Chemsol Australia’s successful combination of creative chemistry and smart business has seen it develop into one of Perth’s leading chemical manufacturers. Since 1989, Chemsol has operated in Bibra Lake, developing, making and distributing products throughout Australia and internationally. Businesses can purchase these chemical products as wholesalers, large and small, or as small business operators where the products are used in the course of their business eg. industrial and mechanical workshops.
Speaking in detail with Nathan Hawkesford, Managing Director, we were able to get a nicely rounded view of the company’s origins and the magic ingredients that make up its steady, lucrative endurance in the sphere of wholesale chemicals.
Histories and Families
Nathan’s support at the top comes from Director (and father) John Hawkesford who oversees areas that include marketing and relations with sales reps. Nathan himself leads the chain of production, quality and delivery – and that’s on top of obviously being at the helm of steering the company’s strategies. Suffice it to say, he has a full and complex understanding of the company.
“Our family took over in 2005,” explains Nathan “Before, the business was owned and run by an industrial chemist.” The Hawkesford’s spotted the distinct business potential in the chemist’s existing formulations, and took over. The direction of the company, under its new owners, saw it successfully develop varying markets through newly-adapted formulations and strong customer ties.
To date, Chemsol supplies to local markets, as well as across the east coast. Meanwhile, through its wholesalers, its products reach the far corners of Asia, Africa and many other parts of the world.
Products and propensities
Though the company has its blanket products, it can service customers more bespokely by creating special order products. There are often businesses looking for deviations from the blanket norm, chemical formulations with unique edges for those exciting USPs. In cases like these, Chemsol’s consulting chemist develops a fresh formulation for that marketplace. Nathan states:
“As long as volumes are there and there is regular buying, that product will only be sold to that particular customer, though we do still retain the intellectual property.”
“We also toll blend formulations for customers whereby they own the formulations and all formulations are kept confidential. This can be assured also by the signing of a Confidentiality Agreement”.
Chemsol does provide quite the array of offerings and services, but the ones it particularly seeks to highlight as an emergent field, are its automotive and fuel power products. Nathan, discussing one of these products explains:
“Our fuel treatment product absorbs water out of diesel and petrol fuel. This will stabilise and revitalise stale fuel,” Alas, such a product can indeed prove a boon considering some of the issues stale fuel can create – algae growth, blocked fuel filters and sulphuric acid build-up to name but a few.
“Our product emulsifies the water in the fuel and harmlessly burns it off, also eliminating the prospect of having to drain the tanks and clean them out manually.”
“At the end of it all, this can save the customer from some expensive experiences.”
The company’s annual revenue comes from an interestingly wide variety of products, industries and its own local business consumers. Chemsol crafts products for automotive, industrial, mining, domestic and agricultural use. While it holds ownership of the formulas, some wholesalers decant the product into their own labelled containers (or Chemsol itself does this for them). “We sell in bulk, we own the formulation, so only we can make changes,” confirms Nathan.
“Moving forward in today’s manufacturing industry, I think diversification is the key,” Nathan opines. “Because if you don’t mix it up, all industries have their ups and downs, so anything could happen. You can see that through the mining sector, many companies who were solely manufacturing for that sector, have been hit hard, if they’re still in business.”
Chemsol always encourages the green option when formulating products for clients, although some go the way of the cheapest option, which is often not the green one. Nevertheless, there’s always been a push towards the biodegradable products, which in itself, is a hundred more steps in the green direction compared to companies who do not offer this option.
“It’s a conscious thing for the business,” explains Nathan “We’re we’re always trying to do the right thing.”
Hence, in the same breath, the company’s factory tries to recycle as much as it can. It uses recycled drums for packaging; it recycles the wash water when cleaning out tanks, and recycles any excess product back into batches to try to avoid any waste. Lots of recycling basically.
Chemsol and its future
Chemsol is currently working to 60% of its capacity so there is much room for growth and much planned for this growth. In terms of marketing, it will continue down its path of online and word of mouth, while maintaining a family-friendly work atmosphere. It is through identifying what’s important and needed in the country and its industries, that Chemsol will maintain its market.
“Much of the growth we’ll likely be seeing is in the agricultural market, and especially in horticulture,” says Nathan
Moving forward, the company seeks to not only maintain its existing businesses, but also looks keenly at developing sales of other products. Chemsol has just recently started marketing PowerUp batteries for the automotive industry. Moreover, it wants to take strong strides into the certified organics market where Nathan notes the growing interest.
With all the advantages that come with intensive quality control and fast turnaround times, Nathan attributes much of the business successes to of course, the continued satisfaction of customers. Its success and longevity in Australia where the manufacturing industry feels uncertain, is most noteworthy; the intelligent development of the Chemsol strategy and operations is undoubtedly at the helm of it all.
AT A GLANCE
WHO: Chemsol Australia Pty Ltd
WHAT: A developer and manufacturer of specialty chemical products for automotive, industrial, domestic and agricultural use
WHERE: 64 Cocos Dr, Bibra Lake WA 6163, Australia