Michael Cleuvers is Managing Director at knoell, a chemical consulting company headquartered in Germany with numerous affiliates in Europe, the USA and the Asia-Pacific region. He is responsible for knoell´s consultancy business and the corresponding business development for Chemicals and Biocides, dealing with any kind of regulatory and technical service required for the compliant marketing of chemical products in many different target markets.
Each Monday, my week starts with our Executive Board meeting, where the Managing Directors representing our Chemicals, Biocides, Crop Protection and Health Care business discuss any upcoming issue on a strategic level. This time a major topic is the globalization of our services, which is continuously driven by increasing needs of our clients, due to the quickly changing regulatory landscape particularly in, but not limited to Southeast-Asia. In the afternoon, I have several other internal meetings, with the heads of our Business Units and the Business Development team. We talked about our attendance at various big conferences, like the ChemCon, which will take place in Budapest in mid of November. We are a sponsoring partner and one of my colleagues will give a presentation about regulatory changes in South Korea.
Today I start with a conference call with my colleague Iain MacKinnon, who is the Managing Director of our affiliate Dr. Knoell Consult Ltd. located in Cardiff. Our Cardiff-team is completely integrated in the group wide capacity planning and corresponding project work, so there is always something to talk about. Of course, an issue that cannot be ignored is BREXIT. As currently nobody knows what the result will be, the only thing we can conclude is that we will have a solution in place for any imaginable outcome. For sure this discussion is something to be continued……
In the afternoon, I attend a meeting of our Biocides team, who is doing a “lessons learned” session, as we always do after big or complex projects we have finished to reflect on potential room for improvement.
Today we welcome an important client in the company headquarter in Mannheim, who visits us to get an idea about the level of global support we can offer. We start with a tour through our brand new building, which is a good icebreaker. We discuss the various options for a good office design, also in terms of having fixed offices for every employee versus more flexible setups, where anybody is free to pick almost any free desk in the building. Later on, it becomes obvious that one of the biggest challenges for globally acting chemical companies is the monitoring of regulations and the progress of their implementation. It is a very fruitful meeting, helping to understand on the one hand exactly the client’s needs, and on the other hand presenting our services to match these needs.
This morning we exchange at the management level some news about our internal “task forces”. We have established teams to develop those business fields, which we added in the recent years to our portfolio, like cosmetics or food contact material. The progress here is remarkable, and again we are driven by the market who is demanding regulatory and scientific solutions not only for one or the other country, but also on a global scale. This is the reason why for these topics also our global Business Development team is involved right from the beginning. In the afternoon, I check options for flights to Japan, as every autumn I stay there for one week to visit clients and to meet with the employees of our Tokyo office. Since the company is growing, we have to move to another place early in 2019, and we already have identified a very good option.
I’m in Wageningen (The Netherlands) today, where we have established an office about six years ago. Our main business here was initially related to the EU REACh regulation, and besides the technical work for registration dossiers and risk assessments, we also manage some REACh consortia and offer the Only Representative Service for non-EU companies who want to register their chemicals in the European Union. Quite recently, we have been successful in diversifying our business in The Netherlands by hiring two experts from the Dutch authority for Biocides (the CTGB), which is also located in Wageningen, and another expert dealing with the authorization of crop protection products. Before I drive home, I’m entering a Dutch supermarket to buy some typical Dutch food and sweets that are not always available in Germany. Thus, now I’m perfectly prepared for an enjoyable weekend.