I have always wanted to be closer to the customer, although I have a background in R&D and engineering. I joined the Sales Group to improve our quality of service. What our customers value the most is our upgraded key account management. This is the way we provide our service, the way we cooperate, and how we manage things – we do it in a systematic, efficient and professional way.
One of my biggest successes so far is improving our level of service to UPM Changshu. We focused on managing not only the chemical supply but building a stronger partnership by providing them with control and monitoring tools, data analysis for smart process management, high level service and technical support, training, etc. The result was that Kemira won the Most Improved Supplier award in the UPM Supplier Forum in 2017.
Negotiation is never easy. That’s why I do a lot of work to make sure that I know our position in the market. I manage a 6-person team and we do tests, collect information and stay in touch with our customers. We need to be confident in our data collection, confident in our data analysis, and confident in presenting this to the customer so that they truly understand the value we are bringing them.
Luckily for me, I used to be in the applications team and I travelled a lot. So I know our customers and how competitive Kemira’s product line and level of service is.
For the last two years, especially local companies have been fighting a short-sighted price war. When raw material prices went up last year, a lot of suppliers went out of business.
Customers who take a long-term view get long-term benefits. They get a reliable partner who is committed to new innovations that bring better sustainability and resource efficiency. This is also the basis for our Total Chemistry Management offering.
Everybody knows the trends but Kemira takes action.
The market is becoming more sensitive to environmental challenges, especially in China. In this area, our customers know that Kemira has the highest standards. Last year we had a lot of projects focused on recycled paper. And we’re also working with UPM Changshu towards a target of Zero Discharge by 2030. This is a project to eliminate waste and ensure the re-use of water.
In the future we’ll put even more effort on growing paper and board grades, recycled grades and tissues, and the use of smarter controls and digitalization. Kemira is the leading company that is committed to the Pulp & Paper industry, and we continue to launch new concepts and products to the market.
All new innovations in end-products and grades need innovations in their composition as well. Recycled grades pose a lot of different challenges, especially when using 100% recycled fiber. One of our new products is Kemira KemRevive™. The innovation protects both fresh and recycled starch from degrading during the manufacture of packaging board, so the bacteria don’t have food to grow on. The result is better quality starch, better performance, and lower chemical oxygen demand. It’s a good choice for recycled grades and customers using recycled fiber.