Sustainability is a journey, not always easy but getting more and more traction both within our company, but also with our suppliers and customers
Let's meet today our colleague from the Netherlands, René Smit, Business Development Director for the Adhesive & Industry Specialties Market !
Introduce yourself...When and why did you join Safic-Alcan? What made you consider joining us ?
I worked with Eastman Chemical Company for most of my working life and got connected that way with Safic Alcan distributing some of my products. I then joined a small family-owned distributor and helped manage and grow that company for several years. When the owner decided to retire, we had to find a new home for the company. One and one equals two hence I suggested to connect with Safic Alcan given my earlier experience with that company. Safic Alcan acquired the company and we integrated the businesses in a very easy and elegant way. As a result, I made the transfer to Safic Alcan as well.
How do experience your relationship with other collaborators, partners, principals or customers ?
Chemical distribution is “people business”, so people are our major asset in Safic-Alcan, and it also feels that way!!! Internal communication is very important to make the business go round. No problem in Safic, “doors” are always open and staff, wherever they are in the organization are very approachable and willing to help. Obviously, our suppliers and customers are key to our success as well. We spend a lot of time connecting the 2 by being the sustainable link. Our suppliers appreciate our open communication and industry knowledge whereas are customer appreciate the product portfolio and the product/application knowledge we bring.
What is something curious or funny we should know about you? (your hobbies, passions, etc)
I like to travel both for business and privately and to learn about people and cultures. In my private life I cycle, run but important, I am a rower (in eights, fours etc.). My rowing club is also important for my social connect and…it is where I met my wife. Other than being on the water I am actively engaged in the organization of funding and building a new club- and boathouse with the ability to house a club with 1000 members.
How would you advise people to select the best ingredients ?
Best ingredients means different things to different people. For us at Safic Alcan it means helping our customers to select to optimum product(s) for their specific application. We can do that as we know the technical and regulatory ins and outs of the products we offer and can match these with the unmet needs of our customers. That is what we call the durable link.
Speaking of trends, there is a lot of talk about silkness and softness for the textile industry, what would be your advice ?
My advise to our customers would be to share their needs with us. Based on this we can help our customers to select the appropriate products from the Momentive offering for this specific segment. Silkness and softness is the trend for sure and we can help make this happen !
How do you try to incorporate Safic values of Commitment, Differentiation, Ethics, Trust & Reliability, Sustainable Development, Team Work, Transparency in your day-to-day work.
Ethics and compliance form the foundation under every business and organization, simple as that. If that gets compromised, I do not want to work with that company. Sustainability is a journey, not always easy but getting more and more traction both within our company, but also with our suppliers and customers. But…. we all still have a long way to go which also offers opportunities of course.
Do you have any illustrative fun/light stories to share from your time at Safic-Alcan ?
What I appreciate is the fact that work is taken very seriously whereas also in challenging situations the atmosphere in the company (work climate) remains light, which is a balance I appreciate.
What is the one main takeaway candidates wanting to join Safic-Alcan should know and look forward to ?
Teamwork and a lot of opportunities to learn and broaden you skills and knowledge base.
Safic-Alcan in 5 words :
Versatility, International, Team work, Growth, Opportunity
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