This Week in Consulting

Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

Catalyzing The New: Driving chemical industry growth in an era of epic disruption.


“We hear a lot about disruption in established industries—and the impact of new players with new platforms like Amazon in retail, Airbnb in hospitality, Uber in transport and Netflix in entertainment. So far, this type of sweeping change has yet to be seen at scale in chemical markets .”

Despite healthy appearances, the chemical industry is on the brink of disruption. But while these profound changes might shake the status quo, it will also create tremendous opportunities—and value—for those who dare to seize them.

This Week’s Must Read is an insight piece from Accenture exploring four major areas of potential disruption and how they will affect the Chemical Industry.

Read on to Find out More: “Catalyzing The New: Driving chemical industry growth in an era of epic disruption“, Rachael Bartels, Paul Bjacek, Bernd Elser and Vijay Sarathy, Accenture

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Has the global economy already entered recession?- Paul Hodges, chairman of International eChem, presents, in this very short video, the relationship between economic growth and chemical production. “What we have been saying over the last 6 weeks is that we are arriving in global recession or are about to enter it.” Says Hodges, and the first signs with downturn in auto sales, housing and electronics are already there.


  • Dynamic pricing: Using digital and analytics to take value pricing in the chemical industry to the next level–  Dynamic pricing has been used in many other industries, think transportation or entertainment, for quite a while. But the chemical industry is also a good candidate for dynamic pricing: the progress in digital and advanced analytics allow now to design tools to tailor prices at a much finer granularity that was previously possible. “These tools are offering ways to add new potential and effectiveness to value-pricing approaches.” The piece explores not only the methodologies, but also the organization, process and human components to embrace dynamic pricing.  | Arnau Bages-Amat, Jochen Böringer, Yutaro Kakimoto, and Georg Winkler, McKinsey
  • Strategies for China’s Increasingly Competitive Chemicals Market– China is the world’s largest market for chemicals, growing at 4% to 5% annually (around 3% growth for the rest of the world). But many companies are facing complex challenges in China and wonder how to proceed. The piece describes 3 major strategies proved successful in China’s fast-paced market:  Advanced talent strategy, local innovation models, and digital platforms. The authors also predict a shift from commodities to specialties, creating huge opportunities (and risks) for chemicals companies. | Yin Chen, Thomas Luedi, Bain & Company
  • German Chemicals Industry: Caught in a Climate Trap?– Climate change is a trendy subject, whether you believe it to be a serious threat to our economies and ways of living or not? Last year, for several weeks, the River Rhine had too little water that is partially paralyzed the adjoining chemicals industry. How does the German chemicals industry deal with the consequences of climate change? And what does it itself do to protect the climate?  | Joerg Schmid, Camelot Management Consultants
  • Global basic chemicals outlook– In the past four years, the global basic chemicals industry has seen steady demand growth, and above-reinvestment level profitability. However, the beginning of 201 has shown a decline in profitability that might be compensated by a strong economic growth and supply-side interruptions.  Are Chemical companies ready to capture the opportunity and the related profits? What will be the impact on related industries that use these basic chemicals such as consumer goods?  | Mark Eramo, IHS Markit



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