The Art of Science and Customer Success: A Visit with Cremer’s Chuck Nider

Chuck Nider
The oleochemical supply industry has had to shift its gears more than once in recent years. 

Like most things in business – and life – we can set the timestamp on 2020. Amid the uncertainty of that year, variations in stock, and logistics and supply chain interruptions caused global oleochemical suppliers like Cremer North America to adapt and service customers more flexibly.  

A person’s career path and impact on a company can be equally nonlinear. Just ask Chuck Nider, Toll & Contract Manufacturing Business Manager at Cremer. 

We sat down with Chuck recently to talk about how he helps Cremer successfully navigate different industry trends while providing unique solutions for customers, and what is on the horizon for the legacy company. 

Q:  Hi Chuck, thanks for visiting today! Let’s jump right in. You’ve had a varied career in the industry. Can you give us a glimpse at your path to this point?

Chuck Nider: Sure! I studied chemistry and math and played football at Ohio Wesleyan University for my undergrad. I then worked at ScottsMiracle-Gro in the QA/QC lab before the recession hit around 2008. I changed jobs to GFS Chemical in the organics division and from there went to Abitec where I spent 10 years going through various things like R&D, tech services and eventually specialty chemical sales. During this time, I attended grad school at Ohio State and the University of Florida and earned a Master’s in Pharmaceutical Chemistry. I then left ABITEC and sold equipment for Formulcation for about two years before joining Argenta as Global Business Development Manager. 

Q: That’s a wide range. How did you get started at Cremer North America?

CN: While working at Argenta in October 2023 I was approached about this opportunity. Someone had spoken vaguely about it, and I said “that sounds like Cremer in Cincinnati. I know who they are! I’d love to learn more”, and that’s how we got to where we are today. I came down and met with the Cremer team on Halloween and started here at the end of November.

Q: What is a typical day for you like as the Toll & Contract Manufacturing Business Manager?

CN: I have purview to three sites: Lake Charles, Louisiana, Dayton, Tennessee and here in Cincinnati. So, my typical day is meeting with the operations side, and doing a lot of business development work; prospecting and finding the right clients to talk to about the opportunities they may have, as we try to find long-term, strategically important business for those clients.  How can we help them solve their challenges?

For me, it’s strategic. Let’s say I have a customer in Memphis. How can I get them to do business with one of our sites? How can we do this in a way that makes sense for them? Are we getting them closer to their end-user?

Q: What industry trends or changes have stood out to you in recent years and how does Cremer respond?

CN: One of the first things I saw back when I was in the lab at ScottsMiracle-Gro during that 2007-2008 downturn was the supply chain. Companies were purchasing millions of pounds of raw materials, and there were some quality issues that we had to navigate. Skip forward to Covid and we had supply issues again and plants were shutting down because they couldn’t get materials. So, coming from the lab, how to supply quality materials was a key thing I learned about, and what globalization really means to a business. 

Cremer has always been a trading business and logistics has always been a strong point. Even though we have top quality oleo with great supply and great relationships across the marketplace, the backbone of the success has been logistics and its services. It’s how we differentiate ourselves in the marketplace. 

One focus area for our services is where companies are reshoring their chemical manufacturers.  We’re seeing that with raw materials and intermediates. With logistics getting expensive and disruptions in global shipping, we look at how companies give products to their clients and how our service flexibility can help. 

Q: Given all the logistics issues and supply chain disruptions in recent years, how does having in-house logistics capabilities and related services benefit your customers? 

CN: That’s a great question. Single services like co-packing were the differentiators years ago. But now we have a whole services division and can manage all those capabilities. In-house logistics is something some people don’t think much about. A lot of our clients don’t manage their logistics. They either outsource it, or if they do handle it, they usually don’t have a team dedicated to it. At Cremer, we have an entire team dedicated to logistics and supply chain. Import, export, rail, vans, everything short of flatbeds we can handle. Because our logistics team has collectively over 100 years of experience in doing this, we can have solutions for a client right away. There’s an appreciation for that, and they trust that our team will get it done and make their deliveries happen for them.

Q: As a leading oleochemical supplier, what is one thing you want your customers to know about Cremer’s service capabilities?

CN: On the flaking and pastillation side, we’re probably the largest organization within that space with Cremer-Volunteer Pastilles in Tennessee and Louisiana, as well as our terminal here in Cincinnati. Hundreds of millions of pounds of experience over many years. If it’s something we haven’t handled, it’s because it’s a new thing. Each day we also provide the highest quality drumming and toting and dry re-packing expertise for our customers.  

Another aspect is we’re global and expanding our footprint to better serve our clients throughout North America through the strategic acquisitions we’ve had. And we provide unique phase transformation and material handling capabilities. Like flakes – it’s expensive and prone to dust and powder that won’t flow well and presents its own unique issues. So, I’ll suggest a pastille to solve those problems. 

We also have a rail line in Cincinnati and can do transloading onto roadgoing tank trucks or can package products down into drums and totes. We make it advantageous for the client. There’s no set menu. Each client has a different avenue they travel down to discover the value of doing business with Cremer. 

Q: Cremer is now in its 78th year. Based on that storied legacy, what’s next? Where do you see the company headed?

CN: We will look at things that extend our services product line appropriately, over time. As the market presents various demands, we want to be able to respond to those through our services division. That could be in co-packing, or phase transformation like we do with flakes and pastilles. Customers may not want to invest millions of dollars in a single service or single product. That’s when they come to the contract and toll manufacturers.

Q: What are the best parts of your day-to-day?

CN: It’s great to be back in oleochemicals! Especially with a team that is focused on the science, servicing the customers and understanding the applications. I’m working with our account managers and business managers on a daily basis to understand historically who we’ve worked with, and which products and services have worked, and which haven’t. That way we can tighten our definitions of success, but also find new areas we haven’t ventured into. 

Every day I’m learning something new, and I enjoy that immersion of the business. Services is a different mindset. We’re selling time versus volume, so we need to understand how to make those processes timelier, more effective, and more advantageous for our clients.

To learn more about Cremer North America, its products and service capabilities, visit

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