We must deliver on our promises whether they are to the financial market, to customers, to suppliers, or to one another.
We need to build on our strong market sector and geographic positions. The starting point for this is capitalizing on the significant investments that we have made over the last few years.
Innovation is vital for organic growth and embedded sustainability. This includes product innovation, but it is also vital for simplicity, focus on cash and return on investment.
By simplifying our product ranges and processes we can deliver care for our customers while ensuring that we maximize our cash and return on investment. Complexity reduction is therefore crucial if we are to capture the benefits created by our considerable global scale.
Once we have defined a process, we must standardize and utilize it. The use of standardized processes for improved efficiency and effectiveness is a key element of our ongoing performance improvement program.
We aim to have robust and consistent processes for performance improvement, which will be rolled out to the organization through operational excellence training as part of the AkzoNobel Academy. We aim to generate these improvements continuously, based on our process and innovation strength.
The global Buildings and Infrastructure end-user segment uses a wide variety of products to build, decorate, protect, maintain and renovate building interiors and exteriors. We recognize the following three sub-segments:
To address this difficult end-user segment environment, AkzoNobel will need to manage product lines and improve margins in all geographies, while remaining focused on delivering better value for customers. Innovation will play a vital role in terms of improving our sustainability profile and establishing triggers that prompt the use of our products. We will need to continue to restructure in mature geographies, while in high growth areas we must continue to ensure strong positions and appropriate business models.
The Transportation segment covers parts manufacture, assembly and maintenance of cars, trucks, ships, airplanes and all other products that facilitate movement. We recognize the following three sub-segments:
In response to the trends in the Transportation segment, AkzoNobel will continue to focus on launching innovative products in order to improve functionality, sustainability and margins, as well as delivering better value for customers. A particular area of focus will be ensuring that we have the right products as customers shift to new, lighter materials. For high growth areas in particular, we need to ensure that we have products with appropriate cost-to-serve/value trade-offs. In addition, we must leverage our global scale to improve efficiency and effectiveness, as well as continuing to restructure in lower margin segments and geographic regions with limited growth potential.
The Consumer Goods segment covers products such as consumer electronics, furniture, domestic appliances, food and beverage, personal care and cleaning products. We recognize the following two sub-segments:
Given the trends in the Consumer Goods end-user segment, we must continue to ensure we have appropriate capabilities in high growth geographies. This applies to manufacturing, distribution and technical support. It also applies to design and key account management as the need for managing multi-level relationships becomes greater. For example, the management of requirements and relationships with both the original equipment manufacturer and contract manufacturers will be increasingly important. Delivering better value for customers through innovation remains fundamental. To do this, we must closely follow trends and be prepared for changes in consumer needs, as well as continuing to seek opportunities to differentiate through color, design and/or customer process improvement. We must also continue to restructure in mature regions as manufacturing relocates and consumer demand patterns change.
The Industrial end-user segment covers production activities as varied as oil and gas, metals and mining, electricity and utilities, agricultural, chemical manufacturing and pulp and paper manufacturing. We recognize the following two sub-segments:
To ensure that we are well-positioned in this changing end-user segment, AkzoNobel will need to manage product lines and improve margins in all geographies while remaining focused on delivering better value for customers. Innovation will play a vital role in terms of improving our sustainability profile and establishing triggers that prompt the use of our products. We will need to continue to restructure in mature geographies and in high growth areas we must continue to ensure strong positions and appropriate business models.