Meet our expert

Satisfying the appetite for more holistic offerings

James Atkinson, Senior Manager in Sales & Business Development for Kemira Pulp & Paper has more than 16 years of industry experience to share with his customers in Western Europe, mainly in the UK. His approach to Kemira’s Total Chemistry Management (TCM) partnership concept is based on breaking down the barriers between supplier and customer to create an open and honest relationship where both parties are fully invested in each other.

Satisfying the appetite for more holistic offerings

Service is no longer an afterthought or add-on, it’s an integral part of the offering.

The marketplace we’re playing in now is highly cost-driven and super competitive; however, it’s no longer the case that the cheapest supplier always wins out. In pulp and paper production there is a strong appetite for more holistic offerings based on long-term commitment. Service is no longer an afterthought or add-on, it’s an integral part of the offering that’s always on the agenda. Paper producers are looking for a partner that can add value at every step, and this is where TCM really comes into its own – because we’re investing in the customer as much as they are investing in Kemira.

Enabling new levels of productivity and quality

In the region I am responsible for I often come across the perception that TCM is only for paper machine start-ups, but that’s certainly not the case. Of course, we can use our expertise in chemistry and deep knowledge of mill processes to make sure everything goes smoothly with new machine start-ups, but we can also add a huge amount of value when it comes to optimizing or converting existing machines too.

We’ve established several successful partnerships, particularly with tissue and board producers in this region. In one case in the UK, TCM is helping the mill reach a completely new level in terms of improved productivity and quality while reducing energy consumption. Essentially, we’re helping them do more with less, because output is way up while their chemical costs have fallen. What’s more, TCM opens up new opportunities for our partners to enter the market with completely new grades.

Expertise + chemistry + smart technology = success

Although TCM is a tailored program where we take care of all paper machine’s chemistry requirements, the approach I favor is to establish trust and show our partners that we can deliver on a single-application level to begin with. This allows us to demonstrate the tangible benefits that the combination of our chemical products and expertise brings before we start taking things further.

Our partners can make significant savings in terms of chemical costs with the improved dosing control that our technologies enable.

Even if we are using the same chemical as before, we can leverage our expertise to make changes to how or where the chemicals are applied, for example. We can also offer smart process management solutions like our KemConnect™ platform to provide greater transparency and help identify opportunities for further improvements and cost savings. For example, our partners can make significant savings in terms of chemical costs with the improved dosing control that our technologies enable. I think this is a great example of why TCM sets us apart from the competition because it shows that we’re not simply trying to push our partners for more chemical sales; instead, we’re actively looking for ways to help them do things more efficiently all the time.

Trust and honesty are the foundations for future improvement

My approach is to never over-promise and always be realistic. While we can guarantee that the TCM concept will benefit any partner, we take care to set the bar at a realistic level to make sure we meet their expectations. TCM is a very personal concept that’s specific to one paper machine, and we’re building quite intimate relationships with our partners where everything we do – from the chemistry we use to the services we provide – is geared towards helping them get the best out of that machine.

Hitting that first KPI target is just the beginning – we’re always looking beyond to see how we can help our partners improve things further.

TCM goes far beyond the traditional seller and buyer relationship to offer something completely different. For me, the relationship we build on day one is the foundation that we use to move forward and commit to each other. It’s a constant dialog based on trust, openness, and honesty. For us hitting that first KPI target is just the beginning – we’re always looking beyond to see how we can help our partners improve things further.

Claim a free ticket for the Zellcheming Expo and come talk to me face-to-face in Frankfurt from June 26–28. You will find us at booth F11 in hall 4.1.

Title
Senior Manager, Sales & Business Development, Pulp & Paper
Location
Greater Manchester area, UK
Topics to watch
Replacing plastics with sustainable fiber-based alternatives, especially in packaging and board applications; how to better reuse unsanitary waste like single-use paper cups; how far can we take fiber recycling and how can we recycle greater volumes with less effort
Words to live by
“If you don’t ask, then the answer is already no.”
Ways to unwind
Sports (especially football), playing music, relaxing with the family

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