24 November 2011 13:28 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Customers of the chemical industry in Europe in 2011 are more concerned about the reliability of deliveries and product availability than price, AT Kearney said on Thursday.
The consultants’ latest Chemical Customer Connectivity Index (C3X) survey shows that the supply chain figures most strongly among chemical company customers’ concerns, replacing "price performance" as the key buying criterion.
Reliable delivery features most highly in the 2011 survey, with 88% of respondents citing it as the most important buying criterion. Product availability and price were cited by 84% and 79% of customer executives surveyed as being top of their list of buying concerns.
More than 90% of European chemical companies expect demand to grow over the next 12 months, but many fear a slowdown driven by global economic pressure, AT Kearney said.
Demand growth in the 0%–10% range is expected by 61% of chemical manufactures and 55% of their customers in Europe, the survey shows. Demand growth of between 10% and 20% is expected by 29% of producers and 21% of customers.
The gap in understanding between suppliers and downstream customers remains wide, the survey showed.
“While 40 per cent of manufacturers believe they have expert knowledge of their customers’ requirements, only 17 per cent of customers believe manufacturers truly understand their need,” the survey added.
While 70% of manufacturers believe that their customers’ customers define the requirements of their products, only 50% of manufacturers meet regularly with these companies.
“Collaboration along the chemical value chain – in the form of joint discussions, collaborative networks, and multi-party partnerships – continues to be rare,” AT Kearney said.
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