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Dow Corning Transforms Business Strategy

Dow Corning announced the transformation of its business strategy to help customers to be more efficient, innovative and sustainable as they navigate dynamic economic, social and environmental megatrends. According to an announcement, the company’s new strategy is the culmination of extensive research and analysis of customers’ needs, economic indicators and future social and environmental trends around the world.

“Our customers say they want a supplier that can help manage dramatic changes affecting their businesses—the global economic slowdown, new technological advancements and increasing attention on the environment,” said Stephanie A. Burns, chairman, president and CEO, Dow Corning.

Burns said the company will focus increasingly on researching and developing solutions linked to global megatrends—such as the drive for efficiency, increased focus on alternative energy and clean water, and the rapid urbanization in fast-growing emerging geographies.

Specifically, the new strategy will focus on:

Innovation: The Dow Corning brand will focus exclusively on serving differentiated solutions and new applications for customers who want innovation, customized services and technical support. The company will focus on innovating materials and solutions for critical industries, including personal care. Much of this innovation will be driven by the need to help customers develop unique and differentiated products while helping them become more efficient. Dow Corning’s R&D centers of excellence and the Dow Corning Business & Technology Incubator will help continuously identify and pursue new trends and opportunities.

Sustainability: Increasing demand for products, processes and technologies that meet environmental and societal needs will play a key role in Dow Corning’s innovation activities. The company anticipates more than 50% of its innovation portfolio will be on projects linked to sustainability. A significant area of focus will be solar power to help the solar industry move towards being economically competitive with conventional energy sources, and become a sustainable energy option. In the past 5 years, Dow Corning and its joint ventures at the Hemlock Semiconductor Group have announced investments of more than $4.5 billion to research, develop and expand production of materials critical to the solar industry. Dow Corning has also announced openings of two solar solutions applications centers in the past two years, in the U.S. and Korea. Additionally, the company will expand solutions to support the growing wind power sector and “green” construction materials.

Efficiency: Dow Corning, according to its statement, is creating the world’s largest online marketplace for silicone materials through a significant expansion of its Xiameter business model—Dow Corning’s Web-enabled business for selling standard silicone products at market-driven prices. Customers will now have access to more than double the current product choices, as well as new volume ordering options. In addition, for the first time, customers will also be able to purchase Xiameter branded products through distributors. Dow Corning says the expansion of its innovative Xiameter business model will help silicone purchasers who are impacted by the global economic recession but will also help them improve efficiency when the economy recovers.

“Our direction is borne from extensive customer research, audience segmentation, and recognition that transformation needs to be proactive, not reactive,” Burns said. “That kind of rigorous methodology and thinking will help to shape our future as we position ourselves to meet customer needs at any point on the value chain through our Dow Corning and Xiameter brands.”