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Forum Aims to Increase Awareness, Use of Chemical Management Services

— Kathy Canning, CP Staff
San Francisco-Ashland Chemical, Haas Corp., GW International and Radian International have joined forces with the non-profit Chemical Strategies Partnership (CSP) to form the Chemical Management Services (CMS) Forum. According to CSP, the forum—open to chemical management service providers, their Tier II suppliers and other interested companies or organizations—aims to increase understanding and use of chemical management services through networking opportunities, workshops and other activities.

CSP Associate Tom Votta said the current model for chemical sales and use makes little sensce economically and environmentally, and comes up short in the customer service area. “The way to increase incentives are aligned on the supplier side, [suppliers] have every incentive to sell as much chemical as possible to their customers, and are basically catering to them on a volume basis,” he said.

The chemical management services model takes a different approach, Votta explained, relying on the chemical experts to handle the many tasks associated with chemical use. And chemical management service providers can boost a company’s bottom line while reducing environmental impacts. “What this model seeks to do is to really give buyers a much more service-oriented [situation],” Votta said.

Under the chemical management services scenario, suppliers not only sell the chemicals, they also supply all the services associated with their customers’ needs—things such as the initial paperwork, regulatory compliance assistance, inventory management and process line application services.

Chemical management services began to be used on a large scale in the automotive industry during the past 10 years, when auto companies often contracted out to their chemical suppliers a large chunk of their chemical management responsibilities, said John Claussen, an associate with CSP. “They actually hired their paint providers and other chemical suppliers to manage not only procurement and sourcing of the chemicals, but also the inventory management and the application of the chemicals,” he said. “In doing so, they switched the compensation mechanisms with those companies—realigned incentives to compensate the painters and other chemical suppliers who were acting as Tier I suppliers of these commodities.”

The CMS Forum is developing a CMS provider certification program that will include a code of conduct and a set of industry standards to help customers and other stakeholders identify qualified CMS providers, said Claussen.

The forum also is conducting research with CMS providers and their customers, concentrating on the aerospace, metalworking, semiconductor and automotive sectors. Research results are expected to provide a better picture of the shape and size of the industry, said Claussen, and will be published in a comprehensive industry report this fall.

For more information on the CMS Forum, visit the forum’s Web site at www.cmsforum.org. For additional information on CSP, a nonprofit organization that offers information and guidance on the development of chemical service programs to optimize chemical use and reduce environmental impacts, visit the organization’s Web site at www.chemicalstrategies.org.

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chemical strategies partnership

What is Chemical Management Services? Chemical Management Services (CMS) is a business in which a customer engages with a service provider in a strategic, long-term contract to supply and manage the customer's chemicals and related services... more »

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