15 years ago, it was fashionable to dismiss eBusiness as a fairy story. I remember those days well, as I had just raised $25m from major companies to fund its development in the chemical industry. Today, of course, eBusiness is everywhere. Nobody would dream of shaking their heads and dismissing the whole concept, as many did pre-2000. Which takes […]
Tag Archives | manufacturing
To assume, as they say is “to make an ass out of u and me”. That was certainly the case last week, when financial markets assumed that China’s slightly better PMI index was a sign that its domestic economy was stabilising. They had temporarily forgotten the key message of February’s Research Note, namely that the government would aim to […]
Outsourcing and offshoring took off in western industry during the 1990s. The babyboomers’ demand supercycle meant new manufacturing capacity was urgently needed. And the entry of East Europe, China and India into the global economy offered a seemingly cheap way of achieving this. But today, new factors are reversing this trend. The tragic deaths of […]
What do you do if your core customers disappear? Go bankrupt, or find new ones? That’s the issue facing many companies as the West heads over the ‘demographic cliff’. As the Financial Times reports, iconic motorbike manufacturer Harley Davidson has faced this problem and found new ways to sustain profitable growth: • US Boomers were […]
Affordability, rather than value-in-use, will be key to success for companies as we transition to the New Normal. This means, as we note in Chapter 9 of ‘Boom, Gloom and the New Normal’, that manufacturing will have a major role to play in achieving the changes required. Waste will need to be greatly reduced, if […]
The New Normal involves three major transformations in the nature of consumer markets: • The increasing size of the New Old 55+ age group in the West • Too many young people struggling with higher unemployment • Large number of people moving out of poverty in the developing world These are the great opportunities for […]
Moody’s, the global ratings agency, is today forecasting a 70% chance of a U-shaped recession, and a 15% chance of either a V or L-shaped downturn. This broadly agrees with the blog’s own view, set out a month ago. Moody’s also singles out the chemical industry as being one of those most at risk from […]
Manufacturing output is contracting around the world. JP Morgan’s global index sank 15% in December, and they expect “an intense contraction phase” to continue “for some months to come”. The G7 and BRIC countries are all seeing a decline, as Nouriel Roubini notes: • The US ISM manufacturing index hit a record low of 32.2 […]
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Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry.
The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such as oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts.
Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.