Jake Staples, Technical Manager, Wausau Chemical
In the run up to Foam Expo and Adhesives & Bonding Expo 2022 we caught up with Jake Staples the Technical Manager at Wausau Chemical. Jake will be speaking at the conference in June and was able to shed some light on his valuable work on supply chain management in the wake of COVID-19, his role within the industry and even his dream holiday destination.
Can you tell us about your role at Wausau?
I am the Technical Manager and lead the Technical department. Our department is responsible for R&D of new products, assisting Production with troubleshooting and Quality Control with complaints, and qualifying new raw materials. Over the last year, I took on an additional role leading a cross-functional team for Raw Material Strategy due to the unprecedented supply chain disruptions.
What do you see as the most exciting innovation taking place within the materials sector currently?
The supply disruptions have caused shortages of key raw materials, and this has pushed customers to look for new options to meet their needs. There are new opportunities available for companies that can deliver creative solutions despite raw material supply limitations. Our team is driving new product development to find out-of-the-box alternative options at an accelerated pace. It is stressful but also exciting.
What will attendees learn from your session and why is it important that they attend?
I am happy to share the elements of the raw material strategy we designed for Wausau Coated Products to help others in the industry deal with current and future challenges.
During the photoinitiator supply disruption of 2017-2018, I was in a different role at another company, and I worked with their Technical, Purchasing, Product Management and Sales teams to build a strategy for maintaining supply as well as developing alternative options. I took the lessons I learned from that experience and designed a new strategy in my current role at WCP to weather the broad supply chain disruptions that began last year. The scale of the supply challenges meant a strategy was necessary involving team members from Technical, Purchasing, Sales, Scheduling, Product Management and Manufacturing to find the best (or least bad) options.
What are you most excited about for Adhesives & Bonding Expo and Foam Expo North America 2022?
Walking the exhibit floor and speaking with vendors at their booths. I enjoy the face-to-face networking at trade shows. It’s a great opportunity to make new contacts and catch up with old ones.
What is your favourite holiday destination?