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Honing a Competitive Edge

By: Brian W. Budzynski and Jeff Falk
Posted: April 30, 2009, from the May 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

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“It is still novel, but across the industries, we are seeing incredible appetite for innovative solutions, and because there is such a strong appetite, people are willing to step back and look at relationships in different ways. This current economic environment is making companies more receptive to accomplishing solutions in collaborative ways,” says Johnson.

Adds Andy Shafer, EVP, sales and market development, Elevance, “The other piece that comes up is tremendous value that’s created. You are not doing something that someone else can do better, so you both end up achieving much more value in what you’re trying to do.”

Elevance’s business model has three tenets, expressing its commitment to its partners, its role in the chemical industry and dedication to the wants of the end consumers:

  • Committed to advancing partners’ businesses with new, better-performing products.
  • Positively reshaping the way people think about chemical ingredients.
  • Valuing how people live and their desires to be responsible consumers.

“The points in the model integrate to a belief that when you approach a market or opportunity, the way you get there is through collaboration and innovation—and being really committed to solutions,” said Johnson. “And when you have that kind of anchoring, you end up with results that meet the goals of all three.”

“It’s about mind-set,” says Shafer. “If you come to the table with an expansive mind-set that this can be done, then it can. When you come to the table with an ‘I win, you lose’ mind-set, you find those things become quite elusive.”