Finding the right chemical supplier is a challenge. A variety of factors should be considered in the decision-making process, and best practice requires that suppliers be evaluated at least every two years. But how do you know when to consider switching from one supplier to another?

In the commercial chemical industry, reliability is everything. Whether it is supplied to production facilities, production plants or research institutions, excellent chemical suppliers know that the key to obtaining a sustained and lasting contract is to have the ability to commit less and supply more. If your supplier has started to run out of a product you need frequently, or have you wait a long time for them to purchase a particular product, it may be time to consider looking elsewhere.

Some facilities, such as water treatment plants, supply exactly the same chemicals year after year. However, the continuous progress of other industries may lead to annual, monthly and even weekly changes in demand. If your chemical supplier doesn't have a large enough catalog for you to choose from, you may find yourself adding more and more suppliers to a complex list just to meet your needs. From phosphates to reagents to rare earth metals, working with a supplier of chemicals always makes logistics easier.

It is only worthwhile to order the right chemicals if the packaging is correct. If the supplier does not take all precautions when storing and transporting your product, it may mean that your chemical arrived damaged or worse, unsafe. Select a supplier working under specific guidelines (e.g. ISO 9001) and accept its own periodic quality control audits.

A major culprit in the manufacture of a chemical is not up to the standard. Of course, different apps require different levels of purity, but if you don't receive the level of purity you're asking for, your money won't be worth it. It's wise to have your supplier's products independently tested from time to time to ensure quality - if you don't get the results you expect, move on.

Working with reliable, customer focused chemical manufacturers is the first step to making your operations more efficient. From production to research, chemistry is an integral part of the puzzle, and knowing that you can rely on your suppliers is half the battle.