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June 16 2018, David R Brown

Fecc Annual Congress 2018 Review - Towards innovative business models in Chemical Distribution 4.0

Building on the success of last year's congress, the FECC Congress 2018 in Nice this year focused on the next phase of Chemical Distribution 4.0, where digitalisation, corporate social responsibility, the circular economy and sustainability are going to be key pillars for corporate growth and competitiveness.

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The first day of the Congress included sessions on digital trends focusing on blockchain technology and how it could be applied in the chemical distribution sector. This highlighted how the role of intermediaries will potentially change towards a more collaborative, decentralised and automated approach leading to exciting opportunities for new business models as well as an existential threat to some traditional ways of doing business.

On day two Christophe Cabarry, Founder of SpecialChem stressed there had already been a radical shift from sales & marketing instigated by suppliers, to a majority of contacts now initiated by customers through digital channels. For future success, specialty chemicals distributors need to increasingly focus on the digital user through multichannel presence, effective interaction, smart data collection and usage, and a maintained digital relationship.

There were various debates on issues raised such as trust, security and risks raised by blockchain, whether there were types of customer interactions that could never be completely replaced in B2B transactions, and concerns regarding dominant positions and the online sales of hazardous substances.

The event also examined key trends in Europe's petrochemical industry as well as sessions on the pharmaceutical supply chain where distributors face an increasingly stringent regulatory environment for supplying APIs and excipients.

All in all this was another thought provoking Congress which brought together more than 190 delegates including chemical distributors, chemical suppliers, consultancies, financial investors and the media. The next Congress will be Barecelona in June 2019 which will hopeful continue to build on this successful event. For a full round up of the congress please see the FECC Congress Report or contact for more information.

About FECC
Fecc is the voice of the Chemical Distribution Industry in Europe. With a growing membership of companies and national associations, Fecc represents around 1,600 companies of which many are small and medium sized companies (SMEs). Fecc and its members contribute to innovation and sustainability besides adding value in the supply chain, by sourcing, developing, marketing, and distributing a wide range of specialty chemicals and ingredients to over one million downstream users ranging from automotive, electronics, paint, construction to pharmaceutical, cosmetics, food and nutrition industries, each with their own specialised needs. The Chemical distribution industry in Europe employs more than 30,000 people and has an annual sales leverage of approximately EUR 28 billion.

Source(s): Chemagility Press Release

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