The B2B market that SIBUR operates in relies on high technology and close interaction with producers and customers. Customer needs and feedback always matter to SIBUR, encouraging the Company to gauge customer satisfaction annually.
The number of survey participants is growing every year, from 870 in 2017 to 946 in 2018 and then to as many as 992 in 2019.
In September to November 2019, SIBUR held its regular poll as part of the 5th wave of the survey. Just like in previous years, the assessed aspects included such criteria as loyalty index, NPS, overall satisfaction, and satisfaction with the offering, team, technical support, logistics services, contractual support, and commercial offers.
We are especially happy to see the number of survey participants grow every year, fr om 870 in 2017 to 946 in 2018 and then to as many as 992 in 2019. For us, this is a testament of the trust that customers have in SIBUR, and of successful evolution of our partnership. Also, we see consistently strong levels of non-anonymous customers: around 50% both in 2019 and 2018.
Data we received is analysed internally at dedicated working sessions at SIBUR. This results in a plan of strategic initiatives to improve internal processes and focus on the customer. Out of 291 initiatives developed as part of the plan, a total of 275 were implemented, including 59 projects brought live in 2019.
The number of non-anonymous customers in the survey remains high.
Data we received is analysed internally at dedicated working sessions at SIBUR.
One of the initiatives was to provide product training to customers of the Basic Polymer Division. Feedback from customers showed that a lot of them want to know more about trends in the packaging market. In response to that, we used the SIBUR Business Practices training platform to hold several webinars: Requirements to Rigid Plastic Consumer Packaging, Use of Functional Additives to Manage Polymer Properties, and Mechanical and Chemical Recycling of Polyolefins. We also developed a plan of webinars for 2020, to provide our partners with insights into major market trends and best ideas before putting them to good use, among other things, in cooperation with the SIBUR PolyLab research centre to design new joint solutions.
“Following participation in our webinars, Huhtamaki Russia, a packaging producer, and Unilever, which makes and uses packaging in its operations, are already working on a new bottle for products. Thinner and more environmentally friendly, the bottle’s physical and mechanical properties will not be compromised,” says Alexey Ushakov, Chief Expert of the Basic Polymer Division. “Professionals at Huhtamaki can provide the right shape, but it is a polymer with specific properties that is needed. In cooperation with the customer, our experts choose the grade that fits the proposed design and identify ways to modify an existing grade to arrive at the right properties. Tactile effect is one of them, helping to make sure that the packaging feels nice and does not slide around. This is a joint effort to improve the quality of packaging and make it more appealing to consumers. The customer, the producer of the packaging, and the company that supplies feedstock for the packaging all team up here.”
SIBUR PolyLab research centre develops new solutions jointly with customers.
Out of 291 initiatives developed as part of the plan, a total of 275 were implemented, including 59 projects brought live in 2019.
Keeping closely in touch with partners is key, as evidenced by yet another successful case study. Rubber supplied by SIBUR comes in polyethylene wrapping. While the wrap can be removed easily for some time after packaging, the duration of transportation and storage causes the polyethylene film and the rubber to stick together, with the separation process turning into a challenge. This issue was communicated by customers to the Plastics, Elastomers and Organic Synthesis Division.
“We decided to use PMS-200, an anti-adhesive agent that prevents the polyethylene film from sticking to rubber, making sure the wrapping can come off easily whenever needed,” says Sergey Kopsov, a specialist with the Plastics, Elastomers and Organic Synthesis Division. “However, before shipping the new packaging to customers, we absolutely needed to test the performance of the anti-adhesive agent. To do that, we manufactured test samples and sent them to our warehouse to understand changes that the wrapping undergoes during the storage. This was quite a time-consuming exercise, but the results proved optimistic.”
In December 2019, tests of the wrapping with PMS-200 as an anti-adhesive agent at Voronezhsintezkauchuk showed that the wrapping indeed takes less effort to remove. The solution is currently undergoing homologation by the customer.
“We have agreed that after receiving our anti-adhesion treated rubber, some of the customers will be running tests to check if the solution is as effective as they need,” Sergey Kopsov said. “We are expecting confirmations from our customers in Q1 and Q2 this year.”
A briquette of a butadiene rubber (BR) grade on the conveyor belt at Voronezhsintezkauchuk.
We are committed to improving the quality of service we offer, and customer feedback helps us identify areas where we can do more.
Feedback received from customers during the survey also mentioned issues that partners face during the procedure of accepting SIBUR’s products. The examples of problems here include errors in documents and damaged packaging. A lot of customers have no understanding of how to document an issue or lodge a complaint.
“We decided to put together an all-encompassing how-to guide that lists necessary documents and explains the steps to be taken whenever there are flaws in packaging, completeness and documentation,” said Anton Mochalkin, Technical Support in the Logistics Function. “We have analysed and classified the problems. After that, we established a cross-functional team of technical experts on the product, logistics and operations, identified the types and formats of documents required for SIBUR to start handling a complaint and review cases registered by customers. We determined the procedure to interact with everyone involved, including sales, technical, quality control, logistics and transportation staff, and compiled everything into a guide.”
We are committed to improving the quality of service we offer, and customer feedback helps us identify areas wh ere we can do more. Most importantly, we seek to always make sure that no similar issues arise in the future.
Another our weak spot our customers spotlight has been the document flow. “Our partners want to receive reconciliation statements from us on a regular basis, fast, and on demand – we learned that from the feedback and saw confirmation in the results of the 4th wave,” said Evgeniya Shisharina, Head of the Revenue Accounting Group, Corporate Services and Governing Bodies. “In 2019, we focused on tackling this issue and discussed it at round tables with SIBUR’s marketing and sales functions. As we were running a large project to automate an end-to-end e-commerce project, we added an automated function to have a reconciliation report in the personal account on our platform. This way customers can be updated on the settlement process at any time, even without contacting us. I hope this is a feature that customers will enjoy.”
We always get back to our customers as quickly as we can.
The Company is currently working on reducing the waiting time for customers wishing to get source documents, introducing automation across all steps of the procedure to make sure no stage from delivery to provision of source documents requires human involvement.
In 2019, as part of the plan for strategic initiatives, SIBUR put its effort into improving the quality and speed of feedback for customers working with the Plastics, Elastomers and Organic Synthesis Division. As a result of this commitment, a call forwarding feature was introduced, so that sales teams have no risk of missing a call even when they are out of the office.
Any customer query is handled within 24 hours. If more time is needed to look into the request, customers are informed of when an answer will be ready. Regular meetings with partners are held as part of events for customers and exhibitions, including the International Exhibition for Paints and Coatings (Interlakokraska), International Plastics and Rubber Trade Fair (Interplastica), etc.
Meetings with customers at SIBUR’s exhibition stand at Interplastica.
“We have developed a communication map that we provide to new customers and refer to whenever there are any changes, i.e. a new head or staff member responsible for the product mix is appointed,” said Zarina Dzioeva, Chief Expert, Ethylene Oxide and Glycols. “The map is not limited to sales teams: it lists everyone interacting with counterparties, including people responsible for document management, VAT invoices, delivery schedules, dispatching, customer service, and all queries concerning product quality. On our e-commerce platform, this information was added to the personal account and to each product description. A Create a Request button is now also available. The time each request is filed is registered in our overall customer base system, and we always get back to our customers as quickly as we can.”
We are grateful to all our customers who took part in this survey and shared their opinions and concerns. You make us better, and that is a win-win situation.