Transforming a production process requiring handling of a hazardous material into a safe and efficient new offering
Our client, a major global chemical company, was a leader in producing and selling sulfuric acid to customers who used the chemical as a process material in their internal operations. At the same time, they recognized that over 80% of their revenue was derived from mature businesses defined by the lack of differentiation, slow growth, and competitive intensity.
Sulfuric acid is a hazardous material and handling it is a difficult process. Companies purchase sulfuric acid as a chemical intermediate in a wide range of industrial processes. Some were concerned about their capability to manage it, potential employee injury, and accidental discharge in handling spent sulfuric acid. The main routes of hazardous exposure are inhalation, skin contact, and eye contact.
Our client’s supply chain team provided equipment and training to ease customers’ concerns. They had installed a product delivery system that minimized customers’ handling in use, but the spent and collection still required customer handling. So, the client expanded the scope of the sale of sulfuric acid to include picking spent acid that they picked up and reclaimed at their operations site.
The client’s team used value-adding chain analysis to uncover several business opportunities. They developed and installed a combined delivery and reclamation operation on a small portion of the customer’s site. The customer benefited as the client took ownership of the process into and out of the customer’s operation. The customer only took ownership of the product that was consumed in their operation. Both organizations benefited from this new offering as waste, manpower, and other inefficiencies were reduced.
This solution spawned a new business which has since become an integral part of the client’s unique capabilities.