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Chemical Distribution, Then and Now

Chemical distribution is always evolving. For more than 50 years, our organization has supported most of the companies that considered themselves predominately chemical distributors. However, today, our industry and our members are much more diversified. Our members no longer think of themselves solely as chemical distributors. The Alliance for Chemical Distribution (ACD) is made up of proprietary blending specialists, tollers, marketers, warehousers, specialty manufacturers, and more. On average, members in our industry select more than three different business functions to describe their operations.

As our members diversify and the chemical distribution supply chain evolves, it is imperative that we reflect that diversification and fully support all of the experts who play a role in ensuring the high-quality chemical products essential to our daily lives get where they need to be, when they need to be there. Our new name reflects our past and present successes and lays the groundwork for our future growth.

One of the ways we are ensuring a future of success is by investing in the people who will lead the future of the industry. We are doing this by helping our members’ employees develop the relationships and skillset needed to navigate current and developing industry challenges. ACD’s Emerging Leaders program is an essential component to securing the future of the chemical distribution industry.

Towner Magill, Commercial Director of Key Accounts for Brenntag, is a recent graduate of the Emerging Leaders program and underscored the value of his experience in the program.

“I wanted to add to my leadership skillset to be more useful to Brenntag for both internal and external operations. The program exposed me to people in various roles and companies, allowing me to learn about different career paths and build relationships for the future. While some of my fellow Emerging Leaders work for Brenntag’s competitors, we were able to learn from each other as we navigate similar struggles in the industry.”

Magill grew up with a father in the chemical distribution industry and reflected on his father’s experience by examining how the industry’s needs have changed over the last few decades.

“We are now beginning to return to some sense of normalcy after years of supply chain disruptions and the COVID-19 pandemic. However, small disruptions in our supply have larger impacts on the supply chain than they used to, and companies need to be nimbler and more responsive than ever before. Cross-functionality is an important skillset. Thanks to the Emerging Leaders program, I have become more versatile and well-rounded, which is a benefit to my employer and the broader chemical distribution industry.”

ACD’s Emerging Leaders curriculum offers a combination of industry-specific knowledge sessions and networking opportunities to help build long-lasting connections. Most of our participants have 5-7 years of experience in distribution, with some slights above or below. The program is tailored for individuals currently in leadership positions or those aspiring to lead and influence others in their work. As this program continues to grow, ACD will continue to focus on diversity in our applicants from job function, years of experience, and type of company to other DEI&A areas.

ACD will continue to champion our members and their empowered performance and unrivaled expertise. Our new name reflects the success we’ve had in the past and present while setting us up for even greater success in the years to come.

Learn more about the Emerging Leaders program HERE.

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