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Former Spartech exec launches resin buying business

After more than 20 years' experience in the plastics industry, and time before that spent with logistics procurement companies, Philip Karig has created a new challenge for himself: helping small-to-midsized plastics processors save money on their resin purchasing. His company also is keen to help these processors negotiate for other goods and services, too.

Karig is the managing director and founder of a newly formed company, Mathelin Bay Associates, with offices in St. Louis, MO—also where Spartech has its HQ—and Berlin, Germany. Mathelin Bay enters a niche as yet frequented by very few companies, with the most notable being Resin Technology Inc. (RTi; Fort Worth, TX), which was founded in 1998 by Garland Strong and Bill Bowie, who started that business after working together at an injection molder.

"We recognize that the situation of every plastics processor is unique, so we do not present a 'one-size-fits-all' resin buying solution," said Karig. "Our focus is to supply processors in North America and Europe with insightful and impartial market advice and alternatives—the essential information to make an informed purchase in the short term or to plan long-term procurement strategy." He added that the company has no financial interest in or special arrangement with any resin supplier.

"In recent years, the plastics market has experienced enormous change. Resin suppliers have gone bankrupt or been forced to consolidate. Price increases have become more frequent and larger, and are being implemented on shorter notice," Karig added. "Collectively, these changes have reduced the purchasing leverage of plastics processors and severely pressured their profit margins."

Before starting the company, Karig most recently served as vice president and chief procurement officer for Spartech, one of the world's largest extruders of thermoplastic sheet. His company is keen to help processors shrink their outlays for resin purchases, but also wants to work together with processors to help them negotiate lower costs for other goods and services such as freight services or packaging supplies.

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