Man looking at goods in chemical warehouse

What does a chemical distributor do?

A chemical distributor works just like any other distributor. The distributor buys goods from manufacturers, in this case, chemicals, and sells them to his customers.

What are the advantages to buy from a distributor?

Due to the large storage capacities, the distributor can still offer chemicals even if the manufacturers are already sold out. For example, when the production stops due to maintenance reasons. So, they offer their customers certain security of supply. Additionally, because Distributors often have more than one product in their portfolio. Depending on the customer’s requirements, this can then be easy or more difficult to replace. I give you an example of similar products: Let’s imagine, you want to buy a pack of milk in a supermarket. In this case, the supermarket is also a distributor. Here you have a large selection of manufacturers and types of the same product, milk but with different characteristics. For example, whole milk, low-fat milk, homogenized milk, and so on and so forth…

What value-added services do distributors offer?

No. Many distributors offer other services that go beyond this basic function. These services are described as value-added services. For example, chemicals can be mixed in advance. This has the advantage for the customers that they don’t have to mix the chemicals themselves. This service saves the customers time, money and the cumbersome handling of the individual components because mixing chemicals often requires a large tank in which the chemicals are combined. Just as the ingredients are stirred in the pot during cooking, the chemicals must be thoroughly mixed in the chemical mixer or reactor.

Chemical distributors take part in research and development

Some distributors go even one step further and offer the production of tailor-made formulations for customers through their research laboratories. Thus another service is the research and development of specific solutions for their customers. These solutions can vary depending on the industries the distributor is specialized in.

The next point, quality assurance, also has to do with the laboratory. This is an important part of the sale process of chemicals. Contamination, especially in the food and pharmaceutical industries, can lead to costly cleaning and, in the worst case, the loss of the entire production volume. Therefore, only high-purity chemicals are used in these quality-sensitive industries. You can find more information on our Nutrition page.

And what happens if a chemical won’t be sold any longer?

In this case, the sales team of the distributor can search for a new solution together with the customer. Tests can be carried out at the customer’s site and the distributor supports the customer with his expertise on the various products and applications. For this purpose, chemists are often hired who are very familiar with the product portfolio and can advise customers.

What about new products and how to sell them?

For new products to be launched, Distributors can also help at the other end of the supply chain. Distributors work with manufacturers to register new products with the relevant authorities (e.g. REACH, TSCA, BRP, etc. ) and bring them to the market. For manufacturers, distributors offer a favorable supplement to their own sales team, which can vary in strength depending on the company. Therefore, distributors are an additional sales channel, which reduces manufacturers’ dependence on their own sales force. Some manufacturers may even not be able to afford a sales force. Especially for distributors who are active on single continents such as Europe, Asia, America or even globally, this makes the approach to market much easier for the manufacturer.

So let’s summarize

Distributors offer various advantages and can be worthwhile for both customers and manufacturers. Of course, the more reliable the distributor and the better the service, the better your business is prepared for the future.