Will the Chemical Industry Focus on Customer Experience?


The chemical industry is probably one of the last industries to focus on customers.  Complex supply chains amongst businesses reduces the need to focus on customer experience, but is that sustainable?  Businesses are customers too - and with greater choice in the marketplace, they will not only look for lower cost, but also improved customer experience.  As the digitalization of the chemical industry progresses, manufacturers of specialty and fine chemicals will need to provide quality chemicals at lower costs along with a seamless customer experience.



   "Mauve" or "aniline purple" represents the first specialty chemical synthesized by William Henry Perkin in 1856. 

"Mauve" or "aniline purple" represents the first specialty chemical synthesized by William Henry Perkin in 1856. 

“We are a small specialty chemicals manufacturer!” - said a guy I used to work for. Since that moment, the feel of delivering something “special” (at least according to the word origin) increased the level of responsibility I felt towards my job. “I am doing something more significant, highly important”, I thought. I can’t hide that a tone of other questions was overtaking my mind: “Why are these chemicals considered special? Who needs them? What are they going to use them for? and last but not least - How much are they ready to pay for them? Sounds like a riddle, especially considering that buyers (clients) not always have a chemical or at least scientific background.


To solve this puzzle, let's begin with today’s chemicals market. This multibillion worth place hosts 3 major classes of goods: commodities, fine, and specialty chemicals. Commodity chemicals are produced in large scale and commonly used as starting points for production of more complex materials. Commonly traded in large quantities, prices of commodities are transparent and listed in magazines, websites, financial reports, etc. The situation is not that clear for other two groups. While fine chemicals are sold based on their composition (in other words - what they are), the main feature of specialty chemicals is their performance (what they can do). They consist from one or more compounds mixed together (according to the right formulation) and drive the progress of automotive, aerospace, food, cosmetic, manufacturing, and textile industries. On the other hand, fine chemicals are single and pure chemical substances, which are usually created according the corresponding synthetic route. Production of fine chemicals is rather limited (less than 1000 tons annually), which justifies their high price (more than USD 10 per kg). 


Does urgent need always justifies high productions costs? Is there a supplier that provides this material at lower price? Is that manufacturer truly capable of preparing my compound? It’s clear - chemical sourcing is a research-intensive, time-consuming, and likely trial-and-error type process. Moreover, sometimes it demands the use of extremely expensive search tools (e.g. SciFinder, Reaxys). Customers are more likely to choose a specialty chemical manufacturer that is located near, simply because that allows them to keep a closer track of the whole process. However, the same can be considered a limiting factor as well. It’s also not unusual that chosen / proposed synthetic pathway for generation of target compound simply doesn't yield any results leading to prolonged production and ultimately late (if any) delivery. Delays in production sometimes cause order cancelation causing loses on both sides. 


Doing chemical purchases myself, I have experienced everything from delayed quotes, purposely listed smaller quantities (smaller package - higher price in bulk), numerous phone calls to even obtain a quote, quotes with wrong addresses, etc. It’s not even worth describing how complex is the purchasing software, which not only requires a tone of data, but it is also conditional upon approval of higher ranked personas (in other words - less time effective). If you are a scientist who wants to discover unexplored, researcher who needs chemical to drive his publication record, or anyone else trying to achieve a greater good, you don’t have to devote your precious time researching prices, suppliers credibility, customer experiences, and other to you less relevant data. 

LUMOBid does it for you! Aiming to provide a database of fine and specialty chemicals produced by global suppliers, LUMOBid offers a transparent and reliable way of obtaining desired compounds. Let manufacturers bid for your orders! Receive multiple quotes in real time from globally ranked chemical suppliers! 

Join LUMOBid today and discover a new reality in the chemicals market. 

Microbes that produce specialty chemicals - can you benefit?


One way to save money on production is to cut costs - that's clear. And LUMOBid seeks to help it's customers do just that. But what if microorganisms and microbes could assist in trimming the costs of specialty chemicals?

There's already plenty of research confirming the ability of microbes to enhance production output of specialty, fine, and commodity chemicals. Companies like Bayer, are teaming up with start-ups to seeks ways to offer tough competitors to agrochemicals. But how can the chemical industry benefit from microbes?  Is it simply a boost in chemical output or will microbes change the way the world views chemicals? 

The continued integration of modified microbes across industries isn't ceasing. With the right collaboration efforts and partners in the chemical and biotech industries both stand poised to benefit from further research and development.