Innovate or Die?

Read the letter from SIP’s Commercial Director, Kerry Larkin, as seen on page 6 of the April edition of Lube Magazine.

A common theme across boardrooms in today’s fast changing world and one which the oil and lubricants industry is no stranger to. Over the last decade we have seen increasing complexity as new entrants intensify competition in an already commoditised and over supplied market. The automotive and marine sectors, in particular, are having to adapt quickly to legislative changes, putting pressure on well understood lubricant chemistries. So to succeed in the 21st century, lubricant suppliers must also adapt their business model by offering innovative products and solutions that will provide them with competitive advantage.

Damien Duhamel, CEO of Solidiance’s article (Lube, Dec 17) demonstrated innovation in the supply chain and the focus of the recent 22nd ICIS World Base Oils and Lubricants conference was ‘Modelling the future: How will the industry deal with declining lubricant demand?’ Yet when it comes to base oils, we find that whilst industry talks about innovation, in reality most companies act conservatively.

At SIP, we see this first hand from our business development activities with emerging and disruptive technologies, such as renewable hydrocarbons and nano sized particles of Inorganic Fullerene-like Tungsten Disulfide. These new materials enable blenders to produce premium performance products and differentiate their product offering, yet the majority of companies cite cost and other barriers to entry associated with conventional base oils, rather than seeing the bigger picture of the benefits these new materials offer, which include improved total formulation cost, extended product life and increased flexibility to both the user and the formulator.

This is changing slowly and it is refreshing to work with those companies who are prepared to be disruptive and to ‘walk the talk’ by innovating their product offering for the future. This is typically the small to mid-size, independent companies and so something their larger competitors need to be mindful of as they model their strategy for the future.

SIP’s business is identifying and supplying high performance speciality oils and fluids that allow our customers to add value and differentiate their product offering through a tailored and personalised problem solving approach. We will be exhibiting at UNITI Mineral Oil Technology Conference in April 2018 – please visit our stand or contact us at to see how we can help your business.