Tuesday, April 19, 2011

&*@@# Croda!

I'm so annoyed right now with Croda, makers of Incroquat BTMS-50, Incroquat CR, Polawax, and so on. They've decided that the little people - anyone who doesn't have an e-mail address at a cosmetic company - can't access their intranet for information, which means we can't access data sheets or studies on their ingredients. A few years ago they tried to take their products away from American suppliers so we couldn't use them, now this. They've suggested I can contact a sales representative for the data sheets. (Do they really think a sales rep wants to be inundated by bloggers and homecrafters asking all kinds of questions without buying huge quantities of product?)

Arch Chemicals has done the same thing. They called my house to check up on me and wouldn't give me access once they realized I didn't work for some huge company. That's why I can't recommend any of their products - I don't have enough information (well, except for honeyquat). 

I'm done. I'm sick and tired of being treated poorly because we aren't ordering drums of product directly from the manufacturer. Is it too much to ask for the data sheets or studies on the ingredients we're buying from our suppliers? Why do I need to have a specialized e-mail address to access information? I've been registered there for over 5 years, but now I'm not good enough to access their information (thank goodness I've been saving their links to my Dropbox so we can all still access some of it).

I've been experimenting with some new emulsifiers and I'll be bringing you the results of those tests in the next few weeks, as well as my experiments with HLB emulsifiers. Unfortunately, I can't find an easy replacement for Incroquat BTMS-50 or CR, but I'm on a quest to find something. (Perhaps cetrimonium bromide?)

This is one of the reason LabRat always suggested we make our own surfactant blends and emulsifiers, so we aren't dependent upon a company for information or supplies. And he was right (as usual)! As much as I like the ease of use of Polawax, there are other options and I'm going to share all I can about those other options. I might be some small time blogger without a ton of influence and money, but I'm angry. And as my husband says, the only thing more scary than an angry Swift is an angry Swift who knows she's right!

Thus endeth the angry rant...


Madeaj said...

I'm with you on that. Last year you gave me a great link to a hair pomade recipe. I was able to create an account and look at some of the other data. It was archchemicals I think. I tried signing up a few around that time. Now I can't get anywhere on any of them. I tried to get my password reset and someone emailed me an apology because I only do personal use rather than whole barrels of product.

I think these companies are missing a growing market. At least let us have access to data sheet? Although access to recipes would be nice too. smh

Madeaj said...

Hi Susan

I had to try a few of my other links. Here is one I can still get to the information. http://www.personalcarepolymers.com/PCP/Products/ProductCatalog.htm

Don't know for how long.

Celine Blacow said...

It crazy ... your blog is recommended so often on so many forums to those small producers of cosmetic products. They, in turn, can go and purchase from the suppliers ... so, in effect, you are part of their supply chain and by cutting you off now, they're cutting off their own potential customers. Ok, the majority of your readers might not buy the supplies in barrels and pallets, but who knows who's going to be the next Anita Roddick? Madness. They should be cultivating customers and realising that the interest in your blog is indicative of the numbers of small producers out there who could prove to be a potential income stream. Instead of cutting you off, they should be sending you samples and asking you to review the products ... very very cheap promotion on their part. You'd think they'd be more clever.. especially in this economy.

Nancy Liedel said...

Calm down, way down. Then...write a letter. Get e-mail endorsements from your readers. Point out that you're an educator for thousands of people and the people they serve. By doing that, and moving it up the line, you can get somewhere.

I can easily for see a time I will need drums of certain products and why should I purchase from them, when they've shut me out of the loop? I'm probably not the only one who feels this way. Small potatoes grow when fed and loved. They grow into big potatoes that get very angry with companies who think nothing of us.

I do have an account with them right now, but I got a letter the other day to get some information back to them. I now have a business, a business phone and an attitude.

p said...

I totally agree with Celine. This is bad business on their part, and I hope Croda wises up after a few critical emails come their way.

By the way, lol on the angry bird! From now on, whenever you rant, I'll be picturing the angry xmas bird! :)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

This isn't just about me - it's about all of us who make products, whether for sale or personal use. We should have the information necessary to make choices about ingredients! And we buy their products - not in huge sizes, not from them directly, but we are putting money in their pockets every day. Is it too much to ask that we get some information?

Katie said...

They are inadvertently cutting off their own business. Our suppliers are buying their ingredients in bulk so as to retail them to us in smaller quantities. But we may choose not to purchase certain products from our trusted suppliers if we can't access information on them beforehand. The companies who share info freely will clean up in the home-crafting market as a nice little side-dish to their more lucrative big-cosmetic-company market. Restricting information is always bad for business.

Lise M Andersen said...

I agree with Nancy. You may get a lot further by supplying them with your blog stats or some other proof of how many people are going to you for information and advice. They need to see you as a business. Take that anger and put it to good use!

Anonymous said...

I fully agree with Susan and others about the censorship of information, but I'm not so sure about the statement, that it´s bad for "business". My question would be: "What business do you mean exactly?" The point is, that we all can see, how "big business" is taking more and more control over our individual lifes. The same kind of censorship takes place in other sectors of the economy. Imho it is just intended policy of the movers and shakers to take out small businesses, I'm afraid.

Will said...

I suspect that their goal is to force users to obtain MSDS information from the distributor (instead of the manufacturer), thereby reducing their operating costs. I believe any supplier is lawfully required to provide you with an MSDS sheet.

What they fail to realize is that it may (or may not) ultimately reduce their sales and profits if users migrate from their products.

Ingredient testing and results are a whole different thing.

Contact the sales rep and make your requests (email may be best), then if your questions go unanswered, approach his superior.

If sufficient users do this, they may grant data access privileges ad hoc, or may rethink their data access policy.

I suspect that if they're not doing it as a cost cutting pilot, that they've been badly harmed by industrial espionage. Why provide product testing information for an unscrupulous competitor?

Just my two cents. Have a good day, don't let the basta*&% get you down.


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

I wrote to them a letter the other day, and now I have a rep telling me I can get back into the extranet, which is great. But that doesn't mean that everyone will get that access, and that's what bothers me.

We shouldn't have to make a case that we're worthy to access information! If I buy your ingredients, I should be entitled to get what I need to use them wisely and properly, whether I spend $10 or $100,000 on your ingredients! How do we turn into big businesses if we aren't small businesses first? And how do we create small businesses if we can't get the information to create a product people will like? (This is about to turn into a rant about the divide between rich and poor and equal outcomes versus equal opportunities, so I better stop here...)

I always turn my anger into righteous ire to get things done, otherwise it's just me ranting at my fairly confused Blondie dog in my workshop! Don't get me wrong, I do like a good rant, but without action I'm just one of those people who stands on street corners yelling the end is nigh! (Which it is, according to a sign I saw on a trailer the other day. May 21st, according to the sign!)

Tara :) said...

Nice. May 21st is my birthday. Happy birthday to meeee....


DuhBe said...

I have a small business and an email address with my own domain. But Croda wouldn't give me an account. And I buy drums of product for co-ops! I also tried going to one of their distributors who would not sell to home formulators even if I supplied a commercial loading dock for delivery. They said it had to do with OSHA inspections and this was their own method of CYA for home businesses.

Here's the gist of it ladies. There are many manufacturers, distributors and suppliers who are more than happy to supply small crafters and they deserve our business. They understand we can grow big. Then there are those who just don't care about us and shouldn't get our business. I think Croda has made it very clear which camp they fall into. Vote with your $$$.

Will said...

I love a good rant (especially from a safe distance :)


Anonymous said...

This is all to do with security. If Croda opens it up their extranet to personal email addresses then anyone can access all their information. Croda invests a lot of money in R&D and it isn't fair that their competitors can look at all of it. They seemed to be quite reasonable and allow access after a bit more information about your interest in the extranet was given.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Anonymous. I still don't have access to anything and the person who promised to restore my access ignores my e-mails, so nothing has changed.

I had access to their information for years, then they took it away because I wasn't part of some big company. How does that make their information more r less secure? I can share it with all and sundry if I'm part of a big company and if I'm just me at home, so what's the difference? I don't see this as a security issue at all - I see it as discrimination against the home crafter.

I'm very disappointed with Croda!

Peter said...

It's ridiculous these days that you have to sign up with every manufacturer to have access to their ingredients data for manufacturing. Most annoying. Have tried signing up for innovadex? It's a one-stop solution. Hmmm, they changed their name. http://www.innovadex.com/

Anyway, once you're signed up you can even request samples from ingredient suppliers indirectly.