For more than ten years, the chemicals industry has been in a state of permanent upheaval worldwide. Takeovers and carve outs, rapidly growing new players in the Middle and Far East, extensive investments in product expansions and relocations, far-reaching strategic initiatives which focus on forward integration, and an ongoing focus on costs in production and administration characterize the industry.
Although on the whole the economic indicators are favorable, to a great extent the chemicals industry is affected by the volatile market situation of its most important customer groups, for example the automotive or electronics industries.
This leads to the need to make management processes and administrative organizations leaner and more flexible. Despite the high pressures on costs and the introduction of lean management processes and structures, chemicals companies must be able to master the complexity of this industry. Examples of this complexity are the globally networked production and supply chains and the massive extent of the global division of labor. Not only do decisions on portfolio changes, investment programs or R&D initiatives mean tying up significant amounts of capital, they also place a heavy burden on the company’s own resources and accordingly require specific instruments to manage performance and successfully implement the decisions taken.
Current issues in the industry reflect these challenges:
- How much administration do multinational corporations need and what is the best possible way of organizing the administrative work in IT, HR, finance, and controlling, as well as in purchasing and the supply chain?
- What is the best possible way of organizing the collaboration between the global functional and administrative departments?
- What do suitable performance management concepts look like for managing business models which are becoming more complex due to increasing forward integration?
- How can local acquisitions of mid-sized companies be integrated into global management structures?
- How can limited investment capital be allocated to those projects which promise the greatest growth in value?
We accompany companies from the chemicals industry in mastering these challenges and in focusing on sustainably high performance – in the business units as well as in the support and administrative functions.