Do you see a new industry trend emerging?
Jost:One trend we see emerging is that pharmaceutical customers are demanding full traceability for their raw materials. They want to know the identity of the manufacturer of their raw materials. Other trends include an increase in requests for new custom products or modifications of existing products. Customers are beginning to demand materials that fit their processes; they no longer want to adapt their processes to the available materials. Being the manufacturer allows Jost to be flexible and respond to these requests by meeting specific impurity-limit requirements, special particle-size needs, and custom packaging requirements.
What is the most common demand your clients are currently making of you?
Currently, we are seeing an increase in customers requesting to audit our facility or have a third party audit our facility on their behalf. We do our best to balance our customers' audit requests and the costs incurred by Jost. Our department leaders participate in audits so that our customers have access to the people who know most about our processes. More and more, companies want to audit new suppliers before they use the latters' materials in production. Face-to-face meetings with customers allow our managers to learn more about their individual needs. These meetings are valuable to us because they help us maintain relationships with our clients.
How do you stay abreast of new developments in the industry?
I stay abreast of new developments in the industry by staying close to our customers. I personally read every sales-call report written by each of our salespeople. By doing so, I learn about trends, supply issues, and organizational changes. We make plans for new products and plant additions because of these sales reports, as well.