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Case study

Innospec overcomes growing logistics complexity

Odyssey streamlines sample shipments for faster and more efficient delivery

Client background

Innospec, a global specialty chemistry company, has manufacturing plants, research centers and additional facilities in 23 countries. Its customers use the chemicals, additives and formulations that Innospec provides to innovate in a wide range of industries including agrochemicals, construction, fuel, home care, metal extraction, oilfield, personal care, and polymers and waxes.


This innovation starts with one seemingly simple step for Innospec—getting chemical samples into the hands of its customers and prospects. For years, Performance Chemicals (EMEA) at Innospec gathered, packaged and shipped its samples using in-house resources or outsourced partners. But as Innospec grew and acquired more companies around the world, its sample fulfillment needs grew more complex. Each country had its own customs requirements, freight costs, border controls, etc. to navigate. And some shipments were taking two to three weeks to arrive at a customer’s lab for testing—risking that the business could go to a competitor who delivered faster.

Innospec came across Odyssey’s Fulfillment Managed Services team at a trade show in Europe and began discussions about working with Odyssey for their sampling program.

It’s important for us to have an efficient sampling service because the first thing we do to grow business is send a sample. Our sample fulfillment was manageable until we reached a tipping point after acquiring manufacturing facilities across Europe. We needed an expert resource to make the process more efficient.

Moving all sampling services to Odyssey

For several years, Innospec continued having two partners for its sampling program in Europe. However, as time went on, Odyssey stood out as the best partner and Innospec consolidated all of its sample fulfillment needs under Odyssey.

For instance, Odyssey helped Innospec identify and correct issues it was having with replenishment and expiry of stock. They had many back-and-forth conversations to identify the culprit and implemented new systems and rules of engagement to correct the problems. “It was alot of work transferring the business, but we had confidence that the Odyssey team would rectify our issues”, said Searle.

In addition to troubleshooting, Odyssey’s chemical sampling clients have access to call services, internet ordering, email confirmations and website shipment tracking and reporting. Odyssey also uses data matrix bar code control designed for efficient sample order processing, labeling, material handling, inventory management and client reporting. It also offers special services for biocide, FDA and GMP clean room filling and temperature- and light-sensitive product handling. Ninety five percent of all sample orders ship within 24 hours and 100% ship within 48 hours of sample request receipt.

Adding ease and visibility

Odyssey’s technology portal has enabled Innospec sales teams to follow up much more quickly with customers and prospects. In the past, processed samples were sent to a warehouse and sales didn’t have visibility into when they shipped.

It’s important for us to have an efficient sampling “Working with Odyssey has reduced our costs plus they have been fantastic regarding communication and advice.

In turn, Innospec’s sales managers and distributors have access to Odyssey’s online portal, where they can see all the available inventor and enter a sample request. They simply enter a customer’s information and the customer receives an email confirming the sample shipment.

Odyssey's portal is so easy to use and navigate. Even onboarding new users takes just two to three minutes, It's a breeze.

Brexit brings greater complexity

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic upended the global supply chain, Brexit was underway in the United Kingdom and further complicated shipping samples to the European Union. New, onerous paperwork requirements added layers of red tape for manufacturing samples in the UK and shipping them to EU countries. Innospec was glad to have a partner like Odyssey in Europe to coordinate orders and customs requirements.

Brexit created challenges even before the global pandemic. It was priceless having Odyssey in our corner for both. They have the global expertise and capabilities to help us navigate all the change and uncertainty.

Taking the partnership to a new level

In addition to troubleshooting, Odyssey’s chemical sampling clients have access to call services, internet ordering, email confirmations and website shipment tracking and reporting. Recently, Innospec turned to Odyssey to speed up additional sample deliveries to its customers and prospects. Innospec set up its formulations as raw materials in the Odyssey online portal for quick order processing. Now, samples no longer take two to three weeks to arrive at customers’ sites—they leave Odyssey’s facility in two to three days.

Odyssey packages the samples through the service and sends them out with the correct formulation and appropriate safety data sheet (SDS). By doing so, Odyssey has freed up Innospec’s lab from dealing with all the paperwork unique to each order.

Odyssey is phenomenal in shipping within our 48-hour agreement.

Fulfill chemical sample orders with complete confidence

Landing a big chemical order starts with getting high-quality samples in front of your customers quickly and making an impression that lasts. Learn more about how Odyssey can help you turn samples into sales.
Global sample fulfillment process

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Turn your samples into sales

9 steps for converting your samples to sales

The benefits of a global sample provider

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