We discussed the topic of performance with Heinrich Luedeke, Managing Director at Nagase Europe. He has over twenty years‘ experience at the company and oversees advanced products and solutions across various fields such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals, electronics, and more. We discuss the measurement of performance in a global marketplace, market challenges solved by high-performance materials, and customer-centric business decision-making. 

Q: As a leader at Nagase Europe, what does performance mean to you and how do you measure it?

HL: Creating and selling high-performance products starts with the high-performing individuals we have within the organization. At Nagase Europe, we view our performance as a company as a direct reflection of the talent and hard work of our staff. The ability to listen, understand, communicate, and engage team members and customers are important keys to our success. Same goes with knowing when to delegate tasks and to help nurture the next generation of well-performing managers.

And when it comes to working with colleagues and business partners across the world, it’s also important to understand different cultures and practices in order to work as an effective team.

Q: What are the biggest challenges facing your market right now that can be addressed with high-performance materials?

HL: Europe is currently in a phase of transition. Broken supply chains, region-wide limited natural resources, an energy shortage, war, and strategic decisions impacted by COVID have changed the industrial mindset and mentality of consumers.

In this context, the term “high-performance materials” acquires new, or at least additional, meanings and requirements. Such materials should not be only reasonable in price and have good properties, it should be possible to source in Europe (local production or recycled materials are preferable). Furthermore, they must fulfill all REACH requirements and need to be eco-friendly (which is a high priority).

Q: What is NAGASE doing to address customer needs for high-performance products?

HL: In Europe, we quite often see a disconnection between what the market requires and the information for high-performance products the suppliers want to disclose. CAS numbers and chemical compositions or classifications necessary for the import are good examples of this. This makes the compliance with EU REACH regulation particularly complicated.

Furthermore, the new “EU Green Deal” requests that all manufacturers work on their products’ carbon footprints.

One option to overcome such limits is local development and production together with selected partners, which we already do in the field of green chemicals, enzymes, and resins.

Another option for us is the investment in local production. Currently, NGH is working on three different EU projects in the fields of batteries, pharmaceuticals, and agriculture.

Q: How does NAGASE partner with its suppliers and customers to achieve performance goals?

HL: A supply agreement is usually the standard way in order to know what to supply. However, we try to provide not only commodities but customized products.

Right now is good timing. As Europe is currently changing and a lot of synthetic products and energy-consuming processes need to be replaced, it is an opportunity for us to provide our customers with new customized and eco-friendly solutions.

Once we can start with customized product development, it is almost a guarantee for a long-term relationship with customer and supply, while also serving as a base for our performance goals.

To learn more about Nagase Europe’s high-performance products, or to connect with a NAGASE specialist, contact us today.