As a materials science company, we are positioned at the beginning of many of the world’s key supply chains. Collaboration is essential for maintaining supply continuity and for designing the next horizon of product performance and sustainability. This has been true for the entirety of our 125 years in business, and never more so than today.
Collaboration requires open communication, building trust and sharing knowledge to create ideas and work through challenges. In my role at Dow, I consider this a foundation of imagining better for society and our planet. It often starts with ideas originated in partnership with our customers. The best and most creative ideas happen when you bring diverse perspectives together. These ideas then shift into reality with our research teams taking the lead on rapidly developing new materials with customer experience top-of-mind.
But we don’t just do this for our business or for our customers. We do this for our customers’ customers and often their customers’ customers – the consumers who buy their products. And for whoever we work with along this value chain, sustainability has become the number one priority. The way we’ve remained competitive over the last 125 years is directly linked to how our materials science know-how, and the skills of our people improve the performance and sustainability of our customers’ products. That’s where innovation, customer experience and diversity of perspective come together for a common purpose.
WHEN CUSTOMERS CAN TRUST US TO DELIVER A QUALITY PRODUCT TO THEM WHEN AND WHERE THEY NEED IT – THAT OPENS THE DOOR TO THE NEXT OPPORTUNITY.
It is a purpose that Dow employees and partners embrace every day, bringing their insights, ingenuity and energy to the table. We have sustainability leaders embedded within each business and function to identify market- and customer-specific opportunities that help make progress towards the future we imagine. Reducing carbon in both the footprint (manufacturing) and the handprint (product use) will continue to generate a competitive advantage for us when allied with designing and recovering products for improved circularity.
One of the keys to sharing knowledge is to make it easy for our customers to discover our solutions to their sustainability challenges. In addition to improving those experiences on our website, we are now organizing our product offerings based on sustainability attributes, so our customers can find and select more sustainable solutions – just as their customers would on store shelves or websites.
We’re also creating virtual venues for conversations with our customers to make it easier to keep in touch. Pre COVID-19 we would attend as many as 300 trade shows a year and supplement that with many face-to-face meetings all over the world. This was often where new ideas came from. The pandemic has made that a lot harder, but we have refused to let that get in the way of how we help our customers grow. We have pivoted to hosting 600 digital demand campaigns a year, that encourage customers to engage with us on our website and via webinars. We have a tremendous opportunity to keep bringing consumer-like digital experiences to the B2B space – from 3D navigation to pricing calculators, to shipment tracking. That’s a huge focus for our team, making it easier and more intuitive for our customers to work with us, whether its human or digital interactions or the combination of both.
When customers can trust us to deliver a quality product to them when and where they need it – that opens the door to the next opportunity. In the future we expect to see more sophisticated e-commerce platforms, and we plan to leverage Artificial Intelligence to help us become a more reliable supplier. We have no shortage of data in our company, but the capability of digital technology to help make the connections, putting real-time information at our fingertips, and providing insights that help us match demand signals with production – that’s a game-changer.
These are all tools that have helped improve our collaborations. Yet the pinnacle opportunity for Dow with our customers is when we can come together early on and work towards a shared vision to design and deliver new materials that are modern, more sustainable and pave the way for the next 125 years.
Dan Futter, Chief Commercial Officer
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