Saudi Basic Industries Corp. still is working to improve its delivery schedules for its plastic resins — but some North American processors haven't seen results.
In 2015, Sabic began working with customers, suppliers and business partners to prepare for a new global enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. The new system is designed to further automate and simplify Sabic's business processes. Full implementation of the new system began in October.
In a Jan. 10 email to Plastics News, Sabic spokesperson Susan LeBourdais said that the firm “is making further progress” in implementing the ERP system.
“At this time, we are not back to pre-implementation fulfillment levels, but are making improvements toward this goal,” she added. “We are in close communications with our customers regarding our progress.”
Market sources told PN they were seeing delays for shipments of polycarbonate, PC/ABS, polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) and related compounds made by Sabic.
“We're still having lots of issues with Sabic, and it's not getting much better,” said Charles Sholtis, CEO of injection molder Plastic Molding Technology Inc. in El Paso, Texas. “We have a wide range of resins that we can't readily bring in or get on time.
“It's still very disruptive to our production planning process and to our customer orders.”
Some processors told PN the delivery situation with Sabic was showing some improvement, but others are looking to find replacement materials. Outside of Sabic, Covestro is the only materials firm that produces PC resin in North America. Automotive suppliers especially could be affected, since only Sabic materials are approved for some applications.
The ERP system covers materials made by the former GE Plastics business, which Sabic acquired in 2007. In addition to PC, the new system affects deliveries of ABS, Ultem-brand polyetherimide, Noryl-brand PPO/PPE and other specialty resins and alloys.
In July, Sabic told customers that the prior ERP system would be down for a two-week period in late September and early October. The new system was expected to begin operating on Oct. 3, but at reduced rates, according to a customer letter.
Customers were asked to place orders before Aug. 5 for materials that needed to be delivered between Aug. 15 and Oct. 31.
Sabic is based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with North American headquarters in Houston.