Good Chemistry

Responding to the continued changes in the American automotive market, Bill Mays, CEO of Mays Chemical Co. (No. 27 on the BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE 100 list with $152 million in sales), recently formed a joint venture with Pontiac, Michigan-based Chemico Systems Inc. to provide chemical management services outside of the automotive industry.

Launched in the third quarter of 2006, the 50/50 joint venture, named ChemicoMays, provides a host of services including oversight of the purchase, storage, and disposal of chemicals as well as ensuring that customers comply with regulatory and environmental standards and reporting. ChemicoMays also educates customers on the proper usage and potential hazards of chemical products. “In essence, we’re responsible for that chemical from the cradle — the day you bought it — to the grave, the day you dispose of it,” says Leon Richardson, CEO of Chemico Systems.

Both companies bring something to the table in forming the venture. Mays Chemical, with more than 25 years of business experience, has a solid, well-established back-office operation and provides the financing and accounting activities. Chemico offers chemical management and field expertise.

The joint venture will target educational institutions, food services companies, auto manufacturers, and pharmaceutical and biotech firms. With projected revenues of $35 million to $50 million in contracts, the company has the potential to land on the BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE 100 list.

Chemico Systems, which opened its doors in 1989, manufactures nonhazardous materials for the automotive industry, primarily those used in the painting process. The company, for which Mays Chemical is a supplier, generated revenues of approximately $25 million in 2006. “We saw a lot of opportunities to grow, but we really didn’t have the infrastructure to take advantage of those opportunities,” says Richardson. “So I called Bill Mays up and I said ‘I have some significant opportunities here, but I don’t think [my company is] large enough to really take advantage of them. If we come together with your size and our [combined] market penetration, we can now go across the board with a market segment that we can work in and really work together.'”

Mays agrees. “Where Mays’ strength is food and pharmaceutical, we could utilize [Chemico’s] expertise in the business and take some of the principles that would work in the automotive industry and apply them across the pharmaceutical and biotech area and even some of the educational institutions,” he says.