Specialty Gaines
Five Takeaways from Five Member Visits

Five members of the SOCMA team hit the road earlier this month to visit five member companies in North Carolina and South Carolina. With SOCMA’s ESG Workshop as a backdrop, this was the perfect opportunity to meet our members where they, learn the latest trends and pain points, all the while validating what is so unique about the specialty chemical industry.

SOCMA Members Visited

Mount Holly, NC
Spartanburg, SC
Toll Solutions
Duncan, SC

Ortec, Inc.
Piedmont, SC, facility

Charlotte, NC

Top 5 Takeaways

  • ESG is overwhelming and intimidating to ALL companies, no matter their size or complexity – All specialty chemical manufacturers have questions about how to effectively meet ESG standards and comply with Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions tracing. The common theme we heard was, “Once one question is answered, it raises three more.” More than 40 industry professionals found value in coming together through SOCMA to learn from each other and share best practices. Learn more in our ESG Workshop Recap.
  • Specialty chemical manufacturers are in growth mode, but not at the expense of core competencies – Companies are ready to take their business to the next level, but they are not willing to grow at the expense of the business model that has been the very foundation of their success. They are looking for opportunities to responsibly grow their business in a way that complements their business versus going in a new direction that would lower margins and take them down a path they don’t want to go.
  • Productivity moving from the EU to the U.S. – One member company currently has 3-4 projects with European companies that looked to them as a partner due escalating energy and raw material costs and transportation in Europe. This member is also leveraging the SOCMA pavilion at Chemspec Europe to source more of this business!
  • Tollers are co-investing – SOCMA heard that co-investing was a growing trend onsite in Nashville, but it was reinforced during recent member visits. Specialty chemical companies are not using the “if we build it, they will come” model. They are looking for stability to build out assets. One company shared that they fostered a long-term relationship with a customer that led to co-investing in a new location.
  • Automation driving evolution of industry – One SOCMA member extended their expertise to full-on technical and IT support, as the industry increasingly moves to automate more of their processes. This new technological revolution has increased the need for chemical facilities to safeguard their systems against cyber-attack and ensure they are fully optimizing their technology.

Final Tidbit – More women are taking leadership roles

It’s exciting to see that more and more females are stepping into leadership roles within our member companies and across the specialty chemical industry. Stay tuned for a more in-depth post regarding this trend in the coming weeks.

Want to hear more about the site visits and benefits of SOCMA membership, contact me at jgaines@socma.org, or give me a call at 571-348-5110. I hope to hear from you soon!

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