In the new ecosystem world, how to integrate and what role to play in which ecosystem, relative to asset size, will be critical. Just as important is how dynamically you will change, respond and adapt to new market thinking, and how easy it is for the organization to follow or even lead.
Significant are recent chemical industry trends, such as digital supply chains, vertical and horizontal integration with everyone and everything (e.g., the Internet of Things), large-scale mergers and acquisitions, and downstream migration to specialty chemicals.
However, they are only short-term extensions and optimizations of current operating patterns. They will not be able to ensure the long-term success of chemical companies because they remain stuck within the current industry mindset: seeking new competitive advantages by establishing newer, stronger barriers to market entry (whether low costs or unique value or services).
Reinventing Chemistry: The World of Chemistry in 2025
In the future, most of today’s chemical industry participants will become general production industrial foundation enterprises serving multiple ecosystems of slavery. They will be stuck, like the telecom infrastructure providers that provide the basic infrastructure for today’s hyperconnected world, while the other tech giants reap the biggest profits.
On the basis of general production, many ecosystem enterprises operate within the dedicated ecosystem. Both are intertwined with the third business category of the platform business, which may be decentralized and can automate much of the work.
For today’s chemical companies, the consequence will be that their vast assets and diversified conglomerates focused on economies of scale and synergies will not provide them with a competitive advantage; Or, if they do, they won’t make strategic sense because the rules of the game have changed.
So instead of imagining investing more assets in more assets or buying more companies, you can reimagine dividing your enterprise group into effective operating units (vertical and horizontal links) and which roles will apply to which units in the future. Open up and start working together instead of forcing competition. The future will be driven by information or knowledge; In this world, sharing will be key.