[ID] => 9858
[post_author] => 288
[post_date] => 2018-07-19 09:30:55
[post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-19 08:30:55
[post_content] => Famous for jazz, Mardi Gras and voodoo, New Orleans this coming 14 to 17 August will play host to the National Association of Chemical Distributors’ (NACD) annual ChemEdge event. This year's instalment, to be held at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, will once again see a specialised trade exhibition running in tandem with numerous conference sessions and workshops, the main themes of which, says Matt Glaser, NACD's vice-president, membership and education, will be "safety, transportation, security and regulations".
"[With] Responsible Distribution being the linchpin to the success of our industry, safety always seems to be a staple theme at ChemEdge," he continues. "This year, members really wanted us to focus on transportation challenges and security as areas they wanted covered at ChemEdge. And, of course, being briefed on upcoming regulations and how they can best prepare to meet new requirements is always on the agenda."
While there are many events staged across the globe by various trade bodies, ChemEdge remains somewhat unique. "There is no other conference that covers the perfect balance of regulatory updates and strategies together with the sharing of best practices than ChemEdge," Glaser states. "Also, there are great networking opportunities for attendees, both in our vendor expo as well as throughout the conference. Attendees go back to their companies having gained valuable skills and knowledge that in turn have a positive impact to their company's processes and bottom line."
UNITED WE STAND
As per usual, this year's ChemEdge is open to both NACD members and non-members alike. But why should a company that is not yet one of the roughly 450 firms currently on the Association's roll call of members and affiliates consider joining? For NACD president Eric Byer, the answer is quite clear. "There are a number of benefits that attract companies to join NACD," he says. "First, the networking with other industry peers, partners and customers is always one of the main reasons companies join NACD."
"Second, our events [which encompass various meetings, webinars and training sessions as well as ChemEdge] provide high-level educational information that can be applied by companies back on the job when they return home," he continues. "Third, our advocacy efforts on both the regulatory and legislative front assist in addressing issues confronting our business. Finally, our programmes, including our partnership with [insurance firm] AIG, data collection, online training via NACD U, Emerging Leaders programme and the host of other offerings are all attractions for proactive member companies."
Together, NACD's member companies account for more than 85 per cent of US chemical distribution capacity and some 90 per cent of the industry's gross annual revenues. With around $31.2bn of US chemical industry sales coming through chemical distributors, NACD members provide a very important link in the country's chemical supply chain, serving a broad raft of customers operating within the adhesives and sealants, agricultural, automotive, personal care, electronics, food and beverage, paints and coatings, pharmaceuticals, plastics, paper, soaps and detergents and textiles sectors among many others.
In terms of how the US chemical distribution industry has been performing of late, Byer notes that "all indications point to a stronger year in 2017" compared to 2016. "The positive factors are a strong economy, tax reform and fewer unnecessary regulations being cast at the industry," he says. However, there are still plenty of obstacles facing the sector, with the Association keen to offer its members and affiliates a helping hand wherever possible.
"Health care remains an enormous burden on our member companies, with some members still seeing 30-40 per cent [cost] increases," he states. "The Association recently conducted a comprehensive review of the association health plan rule recently offered by the Department of Labor, but unfortunately that rule did not do much to address allowing trade groups to provide programmes with national health care coverage. NACD is now looking at alternatives to help address the continuing escalating costs in health care."
As is the case elsewhere in the world, US chemical distributors also need to navigate an ever-changing maze of rules and regulations, with possible changes concerning the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) programme being of particular concern at present. "With CFATS expiring in January 2019, it is imperative that Congress reauthorise the programme before the chamber adjourns later this year," Byer says. "Our members have made a considerable investment in security as a result of CFATS and would like Congress to reauthorise the programme to ensure that these investments remain intact for the foreseeable future. Overall, the Department of Homeland Security has administered the programme well, working with industry when concerns arise and, generally speaking, addressing those matters favourably."
But CFATS is certainly not the only blip on NACD's regulatory radar. "The China tariffs, including the ones issued on July 11, are becoming an enormous concern to NACD's member companies as a number import product from China," Byer explains. "The Association has been active in providing means by which members can comment on the impact these tariffs will have on their individual companies as well as appear at public hearings stressing the detrimental impact to the overall chemical distribution industry. The fact is, a trade war would place an enormous economic burden on American businesses across the board, including the chemical industry."
[post_title] => NACD: The leading Edge
[post_status] => publish
[comment_status] => open
[ping_status] => open
[post_name] => nacd-the-leading-edge
[post_modified] => 2018-07-30 16:30:41
[post_modified_gmt] => 2018-07-30 15:30:41
[post_parent] => 0
[guid] => https://www.hcblive.com/?p=9858
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