The Chase Plastics Team:
Alan Arduini, Vice-President Sales
Adam Paulson, Vice-President, Supplier Development
Laura Goik, Operations Manager
Bob Hoff, Business Process Manager
What are the biggest issues facing the resin supply chain right now?
Alan Arduini: The biggest issues are severe shortages and significant supply tightness for other engineering materials. Lead times are relatively long and we insulate our customers as much as possible by stocking and forecasting to the supplier. It takes close communication between us and our customers to make it work. We know that forecasting beyond 4 weeks is difficult for our customers. Forecasting 6 weeks and longer is nearly impossible for them.
How does the US transportation infrastructure play into future resin supply concerns?
Adam Paulson: In the US, thermoplastic is moved via rail, bulk truck, truckload, or LTL. All have been strained.
Distribution will continue to play a strategic role in the supply chain. Distributors will be needed to allow the “Just in Time” approach that manufacturers are looking for. The certainty of JIT, however, may require better forecasting.
What should processors – and their customers – be doing to temper some of the supply concerns?
Laura Goik: Chase Plastics is working hard to ensure our products are in stock and ready for our customers demand. We consider the tight supply and work to ensure that we mitigate these potential supply disruptions. We are asking customers to forecast new business in advance so that we can prepare to cover their material requirements. Another option that a distributor can offer is to stock material on a blanket purchase order to ensure longer term supply is met. These are strategies that allow a distributor to support the molders with their cash flow and material needs.
What can resins suppliers/distributors do to alleviate issues for processors right now?
Bob Hoff: As a distributor, we are taking a bigger inventory position whenever possible to protect our customers. This will include expanding our storage capacity to best serve our customers. Continuing to enhance our relationships with carriers and expanding that base with those that provide the best service will assist in meeting customer delivery expectations. When possible, we should consider adding an extra day to the shipping time to effectively manage the cost.
Chase Plastics is working hard to ensure our products are
in stock and ready for our customers demand.