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Chemical Management Services Haas Corp.

— As printed in the 12/20/2000 issue of Chemical Week
HAAS CORP. (WEST CHESTER, PA) seized an opportunity to provide chemical management services (CMS) to General Motors (GM), Ford, and other major companies in the automotive and aerospace sectors and has run with it. Since winning its first comprehensive CMS contract for GM in 1994, Hass’s sales have risen from $5 million/year, to $28 million in 1999, and should reach nearly $38 million this year says Thad Fortin, Hass’s CEO. The family owned company provides CMS at plants in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and China.

When Fortin’s father bought Haas in 1975, the company was a manufacturer and distributor of metal treatment chemicals. Haas got a big break in the early 1980’s by developing a furfural alcohol-based paint stripper to substitute for methylene chloride in auto factory paint shops, and was able to pick up sales at auto plants throughout North America. By the late 1980’s, Haas was being invited to take on chemical management work at auto plants, in addition to supplying chemicals.

When GM started to outsource CMS as its plats in the early 1990’s, Haas was ideally placed to win business, as the paint shop accounts for three-quarters of chemical usage in an auto plant, says Fortin. Haas’s first comprehensive CMS contract was GM’s Baltimore facility, followed in 1996 by a contract at GM’s giant Oshawa, ON plant, North America’s largest auto assembly facility. Haas now has nine auto assembly plants, sex power-train plants, and 20 auto parts plants under contract, as well as two aerospace accounts. The company has 45 employees in the U.S., 20 in Canada, 100 in Mexico, and 15 in China, where it provides CMS for Buick’s Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. joint venture.

Haas’s business is growing rapidly because of the cost savings CMS provides, says Fortin. Chemical manufacture accounts for under 5% of its sales. Haas advises it’s customers on how to reduce chemical usage and improve handling to minimize waste generaton. The reduced volumes translate into savings in inventory carrying, waste treatment, and safety and environmental management, and multiply the initial savings on reduced chemical purchases by a factor of five to 10. “For every dollar spent on chemicals, the cost burden is five to 10 times that,” says Fortin. “That’s what our customers realize.” --DH

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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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