While e-sourcing has found its way into nearly every spend area imaginable today, buying chemicals online requires significantly more attention than most spend areas. A buyer's need for detailed product specifications and regulatory compliance information often outpaces the need for speed in sourcing chemicals, and further emphasizes the need for strong supplier relationships.
Larry Giunipero, the ISM Professor of Purchasing and Supply Management at Florida State University in Tallahassee sees compliance as the major bottleneck in easily purchasing chemicals online. "There is an element of control in the chemical purchase that may not be so prevalent in other online purchases," says Giunipero. "Buyers have to be concerned with material safety data sheets, hazmat issues, and even DOT regulations for the transportation and storage of chemicals."
As a result, the direct buyer-supplier relationship is even more important when e-sourcing chemicals. "You need to be sure you're dealing with credible, safe, suppliers that offer end-to-end process controls and that is why I advocate a direct relationship with chemical suppliers," says Giunipero. "Third parties, or direct purchases from supplier websites, may not offer the control that you need to meet compliance issues."
Source: Purchasing, http://www.purchasing.com
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