In the heart of chemistry
Saltigo is an experienced and reliable service provider working in the field of custom synthesis and has decades of experience. For example, the company produces active ingredients for the pharmaceutical and crop production industries (e.g. fungicides, herbicides, insecticides) and particularly chemicals for other innovative markets (e.g. primary products for cosmetics, polymer and also for the electronics industry).
Saltigo supports its clients throughout the whole product lifecycle – in compliance with national and international regulations and in accordance with the principles of sustainable development.
Dr. Derr, since 1st April 2016 you have been the Managing Director of Saltigo. What are your first impressions?
Saltigo is unlike any other business unit at LANXESS. While the other business units sell a product to a variety of customers, at Saltigo there is often a one-to-one relationship, meaning that it is a product exclusively designated for a customer. Most business is only temporary. Saltigo perfectly understands how to manage its relationship with exclusive customers and is a specialist in the industry for complex molecules. In addition, we offer customers “continuous improvement” in both our product and production processes. I am particularly impressed by the people at Saltigo: They are competent, they love their products and celebrate the partnership they have with customers. Its production facilities are among the best that I have seen in my career, with everything tidy and a role model for occupational safety. I am very satisfied.
Saltigo’s business model is very complex. What challenges do you see?
Indeed. We produce several hundred products, many of them in multi-step syntheses, enabling the products to “jump” straight from business to business. With this wide range of products and highly complex syntheses it requires greatest care to keep track of everything, in order to fill plants and prevent idle time. The principle “Win:Win in a new partnership” also applies to me. This means that our customers must be able to rely on our service, but equally, that Saltigo must be able to have “fun”. The task for coming years will therefore be to identify the large number of products with sufficient margins and that are a good fit for our facilities.
Previously you were Manager of the Group Function Commercial & Supply Chain Excellence (CSE). Before that you were Head of the Business Unit Material Protection Products. Can these responsibilities be compared with each other? Where do you see any differences?
The Group Function CSE and a business unit are almost polar opposites in the LANXESS Group. Within a business unit people are focused on sales, as well as profit and safety in the workplace, whereas at CSE it is different; the CSE focus is mainly on the processes and on sales channels and countries that straddle many different BUs. I have successfully adapted to this change in perspective and I have learned a lot from other business units, and in particular about distribution in other countries. LANXESS could be even better if we worked together, to overcome the “compartmentalized BU philosophy”. That is why I am committed to Saltigo.
What goals have you set yourself?
The investment project, which is currently the largest at LANXESS, will take place at Saltigo. Saltigo is investing 60 million euros in new facilities and storage capacities in Leverkusen. Since the idea for this project first came about on the evening of the legendary 7:1 victory for the German national football team playing against Brazil, we have called the project “Sao Paulo”. My primary goal is for the “Sao Paulo” project to run smoothly. That doesn’t just mean that the systems be designed, installed and operational by the end of 2017. There is more to do. We need to generate business from our main customers for the new production lines. If we succeed and we can keep the rest of the business, then we will be able to continue with Saltigo’s successful growth in the future.
In conclusion: A fairy godmother grants you three wishes. What would they be?
That’s easy to answer:
– Success paired with a bit of luck
– Good health – for everyone at Saltigo
– Fun at work
Like many of my BU Manager colleagues, I spend most of my time at work. It would be cruel if I couldn’t find my work any fun. That is why I find it so important to build good relationships with my colleagues. The health and safety of everyone at Saltigo is extremely important to me. During my whole time working as BU Manager at MPP and Keltan there was not a single incident that resulted in injury and days of absence. I hope that this can be kept up at Saltigo. If we stay lucky and most of our projects are successful, then I will be able to look back in the future and remember a great time at Saltigo.