PolyOne Corp. is realigning its resin distribution business by focusing on four regional service centers.
The moves will eliminate 20 jobs and will be effective by April.
The Cleveland-based firm also plans to add a Detroit-area warehouse in 2001, expand its Dallas-area warehouse, and possibly build in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic United States and in Canada. PolyOne ranks third in North American resin distribution in addition to being the region's largest compounder.
The four service centers, which also will handle purchasing, will be in Massillon, Ohio; Ayer, Mass.; Lemont, Ill.; and Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
"Previously we had central purchasing in Lemont and customer service in nine locations," Michael Rademacher, PolyOne Distribution group vice president, said by telephone Jan. 18. "Purchasing and customer service interact a lot during the day, but we were trying to do it all with voice mail and e-mail. There were difficulties in communication — we had too many disconnects."
The new warehouses are needed because PolyOne Distribution is "underserving key markets where we don't operate our own warehouses," added Rademacher, who joined PolyOne predecessor M.A. Hanna Co. last year after 16 years with Ashland Chemical Co. and Ashland's General Polymers resin distribution unit.
PolyOne also has decided to maintain the distribution agreement that Geon Co. had with General Polymers. Although PolyOne Distribution competes with GP in many markets, Rademacher said his firm decided it would be more beneficial to allow customers that were satisfied with GP's service to stay with GP if they wished.
In PolyOne's first four months of operation, only "a handful" of PVC accounts has switched from GP. PolyOne Distribution instead is aiming the Geon products at new accounts, Rademacher said.