Sgt Pepper.pngToday’s economic situation is getting worse, not better. The blog believes this is because most policymakers still refuse to accept the wisdom contained in the Beatles’ ‘When I’m Sixty-Four’ song on their iconic Sgt Pepper album.

The Western BabyBoomers (those born between 1946-70) are the largest and richest generation that the world has ever seen.

But last year, the oldest Boomer reached the age of sixty-four. And ageing Boomers simply don’t need more housing or new cars, as they no longer have to provide for growing families.

So demand patterns are changing, radically, just as they changed in the 1970’s. This was when the arrival of the Boomers set off the economic SuperCycle, as they entered their peak consumption years between the ages of 25 – 54.

Chemical companies are therefore not only facing an imminent economic slowdown, as the blog has chronicled over the past 5 months with its IeC Downturn Alert. They also need to change their business models, to adapt to this New Normal.

This month’s Chapter 5 of the blog’s free ‘Boom, Gloom and the New Normal’ eBook, co-authored with John Richardson, aims to help with this process. The first step is for CEOs to establish a high-powered team, operating with the support of their Board and line managers, to quickly put in place the necessary Action Plan.

The team needs to answer the 4 key questions required for any successful plan:

Why. The Board needs a clear view of the likely impact of an economic downturn, combined with the demand changes caused by the ageing of the Boomers.
What. The team needs to highlight the key issues which its plan aims to tackle. Speed is essential, and only the really super-critical issues can be addressed short-term.
How. Implementation plans are critical. Resources need to be available, and key managers must ‘buy-in’ to the process, otherwise it will fail.
When. Timing is also critical. Short-term priorities (credit control, working capital) have to be balanced with the business model changes needed to adapt to the New Normal.

The outlook is very uncertain. Tomorrow’s post will discuss the relevant Scenarios that need to be addressed. And on Thursday, it will highlight the Critical Success Factors against which plans need to be measured.

The blog will be happy to provide any support or advice that may be helpful to readers as they develop their Action Plans.

International eChem/ICIS are also running three training courses in Houston, Singapore and London in Q4, to help with detailed implementation issues. Please click here for further details.

PREVIOUS POST

'Computers say buy....sell....buy....sell...'

03/10/2011

Petchem markets are continuing to act as leading indicators for the global econo...

Learn more
NEXT POST

Scenarios for the transition to the New Normal

05/10/2011

The transition to the new Normal is likely to be painful and long-lasting. Futur...

Learn more
More posts
The Fed’s stock market bubble is at risk as China bursts its real estate bubble
24/10/2021

The US stock market bubble just keeps rising. And every investor “knows” that the US Fed...

Read
EU patience starts to run out as UK threatens to break the N Ireland Protocol
17/10/2021

Unsurprisingly, it turns out that Brexit still isn’t “oven-ready”, despite the UK ...

Read
An end to the China bubble would risk a Minsky moment
05/10/2021

My letter in today’s Financial Times warning of the risk to Western financial markets from the bur...

Read
Xi aims to “bring order out of chaos” by bursting China’s property bubble
03/10/2021

China is at the start of its biggest economic shake-up since 1978, when Deng Xiaoping launched his p...

Read
The end of China’s real estate bubble will impact global supply chains, exports and growth
26/09/2021

“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked. “Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually, then suddenly....

Read
An Evergrande default could reset the Chinese, and global, economy
19/09/2021

China’s economy has been ‘subprime on steroids’ since the financial crisis in 2008...

Read
PlasticsEurope calls for mandatory 30% recycling target for packaging by 2030
12/09/2021

The European plastics industry last week took the crucial first step in moving away from virgin plas...

Read
Housing markets face long-term downturn as central banks abandon stimulus
05/09/2021

Last month saw the beginning of the end for the central banks’ 20-year experiment with stimulu...

Read

Market Intelligence

ICIS provides market intelligence that help businesses in the energy, petrochemical and fertilizer industries.

Learn more

Analytics

Across the globe, ICIS consultants provide detailed analysis and forecasting for the petrochemical, energy and fertilizer markets.

Learn more

Specialist Services

Find out more about how our specialist consulting services, events, conferences and training courses can help your teams.

Learn more

ICIS Insight

From our news service to our thought-leadership content, ICIS experts bring you the latest news and insight, when you need it.

Learn more