ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - 25
a U.S. supplier," Eggenschwiler said. "If the EPA finds
someone using a chemical that has components that are not
U.S.-qualified, it doesn't matter whether the manufacturer
bought it domestically or otherwise. They end up with an
THE TRANSPARENCY BALANCING ACT
In lubricant manufacturing, "there's always an element of
transparency that is good," said Eggenschwiler. "You want to
achieve as much transparency as can be reasonably supported to help your supply chain."
But there's a balance, he added, and manufacturers
should know the difference. Disclosure is rarely "embraced
willingly" for fear of spilling trade secrets. In some countries - such as Indonesia, Russia, some Middle Eastern
nations, even a seemingly friendly nation such as Japan -
companies have pulled out because of onerous disclosure
requirements. "Every company has to form its own strategy,"
When customers want insights into manufacturers' quality systems, ISO-certified companies rise "to the top of the
heap," said Richards. And once again, relationship-building
provides opportunities to share information, so buyers
"know what they're getting into."
"We get audited. We'll share documentation," said Richards. "The more we're out in front of it with our vendors,
the easier it is to be out in front with the end user."
In an industry buffeted by outside forces, some companies
expand their options by creating backup plans and developing relationships with multiple suppliers - and a certain
amount of transparency is needed here, too.
Nijak "always lets the suppliers know that they're not the
only ones." In these cases, maintaining relationships means
asking with each order, "Are we being fair to both suppliers?"
"When they ask for forecasts, we try to be as honest as we
can be," Nijak said.
The pathways to backup plans can harbor landmines that
supply chain professionals should take care to avoid, said
Eggenschwiler. Alternative suppliers might alter formula
ingredients or specs, which can impact quality and performance parameters.
Plus, smaller companies can rarely accommodate multiple
parties "with any realistic hope of meaningful business" that
delivers preferred pricing, Eggenschwiler added. However,
they can still develop alternatives to anticipate disruptions
by vetting suppliers carefully and leveraging their buying
power "so that suppliers get the benefit you want them to
have and the incentive that gets you the pricing you need."
Teamwork is critical in supply chain sustainability. Key
players emerge at all levels.
The backing of leadership is "imperative," said Boring. He
gets "fairly free range" to perform his job, but when an issue
such as a larger buying pattern arises, he feels comfortable
seeking input from company officials.
Leadership can also lead discussions when a new formula
requiring larger purchases is considered, providing justification and "a good idea of why we're doing this," said Boring.
Richards sees his leadership role as "being involved day to
day." His people can come to him with a supply problem,
and he can pick up the phone to resolve it by leveraging
his high-level vendor contacts. "I can generate value for my
customer being on point with all the variables," he said. "I
take it personally if our vendors or supply chain fail us."
Salesforce and service
To Nijak, salespeople "are out there with the customers and
looking at them face to face." Like her, they have to believe
in their products, "standing in front of the customer and be
proud of the service we provide."
The purchasing agent is another key player, Nijak added,
keeping track of inventory, when to order and who gets the next
order. Boring said he works closely with customer service personnel - "We're always hollering down the hall to each other"
- because they are trend spotters. "If there's something that all of
a sudden has a fire under it, we can get moving fast," he said.
In lubricant manufacturing, "everybody from top to bottom
has to buy into it," said Richards. "Even the guys in our
plant have to know where some of the pressure points are."
While technology can help track inventory, plant workers
must keep their eyes on materials and speak up when supplies
don't match up with documented quantities. "My brother
and I can't do this without the nearly 50 employees we have
worldwide," said Richards, who heads his fourth-generation
family business with his brother, CEO Drew Richards. "We
wouldn't exist without those people, so those relationships are
valuable, as well. People are our most valuable resource - a key
to success spanning four generations of family ownership."
Lubricant manufacturers agree that a sustainable supply
chain keeps the orders coming in and going out. It's essential
to the mission.
"Supply chain is the key component to keeping our
customers supplied and happy," said Boring. "That's one
of the most important parts of it, aside from good products from the lab and, of course, sales. I would say that
supply chain is one of the key factors in keeping our
McCormick is a Pennsylvania-based freelance writer.
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ILMA Compoundings – December 2019
LETTER FROM THE CEO
WHAT’S COMING UP
In the Know
PEERING INTO THE FUTURE
IT’S IN THE DETAILS
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - Cover1
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - Cover2
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - 1
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - 2
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - LETTER FROM THE CEO
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - INSIDE ILMA
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - 5
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - WHAT’S COMING UP
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - NEW MEMBERS
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - INDUSTRY RUNDOWN
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - In the Know
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - International Insight
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - 11
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - Market Report
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - 13
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - PEERING INTO THE FUTURE
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - 15
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - 16
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - 17
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - BREEDING PERFORMANCE
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - 19
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - 20
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - 21
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - IT’S IN THE DETAILS
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - 23
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - 24
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - 25
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - BUSINESS HUB
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - 27
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - COUNSEL COMPOUND
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - 29
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - WASHINGTON LANDSCAPE
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - 31
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - Member Connections
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - 33
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - Cross Connections
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - 35
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - PORTRAIT
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - Cover3
ILMA Compoundings – December 2019 - Cover4