Making a virtue of necessity – dealing with supply chain issues in the Technical Applications business unit

19. April 2022

The Corona pandemic has led to diverse business constraints all around the globe. Not only have costs of logistics, raw materials and packaging material increased extremely but also the availabilities of such decreased rapidly. Freight costs from Asia to Europe have multiplied, creating a huge challenge especially for materials from the Far East. Vessels or containers are often blocked in harbours due to lockdowns or sick crews. Harvests were partially lower during the pandemic, also related to lockdown situations.

For the reasons described above, all raw materials need to be ordered many months in advance. As customers, particularly those in the EPS business, are mostly not able to provide such early forecasts because they again rely on their customers’ forecasts, the Technical Applications business unit has to find creative solutions. Many situations initially seem like a look into a crystal ball, and the team needs to find answers to such questions as “Do we need 50 tons of material A or B in 8 months?”

What has led the business unit through 2 years of the pandemic:

  • The existing long-term experience: the right grasp for developments in the business is one enabler to find solutions. Signs from the market need to be interpreted in the right direction to visualize what lies ahead. As an example, the EPS market usually has a low in winter in Europe, but the increasing number of mild winters is changing this situation.

  • Communication is key: transparency with the customers has always been one of our major qualities and in this challenging time it becomes even more important.

  • Technical expertise: How can product alternatives contribute to the supply of sufficient raw materials? This needs to be closely communicated with the customers to maintain the high quality standard.

With this combination of tools, the business unit is able to be the reliable supplier of products for Technical Applications all around the globe. Contact us if you want to learn more about our technical solutions and availabilities:

Please share this information!

Dr. Andreas Wintzer

Dr. Andreas Wintzer is Technical Product Manager in the Technical Applications Business Unit at IOI Oleo GmbH. He studied Chemistry at TU Dortmund University with an emphasis on technical chemistry, particularly in the area of renewable raw materials. The extensive knowledge he acquired during his studies is the perfect basis for his work at IOI. Before joining IOI Oleo GmbH, Andreas completed a trainee programme at the European Space Agency in the Netherlands, then gained production experience as a technologist at Papierfabrik Hagen, which at the time belonged to the Stora Enso group. He enjoys sports, regularly rides to work by bike and preferably spends his leisure time with his family or friends.