World's largest chemical company launches innovation consultancy

12 December 2018 Consultancy.org

The world's largest chemical company, DowDuPont, has made a foray into innovation consulting. The firm’s newly established practice, which aims at helping clients enhance their R&D return on investment and innovation management activities, operates as a subsidiary of the DuPont Sustainable Solutions business unit.

With a revenue of over $64 billion, DowDuPont – formed by the $130 billion merger of Dow Chemical and DuPont in 2017 – is the world's largest chemical company. DuPont Sustainable Solutions (DSS), one of the company’s divisions, provides a range of consulting services to organizations across the globe, including the likes of Portugal’s Sonae Arauco, Saudi Arabia’s SABIC, Turkey’s Kümaş and UK’s British Sugar. Propositions span operations consulting (asset productivity, operational excellence, supply chain management, energy efficiency), human capital consultancy (change management, learning & development, communication), digital consulting (data analytics, production systems), but also sustainability, workplace safety consulting and maintenance services.

New to the division’s offering is a practice that specializes in innovation management consulting. Commenting on the new proposition, Davide Vassallo, Global Managing Director of DuPont Sustainable Solutions, said: “DSS helps chemical, fertilizer, utilities and companies in various industries to turn their innovation strategies into reality by transforming their organization and driving innovation culture, processes and capabilities to achieve high-value added growth,” noted Vassallo.

The decision to launch a separate practice for innovation consultancy comes after the firm has “implemented several impactful innovation projects for clients across mature and developing regions,” explained Vassallo. For one client, a downstream chemical company, a consultancy team of DSS managed to achieve a ten-fold increase in new product ideas and concepts, and a 30 percent increase in innovation pipeline through high value-solutions. “The pilot results are inspiring and have prompted us to share our know-how and experience with more companies.”

World's largest chemical company launches innovation consultancy

The new arm builds on four main offerings. The first is innovation strategy, “based on our clients’ business choices, we help them design robust innovation strategies to attain high-value growth, and to anticipate as well as respond to industry disruptions.” The second revolves around market insights and intelligence – “we help our clients to learn about their customers and increase market intelligence across the entire value chain. We coach on how to translate technology trends into future success and build the required capabilities and integral innovation ecosystems.” The other two services focus on the innovation portfolio (aligning innovation portfolios to strategic pillars) and innovation culture (embedding innovation principles into the DNA of the organization).

Asked about how he believes DuPont Sustainable Solutions will be able to differentiate itself in a crowded marketplace, Vassallo pointed at three factors. “We can draw upon our experience honed over thousands of client engagements.” As the global consulting arm of the DowDuPont Specialty Products division, DuPont Sustainable Solutions has for more than 50 years advised industrial companies around the world. On top of that, the firm’s innovation consultant can also tap into the expertise and footprint of DuPont – a company with a long history of science and market-based innovation.

The chief executive of DSS further highlighted the team’s proprietary knowledge and multi-disciplinary approach. “We can leverage DuPont’s Innovation Framework and best practices, meanwhile, our team is made up of consultants, skilled engineers, psychologists, safety experts and qualified coaches that have a problem-solving mindset and a passion for what they do.”

Alexey Lesin, a 15-year veteran at DuPont Sustainable Solutions who has been appointed Global Practice Leader of the new innovation wing, concluded, “Companies across a wide range of sectors are finding that competition and customers are increasingly pushing them to deliver innovations to the market. It has become a prerequisite for survival, not a choice anymore. However, to introduce the innovations required, they must do more than simply invest in R&D. They need to build the right context for innovation by identifying the right market opportunities, by better managing value chains and collaborating with partners and customers to deliver results successfully.”

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