It is hard to remember the world before mobile phones, tablets and the Internet. It had its positive sides; life moved at a slower pace, we had more time to enjoy nature, read a book or enjoy the simpler things in life.
It also had its negative side; it was impossible to contact people unless you knew they were somewhere with a telephone and everyone was slower to receive information, waiting for the evening news or morning newspaper.
Shopping was a slower paced activity too, with all transactions made in person with cash or a document signed in ink. This made business a more personal affair, although a lack of information about all suppliers and buyers made the market inefficient and localised.
Today, the world is much smaller, trade is international and prices global. A coal miners’ strike in South Africa influences the price of not just coal, but all energy. This in turn affects the price of other commodities, particularly those like chemicals that use a lot of energy.
Yet despite this global linking of information, many commodity markets are still very inefficient
Change has begun. The Internet is still relatively young, and yet Amazon, Ebay and Alibaba have begun to get the world buying and selling with the click of a mouse button or touch of a tablet. People use their phones to buy cinema tickets whilst on the train, compare airplane ticket prices when at the cinema and browse for train tickets at the airport.
So why is the chemicals industry still trading at conferences? Why do salesmen attempt to sell expensive barrels of products by ringing their way through a directory? Why does a one on one conversation seem to be the best way to meet a potential business partner?
Technology has moved trading in most industries onwards and upwards, but in many ways, the chemicals market is still stuck in the past.
For years, many experts have been predicting that online B2B chemicals markets would become a reality, much as stocks and shares are traded online, or second hand cars are bought and sold. And that vision is now a fact, for a new generation of chemical trading platforms is emerging online, that are set to revolutionise the way chemical traders find buyers and sellers.
Already Alibaba is trading in wholesale quantities of raw chemical feedstocks, whilst other specialist markets such as http://www.achilles.com/ and https://www.spotchemi.eu/ have opened up trading hubs where offers to buy and sell are made round the clock.
The openness and transparency of these services make for such ease of business, where prices, terms and conditions, logistics, supply of samples, technical specification control and red tape can all be negotiated seamlessly.
So if you are an industrial chemicals trader, and if it just takes a few clicks to place an offer to buy or sell on an e-market such as spotchemi.eu for free, then why haven’t you tried it yet?
Dear supporters, critics and observers, every once in a while, it is good to take a look and evaluate the direction you are heading, which is what we, your Spotchemi team, are currently doing.
When the company was founded, which is not so long ago, it was founded on a vision combining information technology with traditional forms of trading.
With this in mind, our portal is trying to open up the possibilities of trading chemical products. From the heights of sophisticated professional groups to the wider public, to top purchasing managers of multinationals to a single employee start up company; anyone, in fact who has access to the internet.
Like every material in every industry, chemical raw materials have their different specifications, defined by how materials are processed and graded, or ranked by a range of different risks and limitations. All of which complicates the procurement of even the simplest of products.
If our portal attempted to contain every product with every specification, it would soon become so complex that no one would be able to use it.
For these reasons, our philosophy became to use the portal to match potential business partners by products that they had requested to buy or sell. Thus our catalogue contains only products that are asked for, but at the same time, any product that you ask for. This enables buyers and sellers to outline their specifications to the smallest detail, helping users to smoothly arrive at a binding order.
To simplify the process further still, we do not act as a middle man, but only as a matchmaker, so we do not charge a percentage fee for transactions.
Instead, we offer you credit to use on the portal, and apply a fee for restoring used credit, with the amount of credit available being established by renowned independent ratings agencies. This way, you can be sure that the company that you are trading with has passed through the same strict controls of creditworthiness and good business history that you have.
The fee also pays for the costs of matching any one of 138,000 companies from our database, with you and the product of your choice.
This is a challenge, given the needs of a dynamically growing market, but one that must be faced if we are to avoid repeating age-old practices of commerce in a modern world. By succumbing to the pressures of the information technology, we can all benefit from better trading conditions. To stay with out-dated methods means losing competitive edge, and losing business.
It is for this reason that we know you will take a closer look at what our service offers, and for this reason that we can say, ‘We look forward to helping you.’
Your Spotchemi team.
How do I know what price to offer goods or what price to demand for goods?
When choosing your initial Offer, we recommend putting a price slightly lower than you normally trade in, with shorter maturities, as this offer can gradually be increased. Potential partners can also take advantage of this system, by counter-offering prices and conditions that are more favourable to them. Offers are exchanged until a price and terms of trade are agreed.
If you make a Demand to buy goods, and then change your mind, you can cancel the deal within the cancellation period.
I do not want my competitors to know how much I am offering for goods. Can I Offer/Demand anonymously?
Yes. Use the “Hide the name of my company” option.
I do not want to buy goods “blindly”. Can I see a sample first?
Yes, when entering your Demand select “Request sample”.
I do not have time every day to check what is newly on offer. What can I do?
You can select a subgroup of products in the “My Portfolio” tab to make searching for new potential deals easier. You can also choose to have emails sent to you when new Offers and Demands are made for your favourite products.
How can I Offer or Demand goods which are not in the catalogue?
You can select “Apply for new product introduction.” to have it added to the catalogue. You can find this button at the foot of the search results page. You will be notified by email when the new product has been added. In the case of a more complex requirement, please contact the Call Centre.
What can I do if I want the goods that have been offered, but I do not agree with the price, delivery terms or other conditions?
You can request that the price or conditions be changed by making a counter-offer via the ‘Create Counter Offer’ button.
How will people hear about my Offer or Demand? How many people will hear about it?
The number of firms that will hear about your Offer or Demand depends on the type of goods, but at least several hundred companies will be notified by email. Many more will see your Offer or Demand on our portal. You can see exactly how many firms were contacted in a review of your Offer or Demand which is automatically generated when making the bid.
How do I know if anyone is interested in my goods?
You will be sent an email every time someone reacts to your Offer or Demand.
Nobody responded to my Offer / Demand. What did I do wrong?
Maybe the price or conditions were not appropriate. Try changing the parameters or just repeat your Offer or Demand and simply wait for a trade partner to respond.
Can I use the portal to enter into a one-time deal without registration?
No. We pride ourselves on having clients that have been rated as creditworthy by independent assessors and have established chemical trading histories. Therefore only those who registered can use the portal.
What guarantee do I have that I will receive the goods I ordered?
By using a system of registered users you can be confident that all trades made will be completed to the satisfaction of all parties. In the unlikely event of a disagreement, then the Spotchemi team will attempt to ensure that business is transacted according to contract. The execution and closing of the trade will however rest on standard business rules between the inquirer and the bidder. Both sides must ultimately resolve any discrepancies according to conventional processes. The purpose of this portal is to connect potential partners.
Some Offers or Demands from overseas companies are interesting, but we don’t have any experience in transporting goods over such a large distance. What can we do?
Firstly you can use change the conditions of the trade to allow for long distance transportation and use your newly found partner’s experience in importing/exporting to their country.
You can also use the logistics service offered by our sister company AG Chem Group Ltd, which you can find on the ‘logistics’ tab. If you have any further questions, please contact the Spotchemi call centre.
Why am I charged for increasing the value of the goods I am offering?
Spotchemi does not charge any commission for ongoing or closed transactions however some fees are necessary to keep the portal operating, verifying users, updating the catalogue, maintaining the call centre etc.
Where can I make a claim if I am not satisfied with the goods or service provided?
Specific terms of trade are agreed upon by both Parties at the conclusion of the deal. If you if believe the goods or services provided are sub-standard then you must contact the supplier of those goods or services. The Spotchemi call centre can assist you with this communication.
What are my rights and responsibilities as a portal user?
Registration to the Spotchemi portal is voluntary and allows registrants to trade in chemical products online, 24 hours a day with any device that is connected to the Internet, anywhere in the world. All these firms must abide by the standard terms and rules laid out at registration. Spotchemi reserves the rights to suspend or cancel the registration at any time, preventing further use of the portal.
Your Spotchemi team