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The Supply Chain Puzzle: How Cemkem Curates Its Partners for Excellence

When you’re looking for a new supplier of high performance construction chemical products, supply chain quality and compliance is just as important as accessing the right products in the right volumes. We know this because of our extensive experience in the construction and building chemicals industry. And because we listen to our customers and understand their needs.

So, if you’re looking for a new supplier of high-quality construction chemical products and want to know whether Cemkem could be a good fit, this article is for you.

construction worker smoothing out screed

Identifying and evaluating construction chemical product suppliers

The journey to bring in new principals (suppliers) at Cemkem[2]  begins with:

  1. Listening to what the market needs
  2. Future market trends like the move toward net zero and sustainability

When customers enquire about specific products not currently in our portfolio, it signals there’s a potential gap that needs filling. At the same time, we regularly look for new principals to help us expand the range of products that could complement our customers’ product portfolios. Ideally introducing suppliers whose products sustainably add value to our wider customer supply chain.

While potential suppliers are assessing our viability as a distribution and technical partner, we’re also assessing their suitability for our business and our customers’ businesses.

Our technical and commercial teams play pivotal roles in assessing potential new principals,  ensuring each one aligns with our stringent supply chain standards. These include undertaking technical training provided by the supplier so our commercial and technical teams gain a detailed understanding of their products.

This enables our colleagues in technical and commercial to support our customers by recommending the right products for their specific technical needs. With any technical or formulation challenges solved by our technical team.

man pressing a tick button

Compliance – the cornerstone of our evaluation process

To ensure we only provide the best products and services, we’ve developed a comprehensive supplier evaluation list which is key to our process of partnering with a new principal. It includes a scoring system for all suppliers based on various criteria, including quality, health and safety, environmental protection, corporate social responsibility and sustainability.

We particularly scrutinise a principal’s ability to contribute to our sustainability goals, reflecting our commitment to drive the green transformation of the construction chemicals industry. Something that’s also of increasing importance to many of our customers.

Once a new supplier has been with us for 12 months, we re-evaluate their business to ensure it continues to meet the high standards we expect. This annual review process makes sure all our principals not only meet, but exceed standards in quality, safety, environmental protection and corporate social responsibility.

Now, let’s dive into what we look for in each of these compliance areas.

Securing quality products and services

We only work with principals that have the ISO9001 quality certification. This ensures our suppliers have consistently high standards, meet and exceed customer expectations, and demonstrate a clear commitment to continually improving their quality performance and systems. We always carry out a mini-audit of their processes focusing on key aspects like traceability and complaint handling to ensure it’s up to scratch.

Confirming high standards of health and safety

As a people-first company, health and safety is another major area of concern for us. We ask for proof of ISO45001 certification plus information on things like provision of personal protective equipment, recording lost time incidents and near misses, and wider health and safety record keeping.

4 people holding a green earth in their hands

Ensuring exceptional environmental protection

We ask all our prospective supply partners to have a proven and effective environmental management system in place – like ISO14001. This enables us to confirm whether they’re evaluating environmental risks, impacts and opportunities and delivering their environmental policy. We also check to make sure sustainability forms part of the company’s values. Corroborating corporate social responsibility (CSR) standards

As part of our strategic business planning, we’ve developed a stringent set of corporate governance measures that we apply to our own business and those of our suppliers. This includes CSR standards which cover a wide range of areas including adhering to employment law, having a whistleblowing policy in place and providing equal opportunities.

We also carry out site visits to our suppliers – even if they’re overseas – to visually inspect their premises and workforce to ensure they’re meeting the standards we expect. Plus, we ask a representative from a new principal to come and visit us so they can see how we work. We think of this as a kind of courting process where we can ask questions and build strong relationships that enable honest conversations, collaborative working and continual improvement.

A laser-focus on sustainability

Sustainability isn’t just a trend for Cemkem – it’s a business imperative. That’s why we actively seek out and rigorously evaluate new principals who are leaders in sustainable practices. From sustainable procurement and production to product lifecycle management and energy and water reduction targets. This focus ensures that Cemkem not only meets its customers’ current needs but that we also lead in providing solutions that are focused on creating a more sustainable world for current and future generations.

Building relationships based on trust and excellence

Trust is at the core of Cemkem’s collaborative supplier relationships. By building long-term partnerships and working side-by-side with our principals, we form one team, ensuring a seamless service for all our customers.

This alignment is crucial, especially when navigating the complexities of sustainable product development and distribution. We value agile, responsive principals who can handle any challenges efficiently and are committed to ensuring excellence at every customer touchpoint.

Our approach to bringing in new construction chemical additives is a testament to our commitment to quality, compliance and sustainability. By adhering to strict evaluation standards and fostering strong relationships based on mutual respect and shared values, our customers can be sure they’re dealing with a quality performance construction chemicals supply chain from start to finish.

While we always endeavour to be as flexible as possible for our customers, there’s one thing we won’t compromise on and that’s compliance. If you want to work with a business that truly values integrity and doing the right thing, get in touch with our sales team.