The specialty chemical and ingredients distributor posted a 173% increase in first-quarter net income as net sales climbed 34% to $2.9 billion. David Jukes, president and CEO, cited the company’s “digital backbone” and omnichannel approach as major contributors to its financial performance.

“Despite the challenges of constrained supply, dislocated supply chains and the pandemic,” chemicals distributor Univar Solutions reported record net income of $180.8 million for the first quarter as net sales grew 33.9% to $29 billion, David Jukes, president and CEO, said this week.

We’re combining ecommerce capabilities with our industry knowledge and expertise to offer what we believe is an unmatched support for prospects and customers.
David Jukes, president and CEO
Univar Solutions Inc.

Jukes cited digital investments among the main contributors to that financial performance. He noted they are “yielding real benefit with 47% of U.S. customers now registered on our ecommerce channels and able to utilize 24/7 self-service capabilities.”

The company’s digital technology and strategy complements its omnichannel approach of interacting with customers through multiple ecommerce sites and a sales team that sells both direct and and through online channels. Its ecommerce sites include UnivarSolutions.com, ChemCentral.com, ChemPoint.com and BeautyIngredients.com — each offering a unique range of ecommerce services.

“Our commitment to being a digital leader continues unabated, as we accelerate the omnichannel approach that is essential in today’s hybrid working environment,” Jukes said on first-quarter earnings call with investment analysts this week, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha. “We believe our current investments in the three areas of customer acquisition, retention and self-service are enabling sales growth and reducing our operating costs.”

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He added: “We’re combining ecommerce capabilities with our industry knowledge and expertise to offer what we believe is an unmatched support for prospects and customers, no matter where they are in that product development or purchasing journey.”

Univar Solutions’s digital technology design lets the chemists and scientists among its customer base collaborate with the distributor’s suppliers through webinars and other virtual means with to customize solutions to their projects. “Our digital vision is clear – meeting our customers wherever, whenever and however they want to engage with us.”

Focusing on customers’ needs, Jukes said, resulted in an increase in the company’s Net Promoter Score in the first quarter over the fourth quarter of 2021 and provided useful customer feedback.

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“We captured over 3,800 responses in Q1 through our NPS process,” he said. “And these insights were shared in real time with our sales and functional teams to drive process improvements.”

NPS scores provide information on whether customers will recommend a company to other buyers.

Univar Solutions’s Steve Martinez, vice president of digital solutions, will speak at EnvisionB2B in June in Chicago about managing online B2B product content and pricing.

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