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Chemicals strategy consulting services

Strategy that’s built to deliver from the start

Solutions that deliver in an uncertain future

For chemical companies, today’s greatest challenges aren’t coming from commoditisation or competition. They’re stemming from a wildly unpredictable economic and geopolitical business environment with trade wars, perplexing regulatory policies, cybersecurity threats, demand shifts in huge markets like China, the weakening of the EU, increasing risks to global supply chains and the longer term impacts of sustainability trends and accelerating digitisation.

At Strategy&, we help clients forge a path that’s powerful enough to breakthrough in the face of unknown possibilities; a path that’s built on what you do best, so you control and define your future. We understand sector dynamics along the entire chemicals value chain. Because of this, our strategy is built to deliver from the start. Strategy& shows you what’s possible and what you need to do to succeed.

How we help clients

Business strategy

With more than 100 years of strategy experience, we have the skills, technology, and scale to deliver customised solutions which ensure profitability and growth in an unpredictable economic, political and trade environment while allowing our clients to take advantage of the longer term sustainability trends in the chemical industry. Our unwavering commitment to getting it right means working alongside you to envision your future, set clear expectations, and turn vision into reality.

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Operations strategy

We have deep insight into the sustainable optimisation of each clients' cost base. We use this to link strategy with broader capabilities in sourcing for direct and indirect materials, sales-force effectiveness optimisation, general and administrative expenses cost reduction (e.g., shared services, outsourcing, offshoring), and supply chain optimisation (e.g., operating asset effectiveness, production network redesign, logistics optimisation).

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Product and service innovation

We advise companies on how to strategically build more effective organisations and capabilities rooted in new programme and product line strategy, technology portfolio strategy, engineering productivity, and more. Our experience shows that chemicals companies with institutionalised capabilities for continuous and sustained innovation have growth rates and returns on invested capital that exceed the performance of their competitors.

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Technology strategy

We partner with chemicals companies to integrate and capitalize on critical technologies like the cloud and other specialized software options across business units, all while building trust with customers and aligning any transformation with organisational culture. We help enhance analytic capabilities, increase operational excellence through updated systems and architecture, and improve the delivery of products and services.

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Specialty chemicals strategy development

Specialty chemicals strategy development

When a major global chemicals company wanted to reassess its specialty chemicals division, they called us. After researching competitors’ profitability, evaluating industry standards, investigating drivers of sustainable profitability, and assessing the client’s ability to lead or compete, Strategy& set a competitive standard for profitability for each business unit within the company. We supported the client in setting priorities for individual units and the specialty chemicals division as a whole while prioritising acquisitions and divestitures, investments for growth, and restructuring.

Complete turnaround programme for a global company

Complete turnaround programme for a global company

Strategy& was retained by a leading international chemicals company to quickly redefine its strategic direction and improve profitability. After conducting a strategy review for each of the client’s individual businesses, including market attractiveness, positioning, and cost competitiveness, we developed the future organisational model and a comprehensive turnaround plan. Focusing on reorganisation and cost reduction in overhead expenses, sales and marketing, manufacturing operations, and supply chain management, we guided the client through implementation. This included programme management and change activities to ensure a full realisation of the plan.

Preparation for divestiture of a petrochemical business

Preparation for divestiture of a petrochemical business

A large European chemicals company retained Strategy& for the value-added divestment of its petrochemical business. We identified and implemented substantial cost savings programmes, including head-count reduction, dramatic tightening of spending on contractors, and the closure of nonviable assets. Strategy& guided management through setting tough savings targets and locking savings into the budgets to ensure deliverability.

Relying on decades of industry experience and connections, Strategy& brought in third parties and negotiated complex supply and marketing partnerships, successfully reducing costs even further. In addition, Strategy& developed a comprehensive cost savings and margin improvement programme to completely turn around a segment of a business earmarked for closure. As a direct result of this customised, comprehensive M&A plan, the value of the business was increased significantly, and the client successfully sold its business.

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Dr. Paul Nillesen

Dr. Paul Nillesen

Partner, Strategy& Netherlands