For Martin Stoemmer, the old saying “the only constant is change” certainly rings true in the context of IMCD ANZ, the speciality chemical distribution company where he has held the position of Managing Director since April 2021.
“As an organisation, we are constantly evolving,” he tells The CEO Magazine, highlighting new suppliers, segments and products as examples of the company’s continuous advancement. “As such, we continuously have to adapt and develop our capabilities. We will focus on digital tools and enhancing technology while staying in close personal contact with our customers and suppliers.”
Having spent three decades, his entire professional life, in speciality chemicals, Martin certainly knows a thing or two about the field. His first step on the career ladder was as a lab technician and he has since worked in customer-facing positions, sales, marketing and business development in Germany, the US, Singapore and now Australia. Along the way he has obtained a degree in business administration as well as a Master of Business Administration in International Business.
His most recent positions, Global Director of Distribution Management at German chemical giant Wacker Chemie and Managing Director at silicones distributor DRAWIN, have rounded out his impressive vault of experience that he is now tapping into to take IMCD ANZ to the next level.
And he sees the opportunities that lie before it as plentiful. “Speciality chemical distribution has many growth drivers,” he shares. “IMCD ANZ is in a prime position to materialise those to further grow and expand our market position.”
“Speciality chemical distribution has many growth drivers. IMCD ANZ is in a prime position to materialise those to further grow and expand our market position.”
Not only are the company’s suppliers looking to simplify sales, marketing and supply channels, but its customers are also facing additional sourcing and logistical challenges. “The greater complexity in the breadth of speciality chemical products drives outsourcing to speciality chemical distributors,” he explains. “That’s where the state-of-the-art services of IMCD match those requirements perfectly.”
Martin expects IMCD to capitalise on these market trends through its strong cultural values. “Our brand is rooted in our commitment to authenticity – being a trusted partner to our suppliers and customers, and an inspiring, inclusive and passionate employer to our people,” he stresses. “We are a company that people want to partner with or work for.
“We are focused on creating a world of opportunity, to go beyond the possible for our customers, suppliers and the lives we touch through the partnerships we make and the products we help evolve.”
In 2021, IMCD undertook a major brand refresh, with one of its major objectives to give each of its business groups a “more impactful positioning and visual identity”, according to Martin. “Easily recognisable, the new IMCD business group colour palettes are bold and purposeful, representing the energy and dynamism of our company,” he adds.
This all took place against the backdrop of the pandemic, which saw the company do what it needed to do to adapt. But for Martin, taking on the Managing Director role at such a time certainly came with its challenges. “Starting a new job, at a new company, in a new country, with COVID-19 restrictions and lockdown after lockdown impacted the first six months a lot – professionally as well personally,” he admits.
“But we all made it work. I have a great team and family to support me, and we have the right tools and technology available to do most things virtually equally well.”
More hurdles lie ahead though, he concedes, in terms of both supply and logistics. “The cost of shipping skyrocketed, raw material prices spiked, and the availability and reliability of shipping routes have changed greatly,” he reveals. “We need to manage those challenges together with our partners and customers to minimise the impact of supply disruptions.”
“With our technical excellence and world-class suppliers, we provide state-of-the-art sustainable solutions to our customers.”
Martin is confident of a bright future for IMCD, thanks to its forward-looking mentality. “We never stop asking ‘What’s next?’” he says. “With our technical excellence and world-class suppliers, we provide innovative sustainable solutions to our customers.
“We act as a springboard, offering market insights, formulation expertise and high-quality ingredients. We combine the best of both worlds: a global organisation with a strong local footprint.”
With this in mind, Martin has found his stride and is relishing the breadth of his position. “Every day brings something new, something different. I am still learning something new every day,” he reflects. “There are infinite opportunities and applications for our products. Something new comes up every day.”