PolyOne forming health-care-focused group

Mike Verespej

Published: February 17, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Medical, Materials, Suppliers, NPE 2012

AVON LAKE, OHIO (Feb. 17, 9:40 a.m. ET) — Compounder PolyOne Corp. is creating a new organization within its Global Specialty Engineered Materials business that it believes will help double the company’s revenues from health care in North America by 2015.

“Our North American health-care business grew by double digits last year and the year before,” said Craig Nikrant, president of Global Specialty Engineered Materials, in a telephone interview. “Health care is an industry that we as a company have been dedicated to and put a focus on.”

“But we believe that we can better leverage all our capabilities to serve that market by putting together a focused team to develop projects and call on the more 400 companies” that do business with PolyOne in health care, Nikrant said. “I want to double that health-care revenue by 2015 and grow the health-care business profitability.”

Long-range, he said the specialty materials business plans to roll out similar teams worldwide.

Nikrant will direct the team, which will be headed by Matt Borowiec, commercial director of Engineering Materials North America.

Boro­wiec will lead a team of business-development managers — all of them engineers — that will work directly with original equipment manufacturers.

“The business-development managers will work with OEMs and collaborate with all of our businesses to identify solutions to their needs,” said Nikrant.

Borowiec said the team will initially focus on three key market segments: catheters and tubing, medical devices and pharmaceutical markets.

“What this team will be able to do is direct and alert our technical team to products of di­rect appeal to health-care customers,” added Nikrant.

“We are more than doubling down the resources devoted to health care with this team, but we won’t be diluting the resources and efforts” in other market segments.

Nikrant said the idea for the dedicated health-care team grew out of the success of a similar group in PolyOne Distribution that increased sales “dramatically.”

He also said the success of two singularly focused companies PolyOne has purchased in the last four years — GLS Thermoplastics Elastomers and NEU Inc. — was another factor.

“When you look at the success of NEU and GLS, they each focus on one thing: GLS on thermoplastic elastomers, and NEU on thermoplastic urethane compounds for catheters, tubes and other medical applications,” Nikrant said. “They are focused, not distracted.”

He called the new group’s formation “a continuing part of the evolution of this company into a specialty polymers” firm from a previous focus on volume sales.

“For the past three years, we have had an intensive focus on cross-selling and identifying opportunities for all parts of the company,” said Nikrant. “We track it and measure it. So this is not a foreign idea. We are simply adding another layer of specialty on top of it. If we hadn’t had that approach before, we’d have a difficult time pulling this together.”

He added that the new team also will give PolyOne a boost with its suppliers who serve the health-care market.

In October, for example, ExxonMobil Chemical Co., chose PolyOne to be its primary marketing company for thermoplastic vulcanizate medical products made from ExxonMobil Chemical’s Santoprene TPV.

Under the global agreement, GLS will use Santoprene TPV medical grades to make custom compounded formulations marketed under the GLS brand.

“When our suppliers see these efforts focused on health care, we get calls and they come to us with the first looks at their technologies for health care because they know we have the infrastructure and presence to help them get into the market,” Nikrant said.


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PolyOne forming health-care-focused group

Mike Verespej

Published: February 17, 2012 6:00 am ET

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