Specialists in Specialties
DRAWIN, the Group's own sales subsidiary for silicone products, has now been repositioned after 25 years in business. It will focus on its specialist distributor function for the Engineering Silicones (S-E) business unit and on custom packaging.
Whenever Horst Höhl, managing director of DRAWIN, talks to colleagues from the parent company, he is occasionally confronted with three outdated misconceptions that he quietly corrects. The first is that DRAWIN only operates in Germany. The second is that it only handles small containers. The third is that it more or less sells just mold-making products.
Actually, the sales company ships silicone products to more than 100 countries around the world, with Germany now accounting for less than half of DRAWIN sales. Although it tends to stock smaller container sizes of 25 to 30 liters, its warehouse does hold much larger containers for specialist distributor activities. On request, DRAWIN will additionally custom fill containers of various sizes, such as small tubes and cartridges with silicone rubber, and of various types, such as side-seal pouches and foil packs, which are not available in that form at Wacker Chemie AG. And in terms of the focus on mold-making products: these elastomers are used for prototyping, industrial mass production and reproducing handicrafts, actually do make up a sizable portion of sales. However, DRAWIN sells a wide range of silicone products, including silicone fluid emulsions for the cosmetics sector and specialty rubbers for the electrical/electronics, automotive and machine-making sectors.
A warehouse employee at DRAWIN readies various small containers for an order.
“Extreme flexibility is one factor in our success,” stresses Höhl. “Plus the fact that we regularly realigned ourselves with market needs over the years.” Even after the record year in 2011, when it again posted double-digit sales growth, the company did not rest on its laurels, but rather realigned itself again. In the future, DRAWIN will focus even more on specialist distributors, especially for the Engineering Silicones business unit and custom packaging for all silicones. Within the German chemical industry, and perhaps beyond, this internal specialist distributor function is a unique, but viable construct.
DRAWIN has always been an integral part of the logistics and distribution concepts of WACKER SILICONES. In the late 1990s, when the distribution strategies were reconceived and implemented, it was clear that DRAWIN played a key role with regard to certain container sizes. In particular, so-called DRAWIN items were defined that can only be procured through DRAWIN. “By defining the DRAWIN items and having them completely transferred to DRAWIN, a substantial reduction in complexity was especially achieved for WACKER SILICONES,” explains Dr. Christian Hartel, head of WACKER SILICONES. The managing director describes the division of duties between it and the parent company in a nutshell: “WACKER executes the volume business in silicone rubber, while we look after the very complicated low-volume business segment.”