By Laura Chamorro on Dec 02, 2019
Not for the first time, someone recently asked me why Shell is entering the polyethylene business when it has no experience in the industry. My response was, “Actually, we have a wealth of experience,” and I proceeded to tell them all about it.
I told them that we are part of Shell Chemicals, one of the world’s leading chemicals suppliers, which has just celebrated its 90th anniversary.
I said that Shell has a strong track record when it comes to building world-class refining and petrochemical assets. The experience and expertise that brings – not to mention our relentless focus on safety – is so important when you’re building a world-scale mega-project from the ground up.
I also told them that we’ve assembled an extensive team of world-class polymer experts here in Pennsylvania: for example, our team has a staggering 750 years of collective experience. This includes Dan Falla, who is a Society of Plastics Engineers Fellow and Carl Baker, who is on the board of industry organizations such as the Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association and the American Society for Testing and Materials.
We have a wealth of experience on the commercial side, too. For example, our general manager, Emma Lewis, our commercial manager Shaun Moore and I have all spent more than two decades in this industry.
Innovation Through Experience
What’s also hugely significant is that, as well as this wealth of experience, we have a blank slate. That’s key because we’ve been able to use that experience to innovate in the way that we’ll do business with customers. We’ve seen B2C retail companies lead a transition in customer experience over the last 10 years and we intend to do the same in the B2B market.
Not being anchored to any legacy processes or ways of working means we can implement new tools and systems for a new way of doing business: one that puts customers first and strives to make doing business as simple and stress free as possible for them.
Understanding the Challenges PE Converters Face
In addition to our knowledgable employees, Shell has gone to great lengths to understand the challenges that plastics converters face on a daily basis. Our conclusion? PE converters have a tough job. Not only do they oversee a wide variety of business functions like advanced forecasting, price negotiations, and supply chain management, they also coordinate with suppliers around the world to plan and execute each project.
To further understand these challenges, the Shell Polymers team spent hundreds of hours interviewing converters across the country. Thanks to these conversations, we pinpointed three things that would have a huge impact on PE converters of any size:
- A truly reliable PE supply
- Access to cutting-edge equipment
- Streamlined supplier communications.
That’s why at Shell Polymers, we’re leveraging decades of team experience to build a business that Breaks the Mold of polymer suppliers and emphasizes transparent communication and keeps customers in the know. We will be organizing account management and customer service teams, so our customers can count on personal relationships with a polymer manufacturer who cares about their business’s growth.
So, no, Shell isn’t at all new to the polymers game – but we are introducing a new kind of customer experience to the polymer industry.*
*The expression ‘Shell,’ ‘Shell Chemicals’ or ‘Shell Polymers’ refers to the companies of the Shell Group that are engaged in chemical or related businesses. Each of the companies that make up the Shell Group of companies is an independent entity and has its own separate identity.