OMSK, Russia—A little more than a year after setting up an office in Ontario, Canada, Omsk Carbon is planning to establish a base for its customer-service and supply-chain operations in the U.S.
The Russian carbon black producer said it expected full operation by early 2016. However, the location of the base is yet to be finalized.
The business will organize all services, such as shipping, storing, transloading and delivery, through its facility to final customers in the U.S., said Mike Halinski, North American director of Omsk Carbon USA L.L.С.
However, Omsk Carbon has no plans to set up a manufacturing plant in North America at the moment, the company executive added.
All the material is being produced and shipped from Russia, he said, adding, “The potential of the U.S. market is huge, and our aim is to distribute up to 10 percent of our product to North America.”
The intention of the operation, Halinski said, is to “minimize supply-chain risks for Omsk Carbon customers in North America.”
A sales team, which is to be set up there, will act as the main commercial contact for our customers and a liaison for operations.
“Omsk has a small share of the North American market today. There are a lot of good suppliers here already doing a good job, and we realize gaining momentum won't be easy,” he said.
According to Halinski, Omsk Carbon intends to grow in the U.S. market by getting closer to the customer, managing the supply chain and adapting its approach to customer requirements.
“What has been missing is presence (in the U.S. market]) and dedicated support in North America,” he said. “A big part of this commitment is learning to measure our performance from our customer's point of view.
“In North America, we are really getting started, and there is a lot of work that needs to be done,” said Halinski, who will have a book at next week's International Rubber Expo in Cleveland.
In September 2014, Omsk Carbon announced the opening of a “representative office” in Prescott, Ontario, in a bid to reform its global distribution network. The office is tasked with organizing and providing direct customer service in Canada.