Processes and capabilities

We believe that in order to make the required progress on our strategic focus areas, we must have a select set of company-wide core processes. Our intention is to develop, implement and embed processes that truly distinguish AkzoNobel. Our AkzoNobel Academy will be fundamental to ensuring that we deliver this. Each of these core processes is described briefly below.

People, product and process safety

Safety comes first at AkzoNobel, both figuratively and literally. Our safety process includes:

  • Assessing the safety culture, management systems and progress
  • Identifying “at risk” behaviors, hazards and priority harmful substances
  • Observing behaviors, developing hazard scenarios, scoring and notifying priority substances
  • Analyzing behavior observations and assessing process safety and priority substance risks
  • Removing barriers to safe behavior, managing process safety risks, restricting or prohibiting certain substances
  • Driving continuous improvement

Operational Control Cycle

The Operational Control Cycle is a connected cycle based on a continuous improvement approach. The objective is to drive operational performance and continuous improvement, align views on the outlook going forward and make and follow upon on relevant operational decisions quickly. It starts with a CEO/ CFO/BA cycle, but also includes BA/BU and CEO/Functionalcycles and continues throughout the organization. This process has now been in place for more than a year and is already having a significant impact in terms of strategy implementation.

Continuous improvement

Process standardization is fundamental to making improvements in our strategic focus areas. But this isn’t enough for us to deliver on our vision of leading performance. We need to make step changes in some parts of our business, using expert-led projects to generate major improvements. Once these step changes have been achieved, we need to make incremental, ongoing improvements based on a continuous plan-do-review-act approach in all areas of the organization.


Given the nature of our business, which involves specialty products, innovation is very important to our success and we must have best practice innovation processes. We are developing processes that start with customer insight and incorporate structured ideation, selection and prioritization, and disciplined execution through and beyond launch, utilizing a robust project management approach.


Raw material spend is a significant component of our cost base. There are also situations whereby the same company can be a supplier, competitor and customer of our businesses. Careful management of procurement process is therefore very important. These processes will be guided by defining requirements based on business strategy, a robust strategic sourcing process, disciplined key supplier management and an efficient purchase-to-pay operational process.

Talent management

In order to deliver diverse and inclusive talent development, we must have one talent management process company-wide, which engages and motivates a high quality, diverse workforce. This talent management process includes:

  • Planning for talent needs
  • Developing and retaining talent
  • Assessing performance and potential
  • Identifying leaders through creation of a common leadership potential profile
  • Deploying personnel based on solid succession planning and rich internal talent pools
  • Strategic workforce planning
  • Attracting, acquiring and on-boarding based on a clear employee value proposition