PolyOne Corp. will start a supplier score-card program with 30 of its strategic raw material suppliers in the fourth quarter.
The program is expected to improve PolyOne's ability to manage supplier performance, as well as to identify opportunities in innovation, technology and growth, said corporate supply-chain director Steven Feliccia at the firm's 2010 Supplier Symposium, held Sept. 1 in Westlake.
PolyOne which ranks as North America's largest compounder and one of that region's largest resin distributors will expand the score-card program to include all strategic suppliers in the first half of 2011, and will add additional metrics to the program in the second half of the year.
Suppliers now will be expected to exceed 95 percent on-time delivery, added Tom Kedrowski, PolyOne's senior vice president of supply chain, operations and process improvement.
We've moved a substantial amount of business away from companies that can't meet our needs in the supply chain, he said.
At the event, Craig Nikrant president and senior vice president of the firm's global specialty and engineered materials business outlined some of that unit's recent highlights.
Specialty businesses accounted for 45 percent of PolyOne's operating income in the first half of 2010, after accounting for only 2 percent of that total in 2005. Nikrant said the firm wants that percentage to exceed 50 percent by 2012.
The specialty unit's health-care sales are up 88 percent through the second quarter of 2010. The unit also has commercialized new thermoplastic elastomer applications in wire and cable and health care.
A two-year technical challenge for the unit was met by developing an electrically conductive material for use in a high-speed connector. That material now is one of the unit's highest gross-margin products, Nikrant said.
Cecil Chappelow, vice president and chief innovation officer, updated PolyOne's efforts in new technologies. The Avon Lake, Ohio-based firm is looking to use technology to penetrate several markets, including health care, electronics, specialty automotive and biomaterials.
Sustainability is a focus, but we're taking a very pragmatic view of it, Chappelow said. We want it to help us drive profitable growth.
And it helps that we're agnostic when it comes to material choice. We're not basic in raw materials, so there's no bias. We want to bring a solution that meets our customers' needs.
PolyOne's research and development efforts now have a $40 million annual budget and 350 employees worldwide. The unit typically spends no more than two weeks to evaluate a new product or new idea before deciding whether to pursue it, Chappelow said.
Future research efforts will focus on liquid color and ultrahigh-molecular-weight materials, among other areas.
In the first half of 2010, PolyOne posted sales of just over $1.3 billion, up almost 38 percent from the same period in 2009. The firm also showed a profit of $64 million after losing almost $20 million in the year-ago period.