Fine chemical synthesis encompasses a broad variety of active ingredients and advanced intermediates used in downstream chemical manufacturing or formulation into end-products. Examples include glufosinate, an active ingredient in agrochemical herbicides for crop protection; and oxydiphthalic anhydride, a co-monomer for polyimides used in consumer electronics and aerospace.
While large, multinational producers focus on commodity chemicals, smaller, custom manufacturers specialize in niche fine chemical synthesis at deliberately lower volumes. When customers look to source and purchase these high-value goods on a regular, sustainable basis, which of these sales channels is best?
Fine Chemical Synthesis and Volume Requirements
Depending on volume requirements, exclusivity of the molecule, and perhaps certain contractual arrangements, customers may source fine chemicals (a) directly from the manufacturer or (b) via sales channel partners.
Local channel partners comprise virtual and physical distributors, as well as sales agents. These serve a vital role in the fine chemicals supply chain, providing the manufacturer with a host of competitive advantages.
The obvious benefit of local companies is that they speak the native language. They are integrated into the local culture which can put customers at ease. Response to quality, delivery, regulatory, and basic technical issues is simplified, with familiar contacts in the customer’s time zone often working the same daily hours. If customers have not planned their forecasts accurately, products are often available from local safety stocks. Sales channel partners provide market intelligence and can help shape the manufacturer’s regional strategy.
Customers appreciative of the value provided by local sales channel partners accept a higher price point for goods and services. In cases where larger volumes dictate direct business with the manufacturer, cost position can certainly be improved. Oftentimes, however, local service and support are the priority – particularly for high-value fine chemicals.
Occasionally, sales channel partners are mismatched with the customer base they intend to serve. Some customers may prefer the one-stop shop approach of large, multi-national distribution companies, almost rivaling the scale of the manufacturers they represent. However, others may seek out smaller, often family-owned-and-operated businesses that offer more personalized service and support, like a peer company relatable to the customer’s own business. The right fit is critical to both parties.
Jayhawk Fine Chemicals products and services are available from these smaller, specialized sales channel partners to “channel” our business culture directly into local regions and markets.
Jayhawk: Empowering Customers with Fine Chemical Solutions
Jayhawk is a member of the global CABB network of fine chemical custom manufacturing partners, blending our global reach with a local mindset. Learn more about specialty chemical manufacturing at Jayhawk, or contact a member of the team directly if you have any questions.