insight on this new framework later this fall.
What Does It Mean?
The 2022 survey findings demonstrate growth, business confidence, and industry resilience that SOCMA is extremely encouraged by. The demographic and operations data from the Census+ not only point to commercial expansion but also build upon SOCMA’s industry intelligence repository, providing real-time information about economic conditions and risk mitigation strategies. Providing SOCMA members and industry colleagues with this data is a vital focus of the association’s strategic Commercial Services efforts.
Who Participated and Why?
Companies participating in the 2022 Census+ represent a broad range of capabilities and services, from specialty chemical manufacturing, equipment specialization, material channels, packaging requirements, technical expertise, and more.
To maximize commercial success in such a landscape, it has never been more vital to filter out the noise and access reliable, real-time data and analysis on the state of the specialty chemical sector. By synthesizing economic and market information tailored for the industry, SOCMA cultivates a repository of actionable industry intelligence to underpin and validate business growth decisions for companies across the value chain.