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25 February 2014 | Gurjit Degun
Increasing reliability for buyers, reducing global inventories and preparing for future demand from Asia are the top priorities for supply chain professionals in large chemicals firms across Europe.
A report by LogiChem, The Chemical Manufacturers’ Supply Chain Report, found 71 per cent of the 200 supply chain executives questioned see reliability as one of their top priorities.
“The increasing importance of reliability reflects the pressure on customers to minimise inventory, which in turn places the onus on the chemical supply chain to innovate and invest in order to create a highly reliable offering,” the report said.
LogiChem said that by 2030, 66 per cent of the world’s leading chemicals manufacturers are forecast to be Asian, an increase from 40 per cent in 2010.
“This is partly to take advantage of massive demand,” it explained. “It therefore comes as no surprise that the majority of respondents are targeting their efforts in a region of opportunity, considering about half of global chemicals sales are in Asia.” Behind Asia and South America, Russia and Eastern Europe are tied in third place.
Around 70 per cent of respondents said that reducing inventory is one of the most important aspects of their current role. LogiChem explained that this highlighted “working capital management” as a priority as chemical manufacturers invest in long-term efficiencies.
Almost half of those questioned said the environmental sustainability of the supply chain is a “critical factor”.
“This perception of chemical manufacturer priorities is not shared with [logistics providers] and freight providers which perhaps warrants a more collaborative approach to sustainable solutions in the future,” the report said.