BASF to cut up to 2,000 jobs in global business services unit

Author: Stefan Baumgarten

2020/09/22

LONDON (ICIS)--BASF expects to reduce the headcount in its Global Business Services unit by up to 2,000 worldwide by the end of 2022.

The cuts are parts of a “realignment” of the unit, which was set up as of 1 January 2020 and currently employs about 8,400 people, BASF said on Tuesday.

The realignment should yield more than €200m/year in costs savings, starting in 2023.

The division provides services for BASF’s business units, ranging from financial and logistical processes to services in the areas of communication, human resources, environment, health and safety.

“By fundamentally simplifying processes and utilising digital solutions, we want to meet the needs of the BASF business units flexibly and competitively,” said Marc Ehrhardt, head of Global Business Services.

As part of the realignment, more services than before will be bundled in hubs, which will offer as many services as possible for the units in the BASF Group, Ehrhardt said.

While the division was set up before the coronavirus crisis struck in March, over the past months it “developed a target picture”, with focus on key areas such as bundling services, process simplification and digitalisation, a company spokesperson told ICIS.

“As part of this process, [the division] will also focus more closely on the needs of BASF’s businesses and identify efficiency improvements,” she said.

“The detailing out will be done in the upcoming months,” she added.

She did not specifically comment if, or to what extent, the realignment may have been prompted by the working-from-home trend that has been boosted by the coronavirus health crisis.

Earlier this month, the German chemicals major said that it would not go through with plans to build a new office building at its Ludwigshafen production hub, citing a changed economic situation and the shift toward more mobile working.

Additional reporting by Nigel Davis.

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