VHM provides the right ingredients customers need

Aug 05, 2019

By Graziella DiNuzzo

Have you ever looked at the interior of a car and wonder how it was made, or why the paint is so shiny? Most likely not. After visiting with member company Van Horn, Metz & Company (VHM), I look at these things differently.

“Take a walk through Home Depot,” says President Barry Fisher. “It is safe to say that at least one or more of the raw materials we sell was used to make just about everything in the store.”

From Pigments like Iron Oxides and Titanium Dioxide to Additives like UV Stabilizers and Hyperdispersants and Resins like Epoxy Esters and Low VOC alkyds to Dyes like Lake Pigments and FD&C, and Extenders like Attapulgite Clay and Barium Sulfate…whew…VHM has everything the Industrial markets need to formulate their products. 

 Anamaria Tanase, Market Development Manager for Van Horn, Metz & Co. agrees that sorting through their vast product line is overwhelming for folks outside the industry. “Think of baking a cake,” she says. The ingredients the customer may need are some Pigment, Additive, Resin, Extender, etc. …mix it all or some together and the end result might become a bio-based sealant or paint for your deck. 

Navigating through VHM’s product line may also be daunting for new and established customers as well, which is why VHM has a team of 18 specialized technical experts with vast industry experience, training, and education, to assist with product development every step of the way from production to placement. The VHM team is located across the central and eastern US, and their logistics and warehouse capabilities include 12 warehouses and six sales offices. 

“We bring value with the products we sell,” says Mr. Fisher. “Our team develops long-standing relationships with our customer’s team to ensure they get it right the first time.”

The VHM story began in 1950 when Harold Van Horn and Donald Metz joined forces to form Van Horn, Metz. The idea for their business came about while the men were working on camouflage paint formulations for the US government during World War II, beginning the journey for VHM to become the leading specialty raw materials distributor in North America.

As distributors for over 25 renowned companies including Chemours, Evonik, Cargill, Lubrizol, and others, VHM maintains its position to provide the most advanced products – safely. 

“All personnel are required to complete Hazmat training. Handling chemicals is taken seriously,” adds Mr. Fisher. 

VHM is a long-standing member of the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) and recently passed its sixth NACD Responsible Distributor verification. VHM also belongs to the American Coatings Association (ACA), Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), the Federation of Societies for Coating Technology and the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia (WTCGP). 

“It was six years ago that we began exporting,” Mr. Fisher explains. “We are currently doing business in Canada, Germany, Brazil, Mexico the UK and China.”
Mr. Fisher is a member of the WTCGP Advisory Council. “WTCGP has been a help for VHM, most importantly, it was our introduction to White and Williams law firm that has given us the critical legal advice we need to continue our work internationally.”

Mr. Fisher also credits a Temple University intern who joined the VHM team almost a year ago. “Fresh eyes are helping us with our inventory management and our supply chain challenges.” 

The Greek Philosopher Plato once said that necessity is the mother of invention. Each year thousands of products are invented and for those that succeed, VHM may have a little something to do with it…not to mention the ink to print this article.