Dow Corning, Midland, Mich., recently announced it is transforming its business strategy to help customers to be more efficient, innovative and sustainable.
“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 Dow Corning Chairman, President and CEO Stephanie A. Burns in a press release sent out prior to the June 9 media event announcing the company's plans.
Burns said the company will focus on researching and developing solutions to drive efficiency and increase its focus on alternative energy and clean water.
Specifically, the company anticipates that projects linked to sustainability will account for more than 50% of its innovation portfolio. A significant area of focus will be solar power to help the solar industry move toward being economically competitive with conventional energy sources, and become a sustainable energy option.
According to Brian Chermside, Dow Corning's chief marketing officer, sustainability is a business driver for many companies. "More than 65% of business leaders see sustainability as their No. 1 priority."
In the past five years, Dow Corning and its joint venture, Hemlock Semiconductor Group, Hemlock, Mich., have announced investments of more than $4.5 billion to research, develop and expand production of materials critical to the solar industry.
Dow Corning also has announced openings of two Solar Solutions Applications Centers in the past two years — in the United States and Korea. Additionally the company will expand solutions to support the growing wind power sector and “green” construction materials.
In terms of efficiency, Dow Corning is creating an online marketplace for silicone materials through a significant expansion of its Xiameter business model. The Xiameter brand is Dow Corning’s Web-enabled business (http://www.xiameter.com/main.asp) for selling standard silicone products at market-driven prices. In addition, customers also will be able to buy Xiameter branded products through distributors.
"Customer needs are changing — they don't stand still," explained Robert D. Hansen, vice president and general manager, Core Products. "With Xiameter, customers can order at night and on the weekends."
Hansen also outlined several promises that Xiameter intends to deliver to customers. First, all products on the site are manufactured by Dow Corning. Also, all pricing is transparent — and customers can extend the terms of payment (if cash is tight) or can pay immediately and take a discount for doing so.
"We want to help customers navigate through the tough economy where cash is king," said Hansen.
“Our direction is born 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.”