The chemical industry is made up of a dizzying array of different companies. While that can be an asset for consumers, since it means there are plenty of suppliers that are competing to provide the best product, it can also make it hard to choose the right supplier. In most cases, there will be plenty of companies could do an adequate job suppling chemicals to a business, but one or two will be better than the others. The hard part is finding those superior options, but there are a few indicators that mark out the best choices.
Experience With Your Industry
“Every industry needs a different set of chemicals,” said RightPath Industries. Most of the common chemicals will be available from any supplier, but the more obscure ones will only be available from a small part of the industry. It’s usually best for a business to get all of its chemicals from the same supplier, since that minimizes the administrative work involved in ordering them, so it’s important to find a supplier that can meet all of your needs. The best way to do so is to find a company that has experience working with other companies in your industry. This also has a secondary advantage, in that the company may be able to provide advice when you are selecting chemicals to order. This criteria is almost never sufficient to choose a supplier on its own, but it can narrow down the options, so it’s best to start here and then look at other factors to make the final choice.
All other things being equal, it’s best to choose a chemical supplier whose refinement plant is located close to your business. The cost of shipping chemicals can be high, especially when they are hazardous, and choosing a nearby supplier will reduce that cost as much as possible. In the long term, this will save a significant amount of money.
It will also make it much easier to manage your business and maintain an adequate supply of chemicals. The difficulties of safely transporting chemicals mean that shipping them can run into more unexpected delays than many other products, especially if they are getting shipped overseas. The shorter the shipping distance, the lower the odds of any unexpected accidents occurring and causing problems. Since losing access to a chemical can shut down an entire factory, anything that reduces the chance of that happening provides a significant degree of financial safety for a business. The risks are rarely high enough to justify accepting significantly higher prices to get the chemicals from a closer supplier, but distance is an excellent tool for breaking ties in the decision-making process.
The chemical industry, like every other major industry, has a significant impact on the environment. Existing regulations are enough to prevent most pollution, but some suppliers do more to protect nature than others.
This is most notable in the case of companies that deal with hydrocarbons, such as natural gas and oil. Some of these companies are investing in alternative sources of feedstock for their products, such as such as biomass. These alternatives are much better for the environment than oil, and transitioning over to them has the potential to protect the planet’s natural resources.
Buying chemicals from one of the relatively green suppliers helps to fund their research into alternatives to oil. A business can market that as a green choice, and knowing about the decision can improve employee morale. Even so, this choice is more often motivated by a desire to protect nature than by purely economic considerations.
The chemical industry has many unique assets, but in the end it is full of fairly normal businesses. Like all competing businesses, the suppliers will offer different prices for their products. It is perfectly reasonable for a manager to choose their supplier based on price. This should not be the only factor in the decision, since reliability and environmental policies can also be important, but no manager can afford to overlook their finances. Managers should use a price comparison to rule out the most expensive companies on their list of options, but relatively small differences in price are often unimportant compared to the other differences between potential suppliers.