Chemistry has changed human lives for the better. Hasn’t it?
Nowadays, chemicals are used to make everything from baking powder to salt, toothpaste to soap, sanitizer to medicines, and much more. These products enable individuals to lead healthy and clean life. Chemicals are important, but even more important is handling them carefully. A little lapse can cause colossal trouble.
Since chemicals are such a vital part of products and machines used globally, they are always in huge demand. Corporations are forever in need of meeting their chemical demands without any hurdles. However, there are various challenges in chemical sourcing, manufacturing, or repackaging processes. Solving them can consume valuable time and resources. To deal with such challenges and meet clients’ chemical demands on time, Actikem Ltd. was founded.
Actikem specializes in the chemical storage, mixing, blending, and repackaging of industrial chemicals. It has comprehensive facilities to meet all third-party be-spoke manufacturing requirements. It regularly provides best-suited solutions for companies that do not have their in-house manufacturing facilities; are looking for additional capacity; are unable to adequately handle hazardous materials, or wish to avoid health and safety issues. Actikem has a 4.9/5 average Google Review rating, making it the most trustworthy chemical partner to work with.
We got the opportunity to interview Actikem’s seasoned Managing Director, Andrew Mooney, who shared with us insights about the company’s journey to becoming the most trusted chemical solution provider across the U.K. and Europe.
Below are the interview highlights
Please brief us about your company, its values, and its journey so far as a leading name in the chemical industry.
Actikem Ltd is a multi-award-winning, ISO9001-certified UK chemical manufacturing company offering a wide range of chemical services across the U.K. and Europe.
We are a purpose-led, values-driven business. The products we make help to enhance lives. Whether it is the manufacture of hand sanitizing gel to reduce the spread of infection or the products used to aid the bio-fermentation process that helps our customers manufacture anti-cancer drugs, solving everyday chemical problems for our customers is what we do.
Our ethos runs through our whole business. From the sourcing of sustainable products and the investment in the professional development of our staff to the lasting connections we make with our customers, suppliers, and our local community, we always remain focused on being fair, trusted, and responsible businesses.
Actikem was set up in 2002 by Andrew Mooney (M.D.) and Trevor Gleave (Operations Director) in response to growing demand from the chemical industry for outsourced chemical services.
Already working with some of the industry’s leading organizations, Actikem facilitates be-spoke chemical manufacturing and repacking services to the United Kingdom and European chemical supply chains with a strong focus on delivering an unrivaled service.
Based in Warrington, Cheshire, UK, we provide an ideal location for organizations looking for specialist chemical solutions. Our range of chemical services provides customers with on-tap production facilities, reducing costs and offering customers greater flexibility.
Our vision is to be recognized as the preferred chemical manufacturing and repackaging partner for the U.K. and European chemical industry, delivering long-term innovative and sustainable solutions for all our customers.
Our core values are based on operating fairly and ethically, with honesty and integrity. We value and respect the views of our staff and customers, listening and responding to their feedback through our regular surveys. We believe that everyone should be paid a fair wage, have safe working conditions, and be treated with respect.
List the range of offerings that makes your company a symbol of excellent quality and service.
We offer a comprehensive range of chemical services:
Working with a wide range of formulas, we have the on-site facilities and expertise to manufacture a variety of products.
We have a long history of creating a wide range of chemical blends with be-spoke properties for various industries and applications.
Our customers make use of our chemical dilution services to cut down on the time, effort, and cost it takes to transport diluted products.
Our highly qualified chemists provide a tailored formulation and development service.
We offer a repacking and decanting service for liquids and powders, from bulk tankers to sample bottles. Both hazardous and dangerous goods can be accommodated.
Using our Q.C. lab and experienced chemists, we can test all products and provide samples upon request.
We store bulk and packaged goods in our heated and bonded warehouse. We are always happy to discuss your specific requirements.
Increasingly, the chemical industry is looking for businesses that can provide non-core processes. Our processing services include kibbling, purifying, and filtering.
Being an experienced leader, share with us your opinion on why the adoption of modern technologies is necessary for the chemical industry and how have you leveraged these technologies to deliver comprehensive service to your clientele?
To assist with the integration of modern technologies within the business, Andrew Mooney attended the ‘Made Smarter’ Program, which was delivered over a period of several months by The Growth Company in conjunction with the Business Growth Hub and Cheshire and Warrington LEP.
Before embarking on this program, we realized that we wanted to accelerate the growth of our business, but we’re struggling to understand the best route forward. The ‘Made Smarter’ Program has offered us invaluable support. The program was open to small or medium-sized manufacturers based in the North-west and allowed them access to:
- Impartial advice and guidance from digital technology specialists
- A digital transformation workshop and be-spoke digital roadmap for their business
- Advice on how to ensure their people, culture, and organization were ready for digital transformation
- Funding opportunities for the purchase of hardware and software
- Digital leadership development program
- A digital intern to help with their technology strategy or implementation.
As a result of this, we identified that we required a Cloud-based ERP system (Enterprise resource planning) which would enable us to integrate the management of our main business processes. We look forward to investing in and integrating this new system in 2022, which will hopefully bring us many benefits, such as driving out waste, reducing inefficiencies, increasing our sales growth and new market opportunities, overcoming our capacity and resource issues, boosting our competitiveness, and increasing our resilience, agility, and innovation.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the chemical industry?
The chemical industry is a great industry to be part of, offering great career opportunities. The chemical industry has become one of the most successful industries in the U.K., turning over £56.8 billion annually and becoming the U.K.’s number one exporter.
Chemical and pharmaceutical businesses in the U.K. contribute £75 million of added value every single working day (£20 billion a year) to the U.K.’s Gross Domestic Product. The industry’s trade balance is a positive £25 million every day, whilst the rest of manufacturing has a daily deficit of around £300 million.
The demand for multi-skilled scientists means that it’s a very exciting time to join the chemical industry, particularly since the U.K. is focusing on high profit, low volume specialty chemicals to drive growth.
Working in the chemical industry can be both challenging and varied, often involving hands-on practical work as well as research-based tasks. There is a fair degree of problem-solving and project work.
My advice to anyone venturing onto any career path would be to establish good habits for life, be organized, be open-minded, prioritize your work well, be curious, keep learning, and try to keep abreast of new developments within the industry.
The more experience you can gain, the better! Undertaking a work placement or internship will offer you an invaluable and practical insight into life in an industrial chemistry environment.
How do you envision scaling your company’s operations and offerings in 2021?
This will be a challenge for us, but one that, nonetheless, we are prepared for.
Trying to scale our business where our revenue and efficiency increase but our operating costs remain low is indeed a big ask, but through the cost-savings and waste reduction from our investment in our ERP system, automating our production processes and reducing the bottlenecks in our plant, we hope that this will partly future-proof our business.
Additionally, we will be diversifying our product offering and will be making a planned investment in highly skilled staff.
By generally focusing on our strengths, we hope to meet this challenge head-on.
The Expert Leader
Andrew Mooney is a chemistry graduate from the University of Glasgow and has worked with some of the world’s leading specialty and industrial chemical companies. Andrew has over 30 years of chemical industry experience in adhesives and construction chemicals, coatings and biocides, surfactants, and pigments. He previously held positions with the James River Corporation and BASF in diverse roles as Development Chemist, Technical Support, Technical Marketing, Technical Management, Production Management, and Business Unit Manager.
Andrew is a firm believer in being open to new ways of working with customers and suppliers and is always ready to try new ways to improve every aspect of Actikem’s service to the chemical supply chain. He believes that delivering great customer service and value is of absolute importance. He would like Actikem to be known for delivering outstanding quality, growth, and prosperity for Actikem’s partners and employees and for making a positive impact on the people it touches and believes that this ethos has contributed to the company’s success.
Awards And Accreditations
– ISO9001 accreditation
– EcoVadis 2021 Platinum Sustainability rating, which puts Actikem in the top 1% of companies
– Chemicals Northwest – Highly Commended – ‘Supply Chains’ 2017
– Chemicals Northwest – Winner – ‘Supplier to the Chemical Industry Award’ 2018
– Chemicals Northwest – Highly Commended – ‘Supplier to the Chemical Industry Award’ 2021
– Acquisition International Global Excellence Awards – Winner – 2019
– Acquisition International Global Excellence Awards – Winner – 2021
– Corporate Livewire – Innovation and Excellence Awards – Winner – 2017
– Corporate Livewire – Innovation and Excellence Awards – Winner – 2018
– Corporate Livewire – Innovation and Excellence Awards – Winner – 2019
– CEO Today – U.K. Awards – Winner – 2018
– Total Business European Business Awards – Winner 2019
– Goldman Sachs – 10,000 small businesses Programme – Andrew Mooney graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2015 after completing this program
Words of Appreciation
1. “Thanks, Actikem, for all your assistance, and keep up the good work”
2. “I contacted Actikem with a view to them manufacturing one of our key products. My previous supplier was no longer able to fulfill the quantities I needed. Actikem were very professional in handling our inquiry. Their technical competence and experience in raw material sourcing ensured smooth transfer of the products. We were pleased to be associated with Actikem Ltd.”
3/ “Communications have been excellent and I believe this is the secret to the successful business relationship that we have with Actikem. I would strongly recommend Actikem’s powder blending and repackaging services to anyone who requires this type of work.”