Ramifications of Supply Chain Changes

Ramifications of Supply Chain Changes

Jeff Cafmeyer
Battelle Memorial Institute

Supply chain changes, whether a simple material sourcing or product discontinuation, have the potential for repercussions which extend beyond switching suppliers or selecting another material option from a list. The announcement by INEOS in 2014 to close down its Barex film production has resulted in a pertinent case study of what occurs and how the market responds when a packaging material with a long service history and valued attributes becomes no longer available. As the industry wrestles with the obvious need to identify effective alternatives, suppliers and converters have offered up various solutions based on the perceived barrier and product protection needs of customers. However it is incumbent on the customers to understand what properties and characteristics are truly required in their particular application and process in order to make sound decisions and not end up back in the same position during the next iteration of this story. When changes occur, identifying the performance impact on product, process and environmental interactions with the barrier film is a critical risk mitigation activity and this presentation intends to examine the implications for the Barex situation.