In the next 20 years, the chemical and materials industries will face fundamental changes, forcing them to adopt new skills and set new goals.
A Lux Research report entitled "Chemical and Materials Companies in 2040" stated that these changes will have a significant impact on materials and information flow.
Currently, four major trends are shaping the chemical and materials industry: the transformation of raw materials and resources, sustainability, changes in consumer demand, and digital transformation. The first two will affect the material flow, while the latter two will affect the information flow.
Anthony Schiavo, senior analyst at Lux Research and the lead author of the report, said: "The future companies in the chemical industry will be very different from today." "Companies that have not developed and invested in sustainable development plans and digital transformation will not be able to adapt to this change. ."
Sustainability pressure will take many forms: changes in energy demand driven by the growth of electrified mobility will change the economics of natural gas and petroleum feedstocks, and the need to create sustainable plastics and chemicals will drive bio-based And the use of recycling resources. At the same time, climate change will damage the economic benefits of large centralized refineries and traditional production processes.
The explosive growth of digital technology has made it possible to collect more data about the physical operations of the chemical industry than ever before. At the same time, the digital sales platform makes the flow of goods and funds and the purchasing behavior of industry customers more transparent. The most significant impact of digital transformation will be the business model. New tools and data are critical to the realization of service- and result-driven business models. This will help the chemical industry maintain growth while reducing consumption and provide customized products to smaller and smaller market segments.
Schiavo added: "This will create a new division of the industry between high-end chemical companies and cheap chemical companies." "Advanced chemical companies will combine new digital tools with traditional special chemical services (such as formulation development and manufacturing assistance). Integrate with customers and deeply participate in product development. Cheap chemical companies will sell high-quality specialty materials at reserve prices, but only provide online and automated support." Chemical companies need to start planning response measures immediately to avoid being caught off guard.
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