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"We work hard to implement a solid stewardship program, but too often we don't know how our products are being used by our distributors' customers."

Although a principal’s paint additive was re-classified as a more hazardous inhalation risk, a distributor was expected to maintain its position in the market.

The distributor recognized that in order to justify the continued use of this product, they would need to address the primary concerns of each stakeholder along the value chain.  These were identified as follows:

  • R&D - optimal physical and chemical properties.
  • Operations - inhalation risk to the workers in their manufacturing operations.
  • Sales & Marketing – superior value for their customers.
  • Senior Executives – competitive advantage in the marketplace while managing exposure risks for both their workers and their customers.

The distributor developed a campaign to address the primary concerns of each stakeholder.  A technical presentation was developed for the R&D staff to show the unique, beneficial properties of the supplier’s product.  The supplier’s safety literature, training videos and process audits demonstrated to production personnel how they could mitigate risk while continuing to enjoy the performance advantages of the product.  The distributor provided third party consumer paint evaluations to the sales and marketing reps to show that incorporating their supplier’s product provided a superior paint in terms of performance versus cost. Finally, the distributor met with senior executives and presented copies of an independent study by the National Paint & Coatings Association (NPCA) that proved limited exposure risk for all paint applicators.

By involving all decision-makers and featuring the supplier’s stewardship message in combination with the total usage cost, the Team ChemistrySM approach resulted in sales volume growth from 600,000 lbs. to 2.4 million lbs. in one year.  The customers learned how to better protect their workers from all airborne particles.  The distributor was named Distributor of the Year by the supplier and presented the successful strategy at the supplier’s annual meeting.


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