Meet Our Pro

Joe LaChapelle

Commissioning and Startup Specialist, Polyethylene Logistics

As the construction of its new polyethylene plant in Monaca, Pennsylvania continues, Shell Polymers has been hiring a team of industry experts, aka Polymer Pioneers and Polymer Pros, with proven track records in polymers. In this Polymer Profile, we talked to Commissioning and Startup (CSU) Specialist, Polyethylene (PE) Logistics Joe LaChapelle to learn more about his role in readying the new facility with the ease of customer experience in mind.

Getting Things Right & Ready

Joe’s role provides support for the site logistics team through the development and implementation of site policies and procedures that help the facility operate safely and efficiently. His team is also ensuring the facility’s readiness by supporting the commissioning and startup of Shell Polymers’ new site assets, and serving as a liaison between the construction, project, commercial, and asset teams. A typical day consists of meetings around asset custody transfers, field walks and inspections of the assets and site, sessions on policy and operational tool development, and consistent stakeholder engagement.

"When it’s all said and done, Shell Polymers will be the provider of a best-in-class customer experience through utilizing one of the most agile and flexible logistics muscles in the industry.” - Joe LaChapelle

Solving Problems Proactively

Joe’s department has placed a lot of focus on preempting transit delays that may prevent customers from receiving their products in a timely manner. To this end, the facility is implementing an innovative “drop and swap” system for moving polyethylene on trucks. This system will help enable prompt delivery of products and allow the commercial team to be as nimble as necessary to meet customer expectations.

Joe is also helping to develop a reliability process for all fleets and rail networks, to best empower a high level of operation. He is hoping that the result of those combined efforts will be a “de-bottlenecking” of the logistics experience, allowing for prompt and reliable delivery of products to Shell Polymers' customers.

"Customers should engage in open dialogue with my colleagues on the commercial team. What we will be able to offer will speak for itself.” - Joe LaChapelle

The Goal: Save Time & Money

When it comes to what questions most interest customers, the answer is consistent, clear, and practical: “In all my experience, customers really have two top questions they like to ask,” says Joe. “The two items are (about) getting the product on time, (and) in the most cost-effective way possible.”

That’s the focus of Joe’s team, and they are on track to set that up. He says the assets logistics team has taken early handover of several site assets and looks to optimize the rest of the project schedule as his team continues into the commissioning and startup phase.

When investing in our facility, we’ve prided ourselves on being the newest and up to industry specifications. We’re making strategic decisions in our capital equipment so we can be the best collaborator for converters today, tomorrow, and beyond.

Four Keys to a Better Customer Experience that Joe is Helping to Create

  • Experience Out Front

    Ensuring the highest level of expertise for front-line logistics employees.

  • A Plan For Reliability

    Building a high-performing reliability process for site assets, including all fleets and rail networks.

  • Coordinated Teamwork

    Maintaining exceptional and consistent interfacing between the site logistics and commercial teams

  • Innovation Equals Speed

    Smoothing out the logistics experience through innovative options for off-spec and slow-moving products.

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