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Services Suppliers Case Studies: Tracking Performance of Suppliers

—As printed on March 2000 of the Environment & Business Conference
In conjunction with the Service Providers: The Framework workshop, the Case Studies workshop demonstrated how some companies are achieving desired EH&S and financial performance by creating company and supplier “win-win-win” situations. Presenters discussed, among many other topics, how to integrate supplier staffs, protect intellectual properties and change the “seller-buyer” company-supplier business model.

Worldwide Facilities, General Motors Corporation
In the past, GM’s business with suppliers could be characterized as remote, unaccountable, and making profits by sales only. Now GM takes a systems view of chemical management; their chemical supplier is located onsite. The supplier is responsible for managing a system rather than selling volumes, which reduces the total systems cost.

GM’s lesson learned: take your suppliers around the globe with the rest of the company. When designing activities that have the greatest influence on the total product cost, redesign the relationship with suppliers, too.

Haas Corporation
Haas Corporation is a chemical management company specializing in cost reduction and process improvements associated with chemical use in manufacturing. A representative from Haas presented a case study for green accounting, which is Haas Corporation’s practice for optimizing chemical usage to create a win-win-win situation; guaranteed lower prices for the customer; benefits to the environment by using less chemicals; and greater profits for the supplier. Green accounting programs are driven by service offerings, not product offerings - this reduces consumption (sludge solvents and paint waster are saved) and life-cycle cost.

Several questions were asked following these presentations:

Q - How do you identify good suppliers? Is there a network for rating them?

A - Check their track records. To convince management, go to the highest level and show break-even points and savings, and how these could apply to other plants.


Q - For local supplier plants in Thailand, how do I assure quality in suppliers? Do I import?

A - Bring your suppliers along. “Mom and Pop” suppliers can be a problem.


Q - Who is responsible for problems?

A - You can delegate responsibility, not accountability. The client, not the supplier, is accountable. Chemical risk management is hired out, but the parent company is still responsible under EPA action. There should be a legal relationship defined as well.

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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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