The chemical and plastics industry is experiencing change and readjustment driven by a range of factors. While the transformation presents an opportunity for industry leaders to embrace change and seize a larger market share, companies that remain unsuccessful at adapting to the changing environment may find it difficult to compete and stay profitable.
With increased focus on recycling, chemical companies can no longer depend on the revenue generated by the sales of virgin materials. Companies are now focusing their efforts on the sale of new materials, such as biopolymers to overcome the bottom-line challenges posed by a reduced demand. In addition to this, to maintain profit margins, chemical and plastics companies are also investing in technologies that can help improve plant performance, minimize downtime, and reduce operating costs. A research study by PWC suggests that investment in digital technologies can contribute to reducing operating expenses by as much as 2 to 10 percent.
With islands of plastic debris floating in oceans, it is clear that the world needs to move away from the use of petroleum-based plastics and look for more sustainable, biodegradable alternatives. Therefore, the real challenge right now for the plastics industry is to create renewable materials that do not depend on fossil fuels for production. To respond to the issue, innovation-driven plastic companies are investing in the development of new composites that are produced using soybeans, flax, and other environmentally safe materials.
Companies operating in the chemical and plastics industry are often viewed as ‘product sellers.’ In today’s era of personalization, these companies are now seeking ways to establish their identity as ‘solution providers.’ To achieve this, chemical and plastic companies are investing in technologies that can help them identify and fulfill customer requirements. For example, market leaders are using sensors to track how their products are used by the customers. The information thus obtained is utilized to identify product utilization patterns and anticipate a customer needs.
Faced with intense competition from bigger companies as well as stagnant demand and shrinking profit margins, many chemical and plastics companies have tried to strengthen their position in the market through mergers and acquisitions. However, since the industry is already highly consolidated, chemical and plastic companies are focusing on acquiring niche companies with unique technologies, services, or sales channels. While buying small enterprises with unique abilities offers an opportunity to build a sustainable competitive advantage, the strategic decision requires a great deal of insightful leadership and governance.
As a leading retained executive search company, Allen Austin works with a broad range of businesses operating in the chemical and plastics industry. Utilizing our vast experience and unmatched resources, we help our clients find, recruit, and train qualified and competent leaders who best match their needs, expectations, and organizational culture. Our executive search specialists have an extensive experience of helping plastic companies find highly talented and experienced employees in the areas of molding, profile and sheet extrusion, thermoforming, composites, polymer science, and more.
We have developed a systematic approach towards leadership development and executive search using which we ensure that the leadership requirements of a company are fulfilled in an efficient and effective manner. Our primary objective is to deliver successful outcomes that directly increase the return on human capital investment and add tangible value to the client’s business.